Big Read, great gumbo: A recipe before reading


As part of the Big Read’s promotion of Ernest J. Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying, the folks at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library are turning fiction into fact, or rather into Cajun-style gumbo. As the main character in Gaines’s novel–- a young uneducated black man named Jefferson–- awaits the electric chair after being found guilty of killing a white storekeeper; his godmother, Miss Emma, tries to comfort him with her prized gumbo. So, in honor of the book, the library is holding a “Great Gumbo Contest” on March 13 at 1:30pm.

[caption id="attachment_28739" align="alignright" width="140" caption="Gumbo"]gumbo[/caption]

Contestants are being asked to bring a gallon of their gumbo, which is basically a spicy stew of vegetables, meat and seafood flavored with okra and others spices, to the library around 1pm to prepare for a public tasting. There’ll be judges there to pick a first, second, and third place winner. Prizes include $100, $50, and $25 gift certificates for kitchen items. The field will be limited to 20, so if you’re got a special gumbo recipe, give the folks at the JMRL a shout by emailing them at But, of course, the real treat awaits the spectators who’ll have a chance to taste some great gumbo for a worthy cause.

1 comment

I like my gumbo with some curry in it!!!