Above: Uncle Tim’s gumbo from a Christmas past. You put the potato salad — made with hard-boiled eggs — right into the bowl.
As I have done every year since I moved to Texas five holiday seasons ago, I’ll be spending Christmas eve on Cow Bayou in Bridge City, East Texas (about 20 minutes up the road from Orange, where Tracie P was born).
Uncle Tim will make his famous gumbo, spiked with his hard-boiled-egg-laced potato salad, Aunt Pam (not really our aunt, but she still kisses me on the lips) will bring fried boudin balls, and I’ll bring a mixed case of wine.
Above: Fried boudin balls, a specialty of Cajun cuisine, uncased boudin (pork and rice sausage, commonly found in Louisiana and East Texas) dredged in flour and cornmeal and fried.
The get-together will include roughly 30 relatives and extended family friends, each with her/his personal beverage preferences (uncle Tim’s is Chivas and diet Sprite).
As for many American families, Christmas isn’t the occasion for breaking out my ten-year-old Nebbiolo or the single-vineyard Burgundy I’ve been saving. No, it’s time for value and crowd pleasers. No meditation wines here, ma’am, just some good ol’ reliable grape wine.