On Christmas Eve every year, Kim cooks gumbo for her family and sometimes friends. Gumbo is a hearty seafood, sausage and chicken with okra made from a roux (base for sauce). The dish is made in one massive pot and takes almost all day to make well. Kim and her sisters all make the dish differently because partially because they do not have a written recipe and they all measure mix and stir by eye.
Kim was born in and her family is from Louisiana, both New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Gumbo is a customary dish of the South and every cook has his or her own variations of the stew. Southerners cook it at other times throughout the year but it traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve.
Kim is unaware of the reasoning behind the tradition but she remembers eating her grandmothers gumbo on Christmas Eve as a child. For her immediate family it is a way to remain connected to her Southern roots.