Confession No. 34 — Moral quandary got you? Lie about it!

Where I come from, lying is a sin only most of the time.

You can never lie to your parents, pastor, teacher or Scoutmaster. You are, however, allowed to stretch the truth when it comes to complimenting someone – especially a woman. In the South, we call those ‘white lies.’ ‘White lies’ work quite well when complimenting someone’s hair, clothing or blackberry cobbler – so long as you don’t get caught up in the web you’re weaving.

I was first busted in a ‘white lie’ by none other than my wife, a Jersey girl who was unacquainted with Southern customs.

The sauerbraten incident
It was some time in 1995, and we newlyweds were getting into the groove of going to Sunday dinner with her family. Though the meal and the company were always comfortable, I was elated to learn that my mother in-law this time would be preparing a legit festgelage — complete with kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), rotkohl (red cabbage) and sauerbraten, a traditional Deutschland-style beef roast. I’m a German, through and through. But I’d never had the main dish prior to that meal.

Whether it’s something reasonably simple – like eggplant parmesan – or painstakingly time-consuming – like sauerbraten – my wife’s mother is a cook. Period. Knowing her, she probably learned how to make an authentic sauerbraten from a German neighbor or family member. Instead of trying to make adjustments through the years (like most of us do), her efforts go into buying the best beef shoulder roast, and using exact measurements of allspice, gingerbread crumbs, red wine, and so on. The result is always a thing of beauty. And it’s absolutely delicious — if you like sauerbraten.

I learned – during the first bite – that sauerbraten is not my taste.

But, like any southern gentleman who is taught that lies told when complimenting someone don’t count against you, I chewed and swallowed, then took another bite.

‘Wow,’ I told my mother in-law as she looked my way for a reaction. ‘This is really delicious sauerbraten. It’s really rich.’

‘Thank you,’ she replied. ‘I marinated it for three days.’

‘I can tell,’ I said. ‘I can really taste the allspice. Nice.’

My new wife smiled. I could tell she was proud of her mom. She might have even been considering learning to make the dish, like her mother had done for her father. But, the conversation we had a couple of months later probably streichened those thoughts.

‘I have a surprise for you,’ my wife said. ‘You’re going to love it.’

‘Really? Are we going to Papaya Dog and to a Yankees game?’

‘No, silly,’ she responded. ‘My mom is making sauerbraten again, just for you!’

I was in trouble. I couldn’t fake it twice. Besides, I’d just worked up a hankering for some cheap New York City hot dogs.

‘Look, Catherine … I don’t really like sauerbraten. So, please tell your mom I’m sick, or something.’

‘What? Are you kidding me?’

‘No. It’s just tha—’

‘I can’t believe you!’ she shouted, cutting me off. ‘Mom works on this dish for days? You tell her how great it is? Now, all-of-a-sudden you don’t like sauerbraten? Do you lie just for the hell of it, Adam?’

‘I wasn’t lying,’ I said, in a feeble attempt to escape her wrath. ‘Your mom’s sauerbraten is fantastic … for sauerbraten.’

As the verbal beat-down continued, I learned that ‘white lies’ in New Jersey are apparently just lies, and that the proper thing to do is to just flat-out tell someone you don’t like something. So, we went to Mom’s for a wonderful German dinner.

‘Let me tell you, Lillian, this sauerbraten is even better than the last one,’ I said. ‘I really want to learn how to make this dish.’

Even as my wife shot me various looks of disgust, I continued to pour it on. And eat more sauerbraten. I think she became an honorary Southern woman soon following that incident. And it’s not just because her hair became bigger, and lipstick much brighter. Her palate also seems to have dramatically changed.

Just about every dish that I’ve made and served since then has been her absolute favorite … ever.

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Mardi Gras in my part of the country is just part of life. Some people take it very seriously, and plan for months ahead their jaunt to New Orleans, while others (like myself) prefer to partake in the food and spirits from the comfort of our homes — or at least at a local themed fundraiser (and there are many). There is no wrong way to make gumbo, in my opinion, unless you omit okra. Though gumbo has roots all over the world, okra is the true namesake for this thickened soup. According to various horticultural historians, okra arrived in North America on slave ships from West Africa, where the pod was known as ki ngombo or quingombo. The other ingredients really depend on whether you are making the Cajun or Creole version, but any purist will also tell you that filé is also necessary to call it ‘gumbo.’ My recipe combines the dark roux, seafood and spice of the Cajun version; and the savory tomatoes and other vegetables of the Creole dish.

Louisiana Gumbo

This gumbo has all the traditional vegetables, but they are strained to produce a smoother broth. With this dish, you can fool people who don't think they like Louisiana-style cooking. And that's no 'white lie.'

This gumbo has all the traditional vegetables — strained to produce a smoother broth. With this dish, you can fool people who don’t think they like Louisiana-style cooking. And that’s no ‘white lie.’


Louisiana Gumbo
This gumbo has all the traditional vegetables — strained to produce a smoother broth. With this dish, you can fool people who don't think they like Louisiana-style cooking.
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Cajun/Creole
Serves: 10
  • 2 – Tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves – garlic, minced
  • 1 medium – onion, chopped
  • 3 – celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 lb. – okra, chopped
  • ½ cup – butter
  • ½ cup – all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts – chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon – sugar
  • 1 – 16 oz. can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 Tablespoon – fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 sprig – fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon – ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon – ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon – Louisiana-style hot pepper sauce
  • ⅛ cup – Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Filé powder*
  • 2 lbs. – Raw seafood (peeled & deveined shrimp; scallops; flaked crab; oysters; clams; lobster chunks; etc.)
  • 1 lb – andouille sausage, cut into ½ inch pieces
  1. Melt (2 TB) butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cook garlic, onions, celery and okra until crisp tender, and browning around edges; set aside.
  3. In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, melt ( ½ cup) butter.
  4. Add flour.
  5. Stir constantly.
  6. When the roux is a rich, dark brown (milk-to-dark chocolate), add reserved vegetables and stir. Add stock and tomatoes. Stir well.
  7. Add dry seasonings: parsley, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, black pepper and thyme.
  8. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; and simmer for about 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
  9. Through a wire mesh sieve (into a large pan), strain vegetables.
  10. Pour stock back into large stock pot.
  11. Add andouille sausage, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and lemon juice.
  12. Simmer for about an hour, stirring and skimming occasionally. Stock will thicken slightly. (If it thickens too much for your liking, add more stock and turn heat down slightly.)
  13. Add seafood. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  14. Sprinkle with filé powder and serve with rice. Allow guests to salt their own gumbo.
*Filé (pronounced fee-lay) powder is the ground leaves of the sassafras tree, and is available in grocery stores across the South. It has a very light tea-like flavor and thickens the soup slightly. It should always be added after cooking.


  1. Ohhhhhhh, how we Southerner’s really step in it! I know people who have been gifted for their Birthday with a dish they don’t really care for—for YEARS–because they keep up the charade. After a few too many gastronomic nightmares, I dispensed with the little white lies, and moved toward the sugar-coated dis……

    “Sister, Dear, I’m really not a fan of canned asparagus, but the way you served it tonight makes it almost tolerable…..”

  2. I have a friend who received cow salt and pepper shakers. To be polite, she said, “Oh thanks, I, um, love cows!” A few years later her kitchen looked like a cow-specific gift shop. I mean, there were cows everywhere. Apparently word had spread if you wanted to give this lady a gift, shop cow! Poor thing. That’s a lot of moo.

  3. Oh, the New York Times Ethicist would have for days with this issue. I’m not southern but usually try to lie politely in these situations. But, recently the mom-in-law went to an art auction and bought a painting which she presented to me as a gift. Gulp. It was a nice painting but not my taste and I think art is soooo specific. If she’d bothered to look around she’d have noticed that the only thing gracing my walls is photography, mostly black & white, and lots my own work. She said if I didn’t like it I should just stick it in the closet and she’d never ask about it. C’mon…you know she’s already asked, right?

  4. Haha, what a story! And, having grown up in Germany I certainly know that some of these dishes are… well, a matter of taste. The gumbo looks fantastic, though!

  5. That’s the neatest bowl of gumbo I’ve ever seen. But someone needs to put a generous helping of Tabasco sauce on that pale mound of rice!

  6. Does your mother-in-law read your blog? LOL!

    My sister-in-law makes what we affectionately call the “pink stuff”. It’s cool whip with a can of cherry pie filling mixed in. To make her feel good during our first Thanksgiving together, I told her I loved it. Now every holiday we share, she always calls and says, “Don’t worry! I’m bringing the pink stuff!!!!” And then she brings a gallon. I’ve never had the heart to tell her it’s absolutely. disgusting.

    Bu, your gumbo looks divine!!!!

  7. Ok, your comment to Jen made me laugh out loud. It’s also a warning heeded for me not to make any personal commentary on family members. Lies always come back to bite us in the butt; white or otherwise.

    Regarding the gumbo, you left out the most important part. I’ve made it once; something called Gumbo Ya-Ya. In order to get the roux a beautiful mahogany color, I had to stir it constantly for 45 minutes. By the time the thing was done, all I could taste was roux.

    Yours looks delicious. I see scallops and shrimp. Did you use clams?

    • Christiane – I have the three essential elements of an authentic Cajun/Creole gumbo: okra, roux and filé. What part did I leave out? I didn’t use clams (availability), but I did use flaked crab. I also threw in a couple of chicken pieces for my daughter, who doesn’t care for seafood.

      • Nice recipe Adam and great story. I think Christine is referencing the absence of green bell pepper in the recipe. The Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking is onions, celery and green bell peppers. It’s kinda like a French mirepoix. I love gumbos of all kinds but cheat when making the roux. Instead of tediously doing this on top of the stove, I put peanut oil (not butter because I find the butter solids burn) and flour in my dutch oven, whisk it together, put it in my oven at 400 F and bake it! The flour cooks evenly without any danger of burning and you can get it as dark as you want. When it reaches the desired doneness, (typically 1 hour), I remove it from the oven, put the veggies in it, sauté them until soft and then start adding liquids, spices, etc. I just have to remember the darn dutch oven is hot so I don’t burn myself. :o

        • Ah, yes, Richard. The ‘Trinity,’ must include Bell peppers (but not necessarily green-colored ones, according to my Cajun friends). That said, not all Cajun recipes include the ‘Trinity’ — and that includes many traditional recipes for gumbo. Two things that traditional/authentic gumbo do require are: okra and sassafras leaves (gumbo file). Everything else is just soup. I like your cheat. I cheat as well, using a trick I saw Justin Wilson once use: Heat the oil, then drop in the flour. You can go from lightly tan to coffee-colored in less than a minute (so be prepared to stir quickly and remove from the heat just before the roux gets to the point that you’re looking for).

        • Oh, Richard. He knows that trinity…it’s bespoken of in prior posts. Hard to school Adam on lingo :) .

      • Adam, I agree that not all traditional cajun dishes use the Trinity, i.e. crawfish étouffée but you will find a lot of argument among cajuns as to the use of okra in their gumbo. It’s kinda like Texans and the debate of beans vs no beans in chili. There are also lots of authentic/traditional gumbos that don’t use file. I personally like it in seafood gumbos but not so much in chicken/andouille sausage gumbo.

        • True, Richard. I’ve argued with Cajuns about not using okra in their gumbos. What makes the okra argument different than the chili w/ or w/o beans argument is that the name ‘Gumbo’ means ‘Okra.’ Making a gumbo without okra is akin to making apple pie with Ritz crackers — it’s not a real apple pie. As for chili, I am a purist (and a 5th generation Texan). Beans are not to be cooked with the chili. Want to serve them on the side for the Yankees (like my wife)? Fine. But, if you cook chili with beans, then it’s not chili. It’s chili beans. ;-)

  8. Loved this post. I got myself into a similar situation years ago over a “confetti salad”—cabbage, raisins, miracle whip and multicoloured mini marshmallows—that became a stable of celebratory meals for years and years…and years…

    Also, if I ever form a post-punk band can I have permission to use “The Sauerbraten Incident” as the band’s name :)

  9. Its funny cuz its true. I think all of us Texas boys have been caught in a lil ole “white lie” at least once. My Mother In Law still makes me a dish every time I see her that she thinks I like. I just can’t bring myself to tell her, and my wife knows and cracks up as she watches me eat it. That’s the worst part.

    Gumbo looks amazing. Never tried to learn how to make it myself. maybe someday.

  10. Love your story :D
    I was laughing too hard!!! And as for that dish I will definitely take 2 please… I will acquire the taste :P

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: 5 Min Wrap Pizza

  11. This reminds me of a lot of ugly sweaters I have gotten as gifts. I politely wore them a couple of times but it had a snowball effect and other people would buy similar thinking I liked them.. “Oh what a tangled web we weave,
    When first we practise to deceive!” LOL
    Loving your Gumbo

  12. While you nailed the etymology re: okra and gumbo, I differ in opinion when it comes to the essentials. I don’t believe okra is a must in gumbo. Ms. Lucy agrees with me, among others. While it may be the original namesake for gumbo, I never include it. Mine is typically andouille and chicken, and that’s it (other than the roux, trinity, the behind-the-scenes essentials). But I’m not beefin’. Just sayin’. I might have gotten better at jambalaya, anyway, which is interesting considering I’d always preferred gumbo until I discovered how to make jambalaya.

  13. I’ve awarded you The Versatile Blogger Award and linked you to my blog. Really enjoy reading your blog…x

  14. Oh, gosh. I have family in Texas and am well acquainted with the white lie. Hilarious story!

  15. I vastly prefer the good ole texas standby “bless her heart”. tell people exactly what you think of your co-workers attempt at baking (it’s been a rough one in the office here today), but add a little BHH at the end, and no offense should be taken…

  16. Reblogged this on The Unorthodox Epicure.

  17. Laissez les bons temps rouler!! I’m making Mardi Gras food this week too!

  18. I’ve told a few “white lies” to family members about the dishes they’ve “created”, but then I realized I need to be honest so I don’t have to eat that yucky stuff anymore!!!! You know, grandmas remember what you say and always want to spoil the grandkids!

  19. Those “white lies” regarding signature dishes of friends and family are alive and well – at least here in Texas. I am “learning” to cook – like a cook and not a mom where the budget and quantity are more important than quality – and my habit is to say upon serving something new “I need to know if this is a repeater or not”. No other comments are required and it seems to work well. Several folks manage to tell their “white lie” and at the same time tell me, “no, I don’t think this one is a repeater”. Only in the South – and who would want to live anywhere else? I enjoyed the reblog and the recipe.

    • Thanks, Mom. That whole ‘is this a repeater’ thing happened once in a while growing up. Unfortunately, it wasn’t up for debate whether we’d have sausage casserole (again and again). It was usually for really good stuff like potato soup or beef & mushrooms in wine sauce. Still, I got fat on the food I was served — even the stuff I openly hated. Furthermore, I learned how to spot the tiniest piece of onion at an early age. These days, I spot the onion, but I just eat it. Is it because I have good manners? Maybe. But, it’s more likely that I’m just too damn lazy to pick it out. :-)

  20. Joe Reaves says:

    Not food related but the biggest lie of them all…”Do these jeans make my butt look big”?

  21. This story made me laugh out loud when you linked it in your reply to my comment about loaded questions. But now I’ve noticed the gumbo, will have to try this, after next week’s Chinese new year celebrations. Who knows, I may try sauerbraten too…you only live once, right?

  22. Oh boy, seems like you’ve struck a chord with the “problem with white lies” with everyone. My husband was always raving about the sauerbraten he used to have when he was in the service in Germany. Of course I had to show him I could do it to except I got just a small cut of beef & for whatever reason, left it marinating for oh…about a week. I figured out that I hadn’t quite nailed it when he took the first bite & starting tearing up then choking.
    Now that gumbo looks pretty awesome! Well, okay except for … the okra? I bet you cook up the best okra in the entire United States Adam!
    Got a serious question though on the andouille sausage – would you know if that’s similar to Portuguese sausage?

    • Thank you, Diane. I promise that there is okra in this dish — or at least okra flavor. I live in a houseful of picky eaters. They’ll eat fried okra until the cows come home, but boiling, braising, roasting or pickling is not their thing. (OK.. Alexandra takes after her father when it comes to spicy pickled pods.) — I’m not overly familiar with Portuguese sausages, but linguica and paio might be closest to Andouille, which has a coarse grind and some bite to it. Hopefully, none of my Louisiana friends will see this, but I have substituted spicy smoked Kielbasa for Andouille more than once. Tasted fine.

      • Excellent, thanks for the sausage info. I think the Portuguese sausage is very close to linguica so that’ll work just fine. We’ve got a major storm barreling down on us tonight that’s probably going to leave us without power for a while so I’m not running out to stock the fridge just yet.

        • I envy you. It’s cloudy and 62 here in the piney woods of northeast Texas. I’ve not been able to drag out my generator or cook in the fireplace for more than two years. :-(

          • Envy? 62? Since you’re not using it, could I please have your generator?
            After every storm we keep saying we’re getting one, but then the power eventually comes back on & it never happens. We’re at Mother Nature’s mercy here with oil heat, a well, electric cooking, & a septic system that has to pump uphill. Fireplace, yes but when we lost the power for 5 days it got a little old keeping that thing going. We’re lucky to have great neighbors who do have generators & always invite us up, but I hate to impose.

          • Being old school at times (I’m an Eagle Scout and have spent many nights in the elements), I enjoy the challenges. Obviously, the generator is in place so that I can watch baseball during an outage. ;-)

          • LOL, silly me I think I got confused but now I’m thinking my husband probably is thinking the same thing when he says we need to get a generator. Eagle Scout – very impressive, I should have known.

          • Eh.. Hardest part about getting Eagle is sticking with it. I’m glad that I did. :-)

          • Well that’s the thing with a lot of accomplishments isn’t it? Most never stick with it which is why it is something to be proud of. My daughter was a competitive figure skater & made it to Senior Ladies Level which only about 8% do. I like stick-to-it-tiveness.

          • True. And, I was thinking.. Buy your husband the generator. Please.

          • hahaha! LOL – you’ve been pondering this haven’t you? His big concern is that this is the Beanpot weekend – we’re Boston ya know, so we’re wicked worried about hockey getting cancelled. My big concern is that septic issue. I may have the bathtub filled & a bucket beside the toilet, but we’ve got no way of knowing when those holding tanks may be full.

  23. Reblogged this on I & Life and commented:
    interesting :)

  24. I’ve loved this. Your wife, bless her heart, is lucky to have you. And, I suspect, your mother-in-law is a peach. I’ve also loved the comments about gumbo. I grew up in north La. and in the sixties-seventies, we didn’t make much cajun or creole food. I learned, though, when i moved to Baton Rouge where I got my kids raised enough to call them Louisianians. We’ve been in Georgia for fifteen years. I brought the gumbo with me. Here’s my question: I’ve always done the roux with cooking oil instead of butter. I just figured the butter would burn and poo-pooed anyone who suggested that butter was even a possibility. It’s not in any of the River Road books. Further, I’ve always thought that while okra was not optional, file was. Humm?

    I am following you so that I get hungry and miserably homesick more often.

    • First, thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it. I’m with you on using oil (instead of butter) for roux. And, file is not an option when it comes to authentic gumbo. (Although it could technically be gumbo without the addition of sassafras leaves.)

  25. I think White lies are okay. Big and Black lies are not! Don’t you agree?

  26. I enjoyed reading about your Good Ole Southern Manners. Being an Australian, white lies are neither here nor there, but I do tell them when I think they will cheer someone up, or make them feel good. i.e. “That is a lovely frock you are wearing! Where did you get it?” The frock may be gorgeous, but the wearer might have been hit with the ugly stick a few dozen times or look like they’ve been pulled through a hedge backwards…

  27. I have to disagree with the okra thing, but then I’m from Philadelphia, so my opinion on okra probably isn’t worth a whole hell of a lot. Ask me about struffoli or homemade lasagne and I’m more trustworthy.

    I prefer to think that the name for the gumbo recipe came from someone who misheard someone else saying something in Swahili like, “As God is your witness, do NOT put okra in this!” Someone else overheard, but everything except the word “okra” was garbled, and thus was a culinary calamity born.

  28. Loved it.

  29. Delightful story, As a mother and mother in law, I understand that your brand new mother in law wanted to please you with German food and her brand new son in law wanted to make her happy.I was going to say that we have white lies here too (Australia), but I must admit that you have got those wite lies down to a fine art.

  30. Lying to spare people’s feelings when it comes to unimportant things such as these are acceptable. It’s the considerate thing to do sometimes. I just don’t know how you pulled off eating something you didn’t like. My face immediately gives me away every time!

    Nice post!

  31. I actually love okra and that’s no white lie :)

  32. Hey I’m with you! I would much prefer someone lie to me in order to spare my feelings than be honest and hurt them! I’m always complaining around my house that nobody will even give me a courtesy laugh when I think I’m being funny!
    Oh and by the way, thanks for the gumbo recipe. I’ve never had it, but am excited to try it out! (if I don’t like it, I’ll still make sure to comment back with rave reviews!) ;)

  33. My situation is quite the opposite. My husband is too honest to a point that he sometimes becomes insensitive of what others might feel (he grew up that way, so). So now I am introducing him to ‘white lies’ LOL

  34. Reblogged this on ON THE WIRE.

  35. Been there. Done that except in my case it was food from our next door neighbour growing up. The food had no spices or salt. However, she would routinely (and I mean every couple of days) cook and send over food. We would all graciously lie about how great it was and once she left my mum would “fix” it for all of us to eat.

  36. I’d rather tell White Lies or at least keep my mouth shut than hurt someone’s feelings and I’d also appreciate it if someone spares my feelings. The only condition is — I should never find out the black truth.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  37. Hilarious! I always tell everyone that if they don’t like what I cook, please tell me so that I don’t make it for them tons of times haha… I suspect that only my brother has the guts to openly say: its gross I’m not eating this.

  38. mdprincing says:

    I feel your pain. My former wifes mother thought I really liked this cucumber dish (sliced with onions and gross white shit) because my grandma made a version of it and I politely ate it for 15 years at every holiday meal, ugh.

    Love Gumbo, made some thursday night, Ihave an aunt that lives in Louisiana, just north of Ponchetrain who sends me cajun and southern treats

  39. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  40. Yeah for Team Okra…..

  41. HIlarious but good one!

  42. Great looking recipe!

  43. Filé powder… that’s new to me. I’m near Seattle where we spice our seafood differently. Any suggestions as to a good substitute? Thanks. And wow, that’s like OCD gumbo– it’s beautifully arranged.

    • There really is no substitute for file powder. Rest easy, though. Many Cajuns have been known to leave it out. It’ll still be very good. And, thank you for the nice compliment. I would have arranged the green onion in rows — if I were only that coordinated. ;-)

  44. I love reading this. Hilarious.. thumbs up.

  45. I truly enjoyed reading your post! Woth the read! Your experience to your mother in law was really fun. Your Louisiana Gumbo recipe looks delicious and I would love to try this one.

  46. Carmen tells me I am the rudest man she has ever met because I tell people what I like and I take them at their word when they tell me what they want. I can see I’d have trouble down south. When someone says, ” Don’t worry about little ‘ole me,” I don’t worry; if they say “I’ll have what you’re having” they probably won’t get anything; and if I hear “Oh you shouldn’t have” that means they probably won’t be getting that little treat again. For me none of those expressions are polite: they are irritating refusals to say what you want or to just come straight out with an honest thankyou. I am quite happy, however, with “That was great can I have some more?” “No thanks, I don’t want any” and “Well, I have things I want to do, so it’s time to get going.”

  47. Haha… I’ve gotten into a “sauerbrat” situation myself recently… but I still wouldn’t take white-lies out of my repertoire unless I want to suffer from multiple circumcisions/ violent castration from the women in my life. I’d say jist tone it down so they don’t feel obligated to “make more” of it.

    • That’s a tough proposition — toning down ‘white lies’ to the point of a perfect balance. And, I’m married. So, I’ve already suffered the punishment you mention. The castration is not as bad as you might think, since my wife kept the loot. ;-)

  48. pjphiledwithjelly97 says:

    The dish that they gave would not be one for me. this would be something that you would serve if you were having important guests over

  49. As a Pennsylvania native, the saurbratten story is delightful, along with the differences between southern and Jersey views on lies. I’ll take the southern tack any day. Thanks for a great read, and the sly gumbo recipe looks fantastic for my Pennsylvania Dutch friends. I will have to give it a try!

  50. Thanks for a laugh-out-loud read on a dreary Monday morning!

  51. I haven’t tried this dish yet, but I’m soo going to find a restaurant where they serve this! Thank you for letting me know about it. Happy cooking! :=)

  52. I enjoyed your story and the recipe looks yummy!

    Most civilized folk tell white lies regularly. I mean, come on, you’re seriously going to hurt someone’s feelings because their (fill in blank – hair, dress, etc) looks tacky and unbecoming? No way. And I’m from Michigan.

    Too bad the food white lie comes back to haunt us over and over again.
    Congrats on being on the front page for days! :)

  53. Hmm Delicious…

  54. Congrats on being “Freshly Pressed,” even if the article is one from the archives;-) I am loyal fan and you deserve the recognition! Too bad it doesn’t come with a bonus check, eh?

    • Thank you! Good observation. Though most of my posts are evergreen (albeit seasonal with the recipes), this one was missed first time around. Better late than never. Only my second ‘Freshly Pressed’ — but it was still enough to celebrate.

  55. That was an excellent post today. Thanks so much for sharing it. I
    really enjoyed reading it very much. You have a wonderful day!

  56. Haha! Wonderful post, I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  57. OMG this looks so yummy!!

  58. Wow – I absolutely loved this story. I’ve been thinking about this subject a lot lately. Food lies are just so easy.

    Eating at restaurants fills me with such anxiety. I’m always dreading the moment (yet never prepared) for when the waiter checks in to ask us how our food is. Before his arrival we’ll be talking amongst ourselves of everything that’s wrong with our plate and as soon as our waiter comes by and asks us – a resounding “Everything is AMAZING” somehow slips out of my mouth.

    It’s like this horrific reflex. When I should be screaming “Curry powder in your Miracle Whip, does not an aioli make!”

    But I guess that moves into more food snob territory.

    Great post and beautiful gumbo!

  59. Loved this, and it demonstrates while I’ll always stick with the lovely directness of my East Coast upbringing. :) Your gumbo sounds delicious! I may have to try it (slightly altered though, which I know is heresy, but I’m one of those vegan types.) I enjoy your writing.

  60. Great blog post! I think there is something wrong with me because I want to try sauerbraten! And just so I can steal a bit of your thunder, I blog about divorce and food!
    Looking forward to another adventure.

    • Thanks, Matthew. I checked out your blog and you have a new follower! Too bad you aren’t an east Texas attorney. We have more divorces in our section of the state than in most other areas of the country. It probably has something to do with golf and football.

  61. Reblogged this on Food Aficionados and commented:
    What a wonderful site! Cannot wait to read more of the Confessions!

  62. hahaha funny …I was laughing too hard! ….Congrats on being Freshly Pressed…

  63. Quite funn! Hope you are still on good terms with the in-laws!

    • They live 1,500 miles away, and I gave them the smartest grandchildren that they could ever imagine. No to mention, I think that my link to them is the coolest person around — and I (mostly) treat her that way. But, again… We live 1,500 miles apart. lol..

  64. As you know, I’m a true Southerner and have been laughing SO HARD at this story – love it! So cute, but so true. I married a New Yorker, so my “southern bullshit” has been reigned in a little lol ;)

  65. Liar liar, pants on fire!
    That gumbo looks and sounds amazing, Adam! Oh, and it’s not a lie…in the big, little, or white form. ;)


  1. found « says:

    [...] Moral Quandary Got You? Lie About It! The Unorthodox EpicureMore Food   [...]

  2. [...] we were busy crafting, I had a modified version of Adam Holland’s gumbo (from last week’s menu) in the slow cooker.  We enjoyed the results on Monday night; even [...]

  3. […] Moral Quandary Got You? Lie About It!: Yay! Lying solves all my problems! […]

  4. […] found this recipe for gumbo a while ago on Adam Holland’s terrific blog The Unorthodox Epicure.  It’s easy to […]

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