Cooking Louisiana  -  Gumbo Weather
Gumbo Weather, a designation as definitive as Hurricane Season but more important. Gumbo Weather, the phrase flips a switch in a Cajun's head and thinking goes "one track". In short Gumbo Weather is the time of year when the weather cools off. The first "cold snap" brings thoughts of a big pot of chicken/sausage or seafood gumbo.

I guess Soup Weather and Gumbo Weather are one in the same, what do you think? Is it actually the chill in the air, or is it the chill in your bones that designates Gumbo Weather? If it's the chill in your bones then we can't really pinpoint what Gumbo Weather is since some of us "catch a chill" at different temperatures, right? So what do we do?

We'll I got to thinking... oh oh! It all goes back to weather, hot, cool, warm, cold, whatever. The weather man or lady is using phrases on TV indicating what the air feels like on the skin. You know these phrases as Heat Index and Wind Chill. When I hear the phrase Heat Index, I definitely don't think of Gumbo, but when I hear Wind Chill I can drop my deeply engrained fear of eating gumbo at the wrong time. But, I still want to know at what temperature Gumbo Weather begins.

I decided to get to the bottom of this so I went straight to the weather man. I asked our friendly weather pro at KATC, Dave Baker. My question: "At what temperature do you switch from Heat Index to Wind Chill references?"

Here is Dave's answer (sic). Heat Index is used at 60ºF and above and Wind Chill at 59ºF and below. There it is folks, Gumbo Weather is officially when the air temperature is 59ºF or colder. Case Closed.


Okay smarty pants, what if it's 40 degrees when I get up in the morning and it's 65 degrees at supper time? Put the dang air conditioner on 59 and eat! And no singing at the table.