Recipe: Oyster Gumbo

Mince two medium-sized onions very fine and then place in a Saucepan and add

  • One pint of hot water,
  • One pint of Oyster liquid,
  • One pint of milk.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Now add
  • One-half cup of flour dissolved in
  • One-half cup of milk.
  • Stir well until it reaches the boiling point, and then add
  • Twenty-five Oysters,
  • One tablespoon of file (gumbo powder),
  • One ounce of butter.

Cook for five minutes and then pour the gumbo into a tureen and add three tablespoons of finely chopped parsley. File, or gumbo powder, is made by the Choxtaw Indians from young sassafras leaves. The Indians gather the leaves, spread them upon the bark to dry and then grind them into a fine powder, put it through a fine sieve and then pack it into pouches or jars. It is sold in the French markets in New Orleans and in all high-class importing groceries. The Indians use the sassafras both medicinally and in cookery, and the Creoles quickly discovered this and appreciated it when making their famous gumbo or file.

Foods That Will Win The War And How To Cook Them (Year 1918)
by C. Houston Goudiss and Alberta M. Goudiss