A few months back, in the heat of the summer, a lovely gentleman from Louisiana and his daughter visited us at The Village Potters. The gent, Emile, had a mission: he wanted a ceramic bowl to feed the rabbits that lived inside his chicken pen. He had been "all over, lookin' for a good rabbit bowl"! His daughter was sure we would have beautiful work, but that he wouldn't want to pay our prices. So I asked him how much he wanted to pay, and he said, without hesitation: $3.
Pictured above is one of my bakers, and he liked it a lot, in spite of the fact that it had superfluous decoration (my coneflowers) inside the bowl. In our conversations, we also learned that it was his birthday that day, so I offered him the baker for his rabbits as a gift. He kept asking me how much it would cost in the gallery, but I didn't see any point telling him as it was definitely more than $3 (it's a funny thing, isn't it ... I'd rather give it away than take less than what I deem it to be worth!).
He said he wished he had something he could give me in return, and talk got around to the wonderful gumbo that he makes with those chickens, and how you just can't get good Andouille outside of Louisiana, or good file, so I told him he could send me some gumbo! He has family who live in the area, so I said the next time he or any of them come near, he could send up some gumbo. After he left, several of my studio mates commented that I was not likely to see any gumbo.
Flash forward: I arrive at the studio today, to this lovely delivery of his Chicken/Andouille with File Gumbo:
I was so sorry that I wasn't there to greet his daughter and send my thanks back personally, and unfortunately, she left before anyone could get any contact information from her or for Emile. So if anyone knows Emile Kugler in Louisiana, please send him my sincere thanks from Asheville, along with a message that he was indeed correct: this is the most delicious gumbo I have ever had, and I feel like I came out way on top in this trade!