In discussing this book, Fred has suggested this guideline for success: If you find a recipe that you like, and use it exactly and successfully, then this is a successful recipe book, and you're a successful reader and cook. But if you find a recipe that you like, and out of necessity or invention successfully add or subtract something of your own, then this is a real Creole cook book, and you are a real Creole cook.These are not just recipes to be followed to the letter (although that procedure will certainly result in some sublimely rewarding hours and meals). These are also recipes to be improvised upon, to be altered, to be adapted to necessity; to be used, in spirit, for whatever happens to be in the kitchen. To be improved upon, if You will, given your own tastes and resources.One cold, blustery night in Minneapolis, a night too bitter to go out anywhere for ingredients deClouet demonstrated the basics of Creole cookery to a couple of friends by offering to create a gumbo with whatever he had in the house. And so, he made a gumbo of smoked sausage, green onions, shortening, dried shrimps, and a little flour. They thought it was a classic.So you will find some classic gumbos in the pages beyond, but if you don't happen to have at hand everything that's called for, don't be intimidated. Read on - in another recipe, you'll probably find a perfectly adequate (and possibly inspired) substitute.