“The Knitters” and Delicious Red River Gumbo

Do you have a close girlfriend?

How about a group of girlfriends that get together regularly? What about in 50 years? Will you still be friends? Will you still get together?
This post is all about celebrating the remarkable, enduring  friendships of women! And a great vegetable soup recipe!

Over 50 years ago, there was a group of young mothers from small town in Oklahoma, who decided to get together once a month for a Girl’s Night Out. 
“The Knitters” October 1992 (Iva with her granddaughter Jesse)
This group of 12 ladies would meet in each other’s homes, taking turns as the hostess, eat, talk, laugh and have a great time.  
They called themselves “The Knitters.”
When these ladies were in their mid 50’s they decided to start taking a trip, once a year, to Taos, New Mexico.
In between a lot of shopping and “a little bit of knitting” the ladies would pair off and take turns cooking.
This amazing soup came about from one of those trips. 
As my friend Iva tells it, they each made suggestions as to what should be in the soup.  And a brand new recipe was created. 
And since they “had to call it something…why not Red River Gumbo?” 

1 Lg. rotisserie chicken (OR whole chicken or chicken breasts cooked and shredded or diced)
2 lb bag frozen okra
4 C frozen corn
2 cans black eyed peas (drained and rinsed) I only use one can
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 12oz can tomato paste
2 cans Rotel
1 lg onion (or to taste)
8 cups chicken broth (or 8 c water plus chicken bullion)
garlic or garlic powder, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and Tabasco sauce (Sorry, this is all by sight! LOL! It was the way the recipe was given to me!) If I had to guess: 1/2t – salt and pepper.  1t –  Tabasco, basil, oregano and garlic.
Place all ingredients except chicken in soup pot and simmer for 1.5 hours.  Add chicken and cook 30 more minutes.

I decided to add mushrooms for this batch!

Iva said they always served it with Mexican cornbread. 
Using cornbread mix, replace milk with salsa and mexicorn-drained. EASY!

This soup is delicious! Even my kids love it!

Iva just celebrated her 85th birthday! The friends who are still living remain close to this day.  Five of them chose to live in the same retirement home!

Iva told me that Ruth, the first “knitter” to pass away, told her friends she wanted everyone to share a banana split with her at her grave site!
And they did! 

And that’s the story of The Knitters and Red River Gumbo!

Good food and good friends! What could be better?


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11 Responses to “The Knitters” and Delicious Red River Gumbo

  1. Lori says:

    Wonderful, touching story… girlfriends, I luv em!

  2. Awww that is an amazing story!

  3. Pamela says:

    What a wonderful story!!! Brought tears to my eyes! It is very rare these days to find such a close knit set of friends.

  4. LOVE your story about the Knitters! What a precious bunch of ladies! Made my day! xox

  5. wonderful post! love stories of friendship like this. thanks for sharing.

  6. Michelle says:

    Sonya, thanks so much for stopping by today! What a lovely story you shared with us! Thank you and I am looking forward to reading more – I am now a follower, both here and FB networked blog too 🙂


  7. Vicki says:

    What a sweet post! And, the soup looks delicious. I hope that my close friends and I will keep our traditions and stay in touch for a lifetime. Take care, Sonya.

  8. Shelia says:

    Oh, this looks and sounds so good!! I just made a big pot full last night! 🙂 Your recipe sounds so good and may just have to try it sometimes.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 🙂

  9. Vanessa says:

    Oh Sonya! I don’t know how I missed this post earlier in the week! That is just so wonderful that those lovely ladies had each other to lean on through all of the seasons of life. What a blessing! I’m so very grateful for friends who I know will still be in my life years from now. And thanks for the gumbo recipe! It is one of my hubby’s favorite things to eat! 🙂

  10. Cristie says:

    Wow that looks so good. thanks for sharing the recipe.

  11. Stacy says:

    What a great story of friendship! Thanks for sharing!