Okra, file', sausage and shrimp; Brenda Brady of New Orleans mixed the ingredients in a huge pot of gumbo.
She said, "I'm not in New Orleans and I can't get some of that good ol' Andouille sausage like I used to back home, so I'm going to use smoked sausage."
Brady and several other Katrina families displaced by the storm shared recipes from home on Tuesday night, and the stories of survival that brought them to Tallahassee. One year later, FEMA estimates one-thousand evacuees now call the Big Bend home.
Eddie Thompson says he's living in Tallahassee for now, but hopes to eventually return to the home he once knew.
He said, "I really miss New Orleans, I hate the fact the city is going through what it's going through and if I had my way in a little while, in a few years, I would probably want to go back."
However, Theresa Smith says she'll keep her family in Tallahassee for the long run. We first met them at a Red Cross facility a year ago. Once refugees, they now call themselves survivors.
Theresa Smith said, "As much as it hurts, what happened, it feels like we've never left home. We have more friends here than we've ever had and that means a lot, it means a whole lot."
There was a moment of silence as the candles burned to remember the lives lost and prayers for those still trying to rebuild, and on the day marking one year of a life altering experience, they celebrated, a life and culture they once knew and one they say they'll never forget.