Jambalaya Jumbo Jamboree


I find myself listening today to an old album– Spandau Ballet’s Journeys To Glory.   I vividly remember owning the vinyl 33 1/3 disc,  which these days would seem such an archival object.   I found myself explaining the Way Back Machine Internet Archives over on Holly’s latest guest post about Idealism Vs. Pragmatism.   What this music mostly makes me think of however is a blog post I wrote some years back.   It is always strange it seems to me the things we associate with different pieces of music.    The mind it sometimes seems to me really is an exotic jambalaya of seemingly disparate ingredients which somehow meld into a coherent whole.   Perhaps that is the miracle of life.

In retrospect,  it seems to me that even in those earliest days of the books blog I was mostly writing personal essays.    It seems fitting to me to have finally realized that what I meant to do all along is in fact what I have been doing all along.   Which may also explain why even though it is still December and I have not in fact finished by ‘blog every day in 2012’ jamboree I seem to have already switched to the Monday and Thursday posting schedule that I had been contemplating for next year.    Somehow,  it seems like such a jumbo jolly good idea that I am unable to constrain myself from implementing it right away,  the forfeited 2012 challenge be damned.   I believe that I will be much better able to promote two posts a week and reply to all of the comments I will be able to generate and that I will overall benefit more from this focused activity than by forcing myself to crank out a new post every single day.    I am frankly glad that I gave myself the blog every day in 2012 challenge.   It certainly caused me to look closely at posting frequency and helped me to realize that twice a week is ultimately a much better schedule for me on this blog.    My sincerest thanks to my friend Laura for suggesting today’s words.


28 comments on “Jambalaya Jumbo Jamboree

  1. Alan – Blogging has certainly been a challenge for me this year. As the number of social sites have increased, I find my time splintered. I think a schedule in is due order, not only for blogging, but for each sie I contribute to.
    Now I want the recipe for the Shrimp Jumbalaya you featured 🙂

    • I sort of give a recipe for jambalaya in this post http://libdrone.info/2007/09/07/fridaymust-mean-jambalaya/ It’s fairly easy. Get a one pound kielbasa sausage and a pound of shrimp. (frozen is fine). Thaw the shrimp, then peel them. Boil the shells in a pot of water with a lemon, a stalk of celery and an onion. It should take about 45 minutes to make a good shrimp stock. Slice the kielbasa and chop up a couple of medium onions and couple of sticks of celery. Put a little oil in a soup pot and saute the vegetables and sausage. When the vegetables are tender– 10 to 15 minutes– add two cups rice and four cups shrimp stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium-low simmer. Cook for about 10–15 minutes then add the shrimp, turn off the heat and let it sit on the hot stove for about 5–10 minutes. You might want to add some Cajun seasoning and salt and pepper.

  2. Just while we are changing the record I remember 78s I once enjoyed a DJ who played 78s on a wind up gramma phone but needed to change the needle ever 2nd song
    As to your 2012 challenge I would not see it as a failure but as an realization which came about as part of the challenge! Happy 2013

    • Having bought most of the music I still listen to four different times– on vinyl, 8-track, cassette and CD I don’t feel a bit guilty about listening for free on YouTube these days 🙂

  3. The advantage of a blog a day is to ensure you get into a routine and never make an excuse and miss out. However, at the end of the day this is an ideal that is unrealistic for most, and has already been said, quality is certainly far better than routine for the sake of it.

    • I honestly don’t know where the ‘blog everyday’ conventional wisdom comes from. My own experience clearly showed me that it is not in the blogger’s best interest to publish every day.

  4. Thank-you Alan – you have made a splendid jambalaya out of a jumble of words. I will let you in on a secret – the words were not chosen at random. Jambalaya was the only thing my mother could cook and was considered a great treat by us children. It didn’t contain any shellfish, so it was completely inauthentic, but I am allergic so I was pleased. I still make it today, equally inauthentically since I use arborio (risotto) rice, with a mixture of tomato, onion, bacon and chorizo. However, I have to say it is absolutely delicious!
    Jumbo is a reference to portion sizes of jambalaya that I am tempted to indulge in but must resist as I am on a moderately successful diet (15 lbs in 2 1/2 months) so no jambalaya for me for a while. And no jumbo portions of anything much except celery and cucumber…(Into every life a little rain must fall).
    Jamborees? Well I have been to the original ones for girl guides that were envisaged by Baden Powell. But now I tend to think of it as meaning a lavish use of other people’s money to enjoy oneself. And in the eighties we did a bit of that too…

    • Actually, Laura, the version you describe is not that much unlike what one might be served in Louisiana. Chicken and sausage are particularly apt to be paired in a jambalaya. Shrimp have always been an expensive luxury, even in New Orleans 🙂 Thanks again for providing such great words.

  5. Realistic goals and expectations ! Although those of us that enjoy your writing would LOVE to see more – a daily posting is SO hard to do – especially if you have a job or family.

    Happy holidays – and thanks for your writing!

  6. quality over quantity every time..
    and there’s no reason feel bad, you could have taken the easy way out and posted a generic piece of waffle just to complete challenge.
    this is the more honourable way out!

  7. Very interesting subject, sucks you couldn’t see your challenge all the way through as you initially tried, thanks for sharing

  8. I am in awe that you managed to blog every day for most of the year. I do well at keeping up with my social media stuff, but blogging is the one thing that I consistently neglect. (Ironically, as I am a writer and write every day!)

    • Actually I didn’t, Lynn. I was faithful about blogging every day for the first couple of months, but by April or so I had already missed days and resigned to doing less than 100%. Over time I settled into wanting to do it twice a week.

  9. Alan, blogging on a daily basis presents a real challenge to many bloggers. Simply finding suitable topics, about which to write, is a daunting task. Your blog, like so many others, is evolving over time. My own blog has evolved as well. A blog is not a static, locked into time concept. Instead, it’s a living, dynamic document that changes over time, along with the blogger. Your posts are fascinating reading, and as always, a privilege to enjoy.

  10. Alan I am on the cusp of beginning my blogging adventure. I notice that some days the words flow and the post comes together quickly and easily. Other days I have frustrated for hours and left my efforts in the drafts folder.

    I plan to have some discipline about my writing, but I am not sure how I will manage. So far, my results are unimpressive. I am reasonably satisfied by what I have written, but I am so erratic about when I have something to post.

    I admire your 3 words gimmick because it always gave you a place to start. I am considering some of the challenges that give a title, subject, word or phrase that everyone writes about. I admire preachers who use the lectionary. Perhaps I will be able to find my own schedule.

    Thanks for your kind words and encouragement.

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