Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on… Gumbo?

image I know what you’re thinking. But we can’t talk about that without changing the rating on this blog. So instead, we’ll talk about what I’m thinking, which is how I failed you this morning. For those loyal readers who checked for this week’s edition of Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing, I’d like to apologize to the both of you. The good news, however, is that you won’t have to cough up a nickel this week; the bad news is that I will not be dispensing any sagely advice, although I did use a pinch of sage while spending the day in the firehouse kitchen making gumbo, dirty rice and chocolate lava cake for the annual firehouse cook-off tomorrow.

The other bad news is that if you literally have been coughing up a nickel each week, stop immediately and go see your physician.

In order to take today day off from the newspaper, I had to work approximately 42 hours, seven minutes and 13 seconds yesterday to finish what I would normally achieve in eight hours. Stephen Hawking, if you’re out there, please explain the science behind this phenomenon. Especially when you consider that seven of those hours are spent getting/drinking coffee, using the restroom and getting/drinking more coffee. As a result, I didn’t have time to write this week’s NWOW.

Yes, I am a slacker. So I ask for your forgiveness, as well as your good thoughts as we prepare for tomorrow’s cook-off in Newport, Oregon. For any of you who happen to be in the area, feel free to stop in! Just look for the Siuslaw Valley Fire & Rescue booth. For Those who do, I can at least deliver on a nickel’s worth of gumbo. When you get to the table, just ask for Ned’s NWOG…

Chocolate lava cake batter, which includes chopped Almond Joy bars and cocoa cream cheese. Yeah, I know, Yum, right?
Chocolate lava cake batter, which includes chopped Almond Joy bars and cocoa cream cheese. Yeah, I know, Yum, right?

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

55 thoughts on “Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on… Gumbo?”

  1. A man who can write, fight fires, barbecue, cook AND make me laugh. Where were you 20 years ago? Sending you hopeful thoughts that all the fat people will come out and lick the plate and their fingers tomorrow, then leave huge tips. Put up a kissing the fireman booth, you will make up the 5 cents if you stay at it all day. πŸ™‚

          1. Ok, I need a serious assessment on a serious issue. Would you take a look at this link to a post and comment on it on the post? It’s about the underground containers at the Hanford Nuclear Station leaking hundreds of gallons of radioactive iodine into the Columbia river. I found this post on an underground site, and I was so horrified I have been trying to see if it is true or not. Living out there in reporterland, I figured you would know. Link:

            1. I hate to say it, but yes β€” I actually saw a documentary on this government project. Terrifying that the government could do that. It was obviously long before social media and instant information, back when cover-ups were easier and common place. I have no reason to believe, however, that we aren’t doing the same kids of things in other, less developed countries.

              1. Sigh, agree. Here as well. The fertilizer plant explosion sets off my suspicious spidy sense. What other payoffs are superceding safety? I am just freaked out over the possible on-going contamination of the Columbia. That river feeds a lot of the west coast. Ok, off my band box, back to funny….

                1. Seeing as we live just a few hours from the Columbia, I hear you on this. Our little town is next to the Siuslaw River, and I can’t imagine what would happen if it became contaminated. I read “The Prophecy” when I was a kid and still have nightmares about mutant bears eating contaminated fish. I can’t even watch “The Incredible Mr. Limpit” without freaking out…

  2. I’ve always suspected you were a slacker. If you want to prove that you are not a slacker you will make a piece of that chocolate cake appear on my desk right now.
    Yup, I knew it-slacker.

    1. OK, I’ve sent five pieces and apparently you still haven’t gotten it. Are you sure you gave me the right address? If I remember, the chocolate mocha coffee I sent six months ago never made it either…

      1. I hope you guys make a ton of money today that you sell cake and dirty rice and the other stuff that I’ve forgotten already-gumbo?- out the wazoo. I don’t know where the damn cake is going; I know exactly where it would go if it arrived here, through the lips and on the hips. Tragically, I am off desserts until the 4th of July when I will have deprived myself for two months, sigh.

  3. Not gonna lie, I have been wondering where you were! Something felt odd, like the shift had happened in the world. Get some rest sir. But before you do, awesome looking food pics!! I will be dabbling in the kitchen this weekend, and I hope it looks like your kitchen; neat and tidy πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for noticing πŸ™‚ Good luck this weekend! I have to admit, I am a bit of a neat freak in the kitchen. Except for one restaurant, I always worked in display kitchens in view of the dining room. You had to be tidy, so it’s a habit. But only in the kitchen!

      1. I can see you’ve worked in just about all fields! Well, I will be trying to keep the kitchen clean… maybe I’ll go back to my childlike roots and think I’m working in a restaurant… I like that idea, lol.

  4. Okay — you are forgiven, but you MUST share that lava cake recipe. I am, and this is difficult to admit, a WHORE for lava cake — add a big scoop of French vanilla ice cream (don’t even gt me started on that vanilla bean shit) and a bit of warm caramel — and, well, I’ll even agree to iron your dress shirts (this has actually been tested my husband)!

    Good luck tomorrow!

    1. Hahaha! I have been known to prostitute myself for a really good pineapple upside down cake, so I understand the affliction. I’d be happy to send you the recipe when it’s all over. It’s a little time consuming but worth it. And the topping is combined hot fudge and butterscotch syrup drizzle over it.

      And yeah, vanilla bean is crap. How do I know it’s real vanilla bean and not just rust flakes or flea eggs? I’ll take my vanilla ice cream straight up, heavy on the French.

      Thanks for the luck!

  5. Pimping yourself out in the kitchen will bring forgiveness. And that menu sounds awesome!! If you ever decide to be a touring Chef / firefighter, please feel free to add Muskoka to your destinations! Good luck!!

    1. I don’t even consider Canada a foregin country, so a stop in Muskoka is a distinct possibility. Plus, you guys hold all the world’s maple syrup reserves, so I want to stay on good terms πŸ˜‰

  6. Aw, Ned, I want to adopt you. Any man who wears a chef’s jacket with aplomb (most men don’t even know where to BUY aplomb), cooks with wild abandon (Wild Abandon — my nom de plume throughout the bulk {brought on by faithfully attending Happy Hour every evening at the little bar just off campus} of my college “career”) still WITH me??? … writes hilariously and well (hilariously well?), and looks incredibly dreamy (yes, I said it), is required to be either my husband or my son. I have one of the former (a fact that makes me deliriously happy) and one of the latter. (Well, two if we count my step-son, which I genuinely ALWAYS do. Really.) But there’s always room for one more aplombed, wildly abandoned, hilarious, dreamy writer in the family. SO! Whaddaya say? Interested in a spot as my #3 Son?? Lemme know and we’ll negotiate. Chocolate Lava Cake will mos def be part of the deal.

    1. Judy, I’m very flattered! Although I am concerned that adopting a 46-year-old might raise a few eyebrows πŸ˜‰ Consider the lava cake a gift, no negotiation necessary.

      1. So when is this “gift” arriving? I sadly suspect it will go the way of the Elroy Jones number. And I’ve never been one to worry TOO much about raised eyebrows, especially from the “don’t matter a lots” in life. I would, of course, also adopt your beautiful wife. And then there are those adorable grandchildren I’d inherit … Gosh. This is getting more complicated than I’d anticipated. Let’s just get that cake goin’ and not sweat the rest, huh?

  7. I should be a volunteer firefighter. After all, I like to cook, I like to eat, and sometimes my cooking starts fires.

    You forgot to add in the time you spent replying to my comments on your blog.

    1. You are the volunteer firefighter tri-fecta. If you can shoot a straight stream, you can skip the academy.

      And yes, a lot of time, but time well spent. I mean, hell, I could be working…

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