This Is What Happened

I didn’t know anyone would care.

The winter months are a hard time for me to not only find the motivation to write, but to also cook and come up with new recipes. It’s weird. You’d think that being cooped up in the house while it’s freezing cold outside would be the perfect environment to do what I do. But I can’t. And usually when January strolls around and my wife and I are looking for a vacation spot to head to, it gets discouraging when a New Orleans trip gets pushed back again.

This year, 2016, I had a good excuse though. Baby number three was born. A girl this time. She was born on a Monday in late April. For the first part of the year we were busy getting ready for her. Plus, I was busy writing a book. My first novel. The first draft of it at least. There just wasn’t the time to write on my fiction blog, write my book, and write on the food blog. I’d see images of Mardi Gras or the Jazz Fest and get depressed. It was sad. I was sad and just didn’t want to do it any longer.

It became labor to work on the food blog. I wasn’t motivated to keep going. It was hard. I didn’t want to cook anything different. I didn’t want to create some new recipe. I just didn’t want to do it. In past years, I’d write enough content just to get me through the winter months. I didn’t do that this year. Then, it’s extremely hard for me to write about New Orleans when I know that I won’t be going there yet again… I begin to second guess myself. Who wants to hear from me? The last time I was in NOLA was 2012. Yikes. Who wants to hear about some guy in Detroit talk about red beans and rice? What do I know about food and cooking? I talked myself out of continuing to write about food and New Orleans even though I love the two.

Every day from January 4th to the beginning of April I worked on my novel along with my fiction blog – that I still have! (If you’re interested, here’s the link.)  I love writing fiction. I woke up at 4:30 every day – Sunday to Saturday. I was determined to finish it. And I almost did before my daughter was born.

The week she was born, my hosting company for RedBeansAndEric.com sent me emails about my service being shut off because I needed to pay to renew it. It’s expensive to run a website – especially with three kids now and being a stay-at-home-dad. For me, the money wasn’t there to justify having to pay for the website that I wasn’t motivated to use. Now those first few weeks of her was a whirlwind of tutus, bows, and pink stuff everywhere. It went by fast. So fast that I never bothered to deal with that hosting provider.

And I thought, who cares about a guy in Detroit trying to live like he’s some guy from the Crescent City?

I didn’t.

Then I started to get messages.

Where are you?

Is everything alright?

I want that forgotten jambalaya recipe!

I did eventually finish that first draft of my novel. I just need to reread it then start the first wave of rewrites before I do anything with it. I’m excited about it. But as things began to calm down and vacations up North were taken, I began to think about Red Beans & Eric and the messages. I contacted my hosting company and they told me that everything was deleted and lost – no hope of getting it all back.

All was lost.

Recipes gone.

How Do You Red Bean‘ interviews vanished.

I feel bad for all the dead links and lost recipes now. I saved pretty much all of the photos I took – the worse part of the recipe I guess – and lost the actual ingredient and direction part of it. You know, the important part of a food blog. The website was how I saved them. After writing them down, I pretty much tossed the scrap papers away because I figured I’d always have it online. Oops.

Now I do have a few recipes plus a few never published ones. I still have this old RedBeansAndEric.wordpress.com site – which will never go away. It’s free to use. And like what my dad always said, “if it’s free, it’s for me.” Now I just need to start adding content, recipes, old interviews, reviews, whatever. The only benefit from this, is that the original recipes from 2011 and the beginning of 2012 – like the Forgotten Once Jambalaya recipe – will have their original links from Pinterest. It’s backend mumbo jumbo but I should still receive some web traffic. At the height of RedBeansAndEric.com I was receiving over 40,000 visitors a month. Not bad.  And it’s all you. Thank you!

Thank you all for the messages. I never knew you all cared I guess. If you had a favorite recipe and you can’t find it. I hear ya. Me too. But tell me what it was, there might be some strange off chance that I might still have a version of it somewhere. There is a red bean god out there. Someone messaged me earlier on Facebook about a red beans and rice recipe that their husband loved… and I had it! I’m also kind of on a diet so the greasy fatty food recipes may be few and far between now. I know, bummer. But every 21-days I get a few days off to eat what I want!

Well I hope you all understand why I went away. But with this new old website, I’m here.

Thank you all so much!

Eric

 

P.S. And to squash any of the rumors: No I was not lost from playing Pokemon Go… that’s not why I was gone for so long.

 

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