Wednesday, April 11, 2018

J is Jubilant

I'm continuing my quest to complete the blogging alphabet challenge. The goal is to work through the alphabet, pick a letter, and write about five favorite things that begin with that letter. Some people have met the challenge in a year. I'm not one of those people. I've been working on this challenge for years now, and I'm not even halfway through the alphabet. But that's okay. I'm having fun making up a list of my five favorite things that begin with each letter. Some letters just require a bit more thinking than others. And today's letter is J. And J is Just Jubilant.

If you thought the first J word on my mind would've been Jesus, then you're right! But I'm not going to write about Jesus, because this isn't a religious blog. If you thought I was going to list Janet Jackson, you're also right! Because I love Jamming to Janet Jackson. My fave Janet songs are her dance songs: The Pleasure Principle, When I Think of You, Alright, If, Rhythm Nation, and That's the Way Love Goes.

I almost hurt myself trying that chair dance move. Thankfully, my mother wasn't around to see me try that move. I'd've gotten a spanking! Thank goodness the chair didn't break. I definitely would've gotten a spanking then! I was a hard headed brat!

I also love Jukeboxes and Joints that play dance and rock and pop music--party music! I love the Jive!

I'm not sure about Jazz, though. On a whole, I don't get it, especially when they start free styling. Sometimes, it gets to the point where it all sounds like a cacophony of random noise. Just to be clear, I do love Swing, which may or may not be a form of Jazz. All I know is, if it's got a fun beat that I can dance and groove to, then I love it! I may not know Jazz, but I do love Swing!

There are plenty of wonderful words that begin with the letter J, like Jolly, Jingle, Jewels, and Joy. I also like the words Jetsetter, Jump, Jackpot, and Jester. That leads me to my fave J characters:

Jack Frost: The Winter Sprite--Fun loving Rogue, Guardian of children, and Artist extraordinaire who paints lovely patterns of frost on windows and the landscape.

Jack Skellington: The Pumpkin King, the Patron Spirit of Halloween. Fantastic singer. Wicked style.

And Samurai Jack: Awesome time travelling samurai warrior, flung far into the future, on a mission to destroy an evil deity.

Speaking of samurais, Japan is on my list of fave countries I would like to see--Mount Fuji and Hokkaido look magnificent. I'd also like to visit Java (for the beauty, culture, and coffee). If I ever go to Jamaica, it would be for the beaches, the Jerked Chicken, and the bobsled team. Answering the comments, IDV made me realized that I forgot to add my fave J drink: Jagermeister!

I would like to visit Jordan (to see the ruins of Petra and sample the Levant cuisine). Speaking of cuisines, some of my fave J foods are Jellybeans, Juices, and Jerky. A little Jalapeno is fine, so long as it doesn't overpower the taste of food. I want to savor the flavor, not burn my mouth and ruin the food.

And good food is the perfect way to begin my five favorite words that begin with the letter J:

1. Jams and Jellies

I love jams and jellies--grape, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, and orange are some of my faves. I also like apricot and apple and cherry. Normally, I use jam and jelly interchangeably. They are both made from fruit and sugar and heat. It's just the amount of fruit left over and consistency that differentiates jams from jellies:

Jelly: Is the gel like fruit juices from cooked, strained fruit that has a clear and firm consistency. Think of cranberry sauce from a can or grape jelly from a small single serving container.

Jam: Has pieces of chopped, crushed, pureed pieces of fruit with the juices, and it has a spoonable, chunky consistency.

Preserve: Has the most fruit, almost whole pieces, with the least gel like consistency.

Marmalade: Is a type of preserve, specifically made of whole citrus, skin and rinds included. It has a complex rich, bittersweet, and fragrant flavor.

Jam, Jelly, Preserve, or Marmalade, I love them all! With or without peanut butter, spread on top of scones, toast, or pancakes and waffles, jams and jellies are delightful treats that transform bread into dessert!

2. Jello

I love Jello! In the Old World (and former British penal colony countries), it's known as Gelatin. I love all flavors of jello, even the mysterious green kind! I love jello by itself. And with whipped cream or with ice cream, it's heavenly! I love it when jello is made into a rainbow of layers or comes in fun molds or shapes. I love pairing custard with jello.

What I DO NOT like is fruit pieces and fruit chunks in my jello! Sorry, pineapple, orange, and apple. Apologies to berries and peaches, too. Fruit just competes with the flavor and texture of jello. If I want a fruit, I'll eat a fruit! Just keep that fruit out of my jello!

My other fave way to have jello: Jello shots!

I love making jello shots for parties. I always warn people that the shots are a whole lot stronger than they taste--the jello covers up the alcohol taste. And for fun, I'll make jello in a pan or mold and use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes. Jello shots are for guests who have designated drivers, have alternate mode of transport, or are usually crashing over because they're too drunk to make it home or they pass out from too much fun.

3. Jasmine

I love the scent of jasmines, especially the ones that are really fragrant and bloom at night. Sweet, ethereal, enchanting. It is a magical scent. One hint, and I'm immediately transported away to a cool summer night; laughter and music in the air; dancing joyfully in the streets; reveling at the sight of that stunning smile; mesmerized by those gorgeous eyes; excited and electrified every time we touched; enjoying the company of new friends in a strange exotic land; living in the moment, feeling liberated, free, full of passion and bliss. It was absolute ecstasy. I know there is a heaven, because I lived it that night.

4. Jokes

I love funny jokes. Dirty jokes, family friendly Dad or Uncle jokes, silly little kids jokes, even puns are fun! If it makes me laugh, I love it! Sometimes, the jokes are racy and controversial, but so long as they aren't mean spirited, I'll laugh along to it.

From the hilarious and awesome site Scandinavia and the World. At

You always tease the one you love. And you have to learn to laugh at yourself, because it helps you grow and be a better person when you understand how others see you.

A sense of humor is essential. Life isn't always easy. Sometimes it can be awful and hard. But if you can still laugh after a good cry, you're going to be all right. Laughter reminds us that there is joy in this world, and we all deserve to be happy.

5. Justice League

Superman, Wonder Woman, The Martian Manhunter, Batman, Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, and Green Arrow. They were among the first superheroes that I loved reading about in comics. The Justice Friends rocked, and in their later development, The Justice League was awesome!

Back then, comics were a simple good guys versus bad guys, saving the world from destruction. And for a little kid just learning to read, that was more than enough. I totally bought into the belief that together, we are stronger, and that the strong have a duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves. With great power comes great responsibility.

As I got older, comics became more complex. Now there were shades of grey on moral responsibility and who decides what's right or wrong. I started venturing into darker, more graphic and violent comics when I became a teen. It was startling and exciting and flabbergasting reading some of the most gruesome and horrific plots and vile characters ever put on print. I was dumbfounded at reading mature themes.

But even with all the explosion in the variety and complexity of comics, I still gravitated towards the simple, original Justice League--none of that multiple dimensions or alternate universe stuff. And the Justice League cartoon did the best job of telling a riveting story about power, responsibility, accountability, and balancing freedom, liberty, and justice.

To this day, I prefer the original Justice League run over the movies and other incarnations since. There's a spirit and essence in the original run that the later movies and versions do not have. The movies were entertaining, but they were different from the original run, and that's okay.

My fave Justice League heroes were Aquaman and The Flash. Aquaman, because I love the water, and I think it'd be cool to control the water and talk to water animals. Also, you can breathe underwater, swim fast, and surf whenever you wanted!

I like The Flash because he was funny! And smart! And he was fast! He was definitely the most resilient and laid back! He was cool!

And there it is, my five favorite things that begin with the letter J. These are the things that make me feel Jocund--cheerful and lighthearted. And it has been a Jovial experience making this list. What are your favorite J words? I would like to know!

Related Links

A list
B all that you can B
What you C is what you get, the beginning
What you C is what you get, the middle
What you C is what you get, the end
D lighted
F is for Fun
G is Great
H is Heavenly
I is Iconic
J is Jubilant
Brought to you by the letter S
U doing that thing U do
Zing Zing Zoom


  1. Well, as soon as I saw J, I immediately thought to myself jams and jellies. I love both. This past Christmas, my mother gave a a gift BOX of 12 different jams and jellies....what a treat! Some were common, and then the odd ones. My favorite was a tie between Elderberry and Red Currant I think.

    Little Jack Frost is one of my favorite Christmas songs.

    Another favorite J with me is Jack Daniels...but don't tell Hendricks.

    I also like activities that begin with J, but I'll keep it clean today.....

    1. Maddie, What a wonderful gift! I love Elderberry, too! But I've never tried Red Currant, so thanks for the tip! I've a new jam flavor to try.

      I also love Jack Daniels! A bottle often leads to good times!

      Some of the best experiences in life are the fun ones that leave you dirty!

    2. I'm surprised Maddie didn't immediately think of Juniper - the staple ingredient of GIN!!!

    3. IDV, Maddie wasn't the only one to overlook a fave drink, but it is hard to think of anything else if you've got Jack Daniels on the mind (and in the body)! I forgot to add Jagermeister to my list of fave J words! Now I'm off to add it to the post.

  2. I generally don't care for jazz. But I do like Bossa Nova, a blend of samba and jazz from Brazil. Just about anything from Antônio "Tom" Carlos Jobim would be a good starting point; The Girl From Ipanema or Corcovado, for example.

    1. LX, I like Samba! I like music that has a danceable beat and great flow. Thanks for the tip on Bossa Nova and Antônio "Tom" Carlos Jobim. I quite enjoy the laid back feel and relaxing sounds of The Girl from Impanema and Corcovado. Very serene and chill.

      My first time hearing Samba music was on a tropical island vacation. Daniel Rae Costello was on heavy rotation on the local radio station. I loved the tropical festive vibes of Samba and Take Me to the Islands. It was fun, party music. Perfect for beach picnics and cruising around to see the sights and home luaus. Imagine my surprise when I got home and learned that Daniel Rae Costello wasn't Brazilian but Fijian/Polynesian Mix! Dude was from the Pacific, not Brazil! But his awesome songs led me to search out Brazilian Samba music, and the Samba carnival vibes are very similar to the festive island sounds. Love 'em both! Good music is good music, no matter where it comes from. If it's got a fun, party, danceable beat, I love it!

  3. I love JAZZ! It's been part of my life since forever! (We did own a club here in SAV!) jams and jellies and preserves, for sure. In fact, this year, I'm putting my hand to making my own preserves and jams with fruit from local farmers markets. I have to laugh because like Mistress Maddie, I thought of a few NSFW J words! Jack Daniels is a stable around here, too. xoxo

    1. Savannah, Some of the most fun things in life are a bit naughty, for mature audiences only, like Jack Daniels! I am excited to see what kind of jams and jellies you create with the local fruits and berries!

      That is awesome y'all had a jazz club! I'm out of depth with jazz, as I can't tell the difference between the varieties. There are so many! But I do know that I love Swing, which a few people have told me is Not Jazz, while many others say, Yes, it is a type of Jazz.

      But my fave jazz tune of all time has to be Cab Calloway's Hi-Di-Ho (Minnie the Moocher). And I owe it all to Sesame Street for introducing me to this awesome song!

    2. If you'd like an entrance into jazz, try listening to Miles Davis, KInda Blue, it's a gentle intro. If you like Cab, try Joe Williams' album, Nothin' But the Blues. xox

    3. Savannah, Thank you so much for the recommendations! The introduction is very helpful for someone like me who has no idea where to even begin to understand a complex and sophisticated genre like jazz. Now I know where to start!

  4. What a brilliant idea: using cookie/pastry cutters to create jelly shapes! Thank you, Eros!

    Now, I must be off. Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, and Josh Hartnett are waiting for me...

    1. IDV, I'm sure your jocose jacks would enjoy jockeying for jello jigglers!

    2. My Jello Jigglers Recipe:

      4 (3oz/85g) boxes Jello gelatin (Pineapple; Tropical Fusion; Blackberry Fusion are some of my fave flavors).
      2 1⁄2 cups boiling water (do NOT add cold water)
      Saran/Plastic wrap or use a teflon/nonstick pan
      9in X 13in X 2in pan or 8in X 8in pan (for thicker pieces)

      1. Bring water to boil in a pot.
      2. Stir in gelatin/Jello to dissolve completely in hot water.
      3. Remove pot from heat. Let stand for five minutes uncovered.
      4. Line pan with plastic/Saran wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap edges hang off the sides of pan for easy Jello removal later. Or just use a teflon/nonstick pan.
      5. Pour Jello mixture into plastic lined pan/teflon pan. Chill at least 3 hours in refrigerator. Overnight is better. Jello should be firm after 3 hours. If your fridge is cold enough, Jello could set in over an hour.
      6. To remove from pan, carefully lift the plastic wrap and slide or move onto a large flat cutting surface, a cutting board or serving tray or just a flat countertop.
      7. Use fave cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Make sure to press all the way through jello. Or use a plastic knife to cut squares or rectangles. It's easier to start cutting shapes at corner and then cut along the row.
      8. Lift cut out jello shape from the pan with wet spatula.
      9. If you have leftover jello pieces, put into microwave safe bowl, melt, then pour into silicone or plastic lined ice cube tray. Chill for 3 hours to make jello bars. Remove by lifting plastic wrap, or letting the ice cube tray bottom dip in warm water for 10-15 seconds to loosen from sides and bottom of ice cube tray. Use egg holders or neat shaped ice cube trays to make more fun shapes. You can even slice the round ones in an egg slicer and serve with whipped cream.

  5. Jolly japes and joshing!
    I think jazz is more fun to play... less so for the listener.

    1. Fantastic J words, Scarlet! You have a valid point on jazz. It's kind of like a Jackson Pollock painting. It looks like a mess of drips and splashes, but I'm betting it's a lot of fun making those squiggles and blotches!

  6. Replies
    1. John is a jewel! A joyous and jubilant J word!