The recipe for Jansky's Jambalaya was found in one of Karl Guthe Jansky’s notebooks. It was sandwiched between a memo for parabolic adhesives and his older brother Cyril Moreau Jansky’s schematic for 9XM. You see, Cyril helped design and build one of the earliest public radio transmitters in the country; 9XM in Wisconsin, now WHA. It appears that their mother, née Nellie Moreau, was of French and English descent, with the French side having a distinct influence on her sons’ taste buds as well as appetite for late night transmitting and receiving.
The power of this dish is obviously greater than the singular listing of its ingredients. In fact, Jansky family lore has it that Nellie would go into a trance-like state while preparing what one can only call a cosmic concoction.
The cauldron was stirred clockwise and then counter-clockwise. The rising steam engulfed Nellie and spread out into the Jansky kitchen like the wake of stone tossed into a placid pond. The spices and scents radiated outward with an eclectic yet universal message the brothers could internalize as the themes of brotherhood, dialogue and understanding. Who knew the stew would spew and imbue? For years the Jansky boys soaked up the regular Sunday meal literally and figuratively with wads of sourdough and the dreamy-eyed idealism of engineers without borders destined to be men on a mission who would prove the point that you are indeed what you eat.