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Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm sitting here watching Castaway. I'm not feeling well, still in the denial stages of having the flu. Lounging on the couch between flipping the laundry from the washer to the dryer is pretty much all I can muster. I suppose I should soon move on to the acceptance stage, but I'm fighting it!
(Update, I never did develop full blow flu, I guess instead of Swine, I just had a slight case of Piglet.)

Castaway. Remember that movie? Tom Hanks, plane crash, stranded on a deserted island for years. Well, all I can think of is not what would I eat or drink, but how much I would miss books.

Now, I suppose that if one was stranded on a deserted island, your time would mostly be consumed with survival. Gathering food and water, tending your fire, trying to make clothing from palm trees,fish hides, and coconut shells (now I know you know where those would go). Remodeling your shelter and muttering to oneself would probably occupy the rest of your time.

I think after I got over the fact that I would be denied Buffalo chicken wings and cold drinks with lots of ice for a while, I'd probably start dreaming of books. I'm a reader. As a kid I would get up in the wee hours of the morning, several hours before school started, just so I could settle in with my feet on a heat duct, all wrapped up in my Holly Hobby bathrobe and read. I read The Hobbit, and the Sweet Valley High series. I read romances, Jane Austin, and James Herriot. I read mysteries, bodice rippers, and just about anything I could get my hands on.

Reading saved me. I got lost in the words and escaped a stressful childhood and school experiences that were less than joyful. The words helped heal my first broken heart and they helped me to see that the world was a much bigger place than I could possibly imagine.

I had to get special permission from my parents in order to read beyond the youth section of my public library. My mom doesn't remember that, but I do, vividly. Seems small town kids aren't supposed to rock the boat. But, I was a boat rocker alright--and I had already read through the few shelves of the young adult section. I knew our librarian by her first name and I loved how she would stroke the cover of the books as I checked them out, smile gently, and say, "Ahh, another good one." Then she'd stamp the due date (remember that?) and remove the card to file it in that magical place that only librarians knew about.

My house smells wonderful, I'm making a roast and root veggies, it's warm and dry and Tom Hanks is launching his first attempt at getting off the island. I'm so thankful to be on my own little island, Couch Key, and I'm thankful that I haven't been tried nearly as terribly as Hanks' character. I'm thankful that I've never had to be without my precious books.

They saw me through bad times, and they're still here for the good.

I'm reading 31 Hours by Masha Hamilton. It's a fascinating peek inside terrorism. The language is amazing. I'm savoring every word.

What are you reading? If you're not reading at all, why not?

Castaway Roast

Cause I just have a feeling that Tom Hanks craved comfort food while stranded on his island.

Sprinkle a rump roast with white pepper, black pepper, a smidgen of Cayenne, paprika, thyme, and oregano. Be relatively liberal with each. Sprinkle with a little soy sauce, sprinkle with salt, and rub it all over the roast. Put about 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of a roasting pan that's been sprayed with nonstick spray. Place roast, fat side up in pan.

Roast at 325 until desired doneness. 25 to 30 minutes per pound for rare, 28 to 33 for medium rare, 31 to 36 minutes for medium, and as long as you want for well done (well, not quite, but you know what I mean). Measure temp with an instant read thermometer. Let roast stand at least 10 minutes before carving.

Roasted Roots

Visit your local farmers market or grocery store and buy some of those weird looking veggies that end in 'ip. You know turnIPs and parsnIPs. Buy some big carrots, not the weird nubby ones in the bags. Buy the ones you actually have to peel. Really, it's not that hard, you can handle it. If you're really feeling brave, buy beets. Honestly, they're good. Try them. Then peel them all, chop into big pieces, toss with olive oil, seasalt, pepper, whole garlic cloves and your favorite herbs. I used rosemary this time and roast them until their tender. They'll get odd and wrinkled and unphotogenic, but that's ok, because what you're after is taste . And they taste divine. Young One still thinks the "white things are potatoes, right?" Sure they are.

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Taking a little time to play with words, to play with food, and just to play!