I know I have discussed my love of reading ad nauseum here on the blog. In case you’re a new reader, let me break it down for you…
This is my hierarchy of needs
Food and Safety
-in that order.
I realize that might seem askew to a lot of people, but it’s the G-d’s honest truth. I understand that knowledge can come in all forms, but there is nothing quite like diving headlong into a book and barely coming up for air until you get to the other side. Fiction, non-fiction, self-help, autobiographies, hells belles, even TEXT books. They are all meant to have their spines cracked beneath my fingertips, opening worlds of wonder or terror or crazed inclinations of 19th century romantics…Books about my craft (acting) books about science, books about werewolves or friends or friends of werewolves, they are my lifeblood.
I remember the first chapter book I read in the first or second grade, it was titled “There’s a Girl in My Hammerlock” about a girl on the middle school wrestling team. I devoured that book, loving every minute. You see, I was not the most calm child in elementary school, so I was often stripped of my recess privileges. Because, apparently, the best way to soothe someone with ADHD is to take away the 20 minutes out of the day they can actually run….they were GENIUS in the 90s. Therefore, sitting alone in the classroom, I read…a lot. Books were the substitutes for the social interactions of which I was deprived.
I remember the first magazine I read in hyperkidtimeout was a magazine featuring Mr Rogers, and he was recommending all sorts of great books for kids my age. I figured, “well, dang, (I’m assuming I didn’t say “damn” yet…I may be wrong) I love Mr Rogers, I’ll check out his rec’s, go see my school bestie…aka the librarian Mrs Knotts, and get a few!” In the article featuring one of my television heroes he also said something that has stuck with me to this day, and something I remind myself of, and my kids of, often:
That ONE phrase set me on a path not only to devour every book and television show I could see, but also to ask questions. I asked them of teachers, of institutions, and most importantly, myself.
I was rarely accepted by my peers unless in a theatrical setting, so this was a most important lesson to learn. I would sit alone and cry, asking myself why I wasn’t acceptable to these people, and I didn’t find the answer. However, I learned to ask the right people the right questions. I remember sitting in my director’s office one evening, talking to him about a play or a class, and we ended up talking about motivation, and what drives us to do what we do. I told Bill (the director, the late and GREAT William G Fry, to this day I am grateful I was able to work with him for the 10 years that I did) I told him that I didn’t have to dig very deep to come up with the emotion of alienation because I experienced it so frequently. He told me “You are different, you are smart, and you’re fucking talented (yes, he said “fucking” to a 15 year old) as soon as you accept the fact that not everyone can handle that, and surround yourself only with people who do, while giving the others the finger..you’ll be better off. What goes on in your mind, isn’t what goes on in theirs. We are the creative people. The didn’t want to bury us ages ago, and we’re pariahs until we show up on their televisions now. Be yourself and the others can screw themselves.”
It was some of the best advice I’ve ever received. Both Bill and Mr Rogers believed that what is in your mind makes you who you are. It’s not whether or not you sit at the cool kids table at work, if you have the newest phone or ipad or purse.
I found myself having to remind myself of that this past weekend, and thankfully, as quickly as those “Why am I not good enough??” feelings came, so did the answer.
I am good enough for me and I am better every day.
The rest of the world can just deal because I don’t give a damn.
If you think I don’t have a recipe for you, you’re wrong. I have a RIDICULOUS recipe for you. It’s so good. Is it light? No. Can you make it light? Yes. You can also make it vegetarian…
Potato Leek Soup with Fontina Cheese and Bacon
Potato Leek Soup
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Keywords: saute entree soup/stew vegetarian
Ingredients (enough for a small army)
- 3 lbs idaho potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb yukon gold potatoes, quartered
- 1 box (32oz) chicken or MUSHROOM stock (ok, or veggie)
- 4 oz bacon or smoked turkey leg for vegetarian use 2 tbsp evoo (also use with turkey leg to saute leeks) chopped
- 8 oz fontina cheese or smoked gouda if vegetarian for lighter recipes use 8 oz light monterey jack cheese
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 2 whole leeks, split down the center lengthwise and chopped
- 1 tsp red pepper flake
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped garlic
peel and chop the idaho potatoes and put them in a pan with the stock, celery salt, and bay leaves
cook the potatoes in the stock until very tender
in a separate, larger stock pot cook the bacon until fat is rendered or heat the oil on medium
add in the leeks and garlic and saute until tender
add in the idaho potatoes and stock, removing the bay leaves
using a potato masher, mash as you would mashed potatoes
add in the pepper flake and pepper
add in the evaporated milk
stir in the cheese and turkey if you’re using it
add the quartered yukon potatoes and cook until those are tender
if the soup is too thick for your taste thin with stock or skim milk
serve with more bacon, scallions, and cheese.
If you REALLY want to gild the lily, place the soup in oven safe ramekins and place sliced cheese and bacon slices atop it and bake until crispy and oMG I WANT IT looking.