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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Weekend Cooking- Wild by Cheryl Strayed

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

I'm late to this party, being of the last people to read Cheryl Strayed's Wild, her memoir of her hiking trip up the Pacific Coast Trail. Strayed really had no business taking on this journey, having never really hiked anything like this, and she was woefully unprepared.

At the age of 22, she had lost her young (45 years old) mother to lung cancer. It devastated Strayed, and she began a downward spiral that included drug use and infidelity that caused her marriage to a man she loved to end.

She was completely lost and after seeing a book about the Pacific Coast Trail in a store, she decided she would hike it from the Mojave Desert in California through Oregon to Washington- by herself. It really was a crazy idea, but she felt that it was chance to get her life back on track.

How does this relate to Weekend Cooking you may ask. Well, food played a big part of Strayed's journey, or more accurately, a lack of food played a big role. She had to pack as light as she could as she had to carry everything in her backpack nicknamed Monster because it was so big. (She took a lot of heat from other hikers because of the size of her backpack.)

Her saving grace was the next stop she would make at a campsite that would have a store where she could buy real food- cheeseburgers and fries were a staple, and where she would pick up a resupply box that she had arranged for a friend mail to her.

This passage illustrates Strayed's food thoughts on the hike.
All morning, as I walked west to Bucks Lake, then north and west again along its shore before coming to the rugged jeep road that would take me back up to the PCT, I thought of the resupply box that waited for me in Belden Town. Not so much the box, but the twenty-dollar bill that would be inside. And not so much the twenty-dollar bill, but the food and beverages I could buy with it. I spent hours in a half-ecstatic, half-tortured reverie, fantasizing about cake and cheeseburgers, chocolate and bananas, apples and mixed-green salads, and, more than anything, Snapple lemonade. This did not make sense. I'd had only a few Snapple lemonades in my pre-PTC life and liked them well enough, but they hadn't stood out in any particular way. It had not been my drink. But now it haunted me. Pink or yellow, it didn't matter. Not a day passed that I didn't imagine in vivid detail what it would be like to hold one in my hand and bring it to my mouth. Some days I forbade myself to think about it, lest I go entirely insane.

The drink I would probably fantasize about would be Dr. Pepper 10 calorie- tell me yours in the comment section below.


  1. well, it would not be snapple..but maybe a Coke, something I still rarely drink but love.

  2. I still have not read Wild so you're not the only late one to the party! My drink I would crave? Probably a Chick-fil-a Sweet Tea or Lemonade.

  3. Ginger beer for me! Sounds like a good book. Would you consider linking it in to Your Favourite Travel Books which is running now over at Carole's Chatter? Cheers

  4. I haven't read WILD yet, either - you're not alone! I think I'd probably crave Iced Mango White Tea from Honest Tea. Love that stuff, though I don't let myself have it often!

  5. I haven't read this either although I heard the author interviewed and it sounded good.

    I cured myself of a Diet Coke addiction a little over a year ago. I wonder if it would come back to haunt me in this situation? I could hope that I would crave a good cup of tea, though.

  6. Iced coffee! LOL. I never developed a taste for soda, but I do like lemonade. I haven't read this either.

  7. Definitely a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with just a tiny bit of half and half and plenty of ice!

  8. You aren't last to the party...it's still on my to read list! Good review here.

  9. You may be the first of this group to read Wild, lol! I used to drink a lot of diet soda, but gave that up. My treat these days would be an iced mocha latte made with skim milk ;-)

  10. I haven't read Wild yet, either. The lime-flavoured Perrier is my go-to beverage during the summer!

  11. this one is on my list especially after I read Bryson's A Walk in the Woods - I am interested in comparing them! my new obsessions are the grapefuit MASH or the Green Tea Ginger Twist by Argo.

  12. I haven't read this book yet, but my friend loved it.

    THANKS for your post.

    And...thank you for stopping by my review of THE HUSBAND'S SECRET.

    Silver's Reviews