Sunday, June 26, 2016

Soldier With A Backpack: Living and Dying Simultaneously - Linda Diane Wattley, Author



Roasted Tofu

(If you’ve never had roasted tofu before, here’s a great way to start.  Toss tofu and asparagus in a tangy orange and basil scented sauce, made rich and savory with miso.  Serve with brown rice or couscous and an orange and fennel salad.)


1 ¼ oz. package extra-firm water-packed tofu, rinsed
2 Tbsp. red miso, divided
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, divided
4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. freshly grated orange zest
¼ cup orange juice
¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.  Pat tofu dry and cut into ½” cubes.  Whisk 1 Tbsp. miso, 1 Tbsp. vinegar and 2 tsp. oil in a large bowl until smooth.  Add the tofu; gently toss to coat.  Spread the tofu in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.  Roast for 15 minutes.  Gently toss asparagus with the tofu.  Return to the oven and roast until the tofu is golden brown and the asparagus is tender, 8 – 10 minutes more.  Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1 Tbsp. miso, 1 Tbsp. vinegar, 2 tsp. oi, basil, orange zest and juice, and salt in a large bowl until smooth.  Toss the roasted tofu and asparagus with the sauce and serve.

Soldier With A Backpack - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

I always welcomed sleep because it was a form of escape from the grown up world.  When I would go to sleep, there was always an angelic presence waiting for me.  At the time, I didn't know it was this presence drawing me there, I just knew I couldn't wait to get there.  It was so normal to me that I never wanted to awaken.  In fact, it angered me that I had to wake up at all.  When I heard about the soldiers diagnosed with PTSD, and their struggle to have a decent night's sleep, I was confounded because it is like I am the total opposite of them.  My nightmares are more in the awakening state than the sleep state.  The world is a war zone to me.  My sensitivity to my environment is often times nerve-wracking.  The first thing I wanted to do in an uncomfortable moment is go to sleep.

Author Linda Diane Wattley writes about her life, from childhood to adult.  She writes of the horrors of being molested by someone close, watching the fights between her parents, the desertion of her mother and older brother, leaving she and her younger brothers in the presents of her father who later brings another family into their lives.  She shares all of her feelings as these events take place as well as the other horrors live deals her as an adult.

As I read Soldier With A Backpack I couldn't help but relate to many of the events that took place in her life and how some of those events affected my life as an adult.  I know very few people who haven't commented on how 'hard their childhood was' myself included, but after reading what this author went through I can only thank God for the life I had as a child and my life as it was and is now as an adult.  I know several veterans who suffer with PTSD but never quite understood it until now.  I guess I also never realized that you don't have to be a veteran to suffer this mind fogging disorder.  There is one piece that the author included in the book that I must share.  It's actually by a Jim Kwik and fits all of us, with or without PTSD.

Here it is "If an egg is broken by outside force, Life ends.  If broken by inside force, Life begins.  Great things always begin from inside."  If we could all remember and live by these two short sentences then there is nothing that we can't handle and deal with throughout our lives.  This is a book that I recommend to everyone!  Including young adults.

 
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