This weekend I am unfortunately pressed for time. So I didn’t follow my “rule of three” and write about three ingredients. However, I did pick one food and worked into the idea of Pip feeling she is in limbo. Next time I’ll go back to that rule of three. Episode-18 will be about the ingredients sent by Ishita at Kooky Cookyng.
However, I couldn’t bear to leave you in limbo. So decided to at least jot down something I could do quickly. Here is a little episode to give your imagination fodder for what might happen next; a mostly non-food tidbit of The Three Ingredients.
17. Rutabaga Limbo
Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseous, or the queasiness woke me. I’m not sure which. I opened my eyes to complete darkness. There was no light, no sound. The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean. It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo. Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly. Think of something else! Anything else, I told myself.
I stood unsteadily. However, the motion set my ears ringing and bile rose in my throat. Collapsing to my hands and knees, I vomited despite efforts to hold it back. After my belly had emptied, it calmed and so did the ringing in my ears.
The sound of a cricket came to me. Good. The utter silence had been very disturbing. I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms. Where the Sam Hill was I? I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses.
My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark. Bare ground was beneath me. The air had a musty odor. A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair. It almost made me sick-up again. The cricket’s “chirping” was the only sound. Still sitting, I turned. My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness. When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.
The faint glow allowed me to see shadowy outlines a few feet away. There were large lumpy shadows. One shape was tall and narrow. Cautiously I stood. The dizziness abated after a moment and I groped my way to the shape.
I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was. I felt a burlap bag and round lumps. Rutabagas. I felt around and found another bag. That one felt like potatoes. I moved closer to the wall and the tall shape. Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.
Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar. But how had I gotten there? My memory was completely out of sorts, and it made my head hurt to try and figure it out. The moldy air made me sneeze, which also hurt my head.
I dragged the ladder into place beneath the crack of light. That would be the door to the cellar. Unsteadily but carefully I climbed. I reached and pushed against the hatch, but it only moved an inch. Then it dropped back down, scattering dirt in my face. I rubbed my nose and tried not to sneeze again. I was already dizzy and didn’t want to sneeze while I was on that ladder.
Moving a couple of rungs higher I was able to put my shoulders against the cellar door and push. The muzzy feeling gradually left my brain. It puzzled me that the cellar door was so heavy. I heard a muffled sound somewhere beyond the cellar. I pushed again, harder. That time I was able to shoulder open the door.
Looking around, the first thing I noticed was the pink sunset. Everything else that met my eyes was unfamiliar. I still didn’t know where I was, but I didn’t think it should be evening. Why couldn’t I think clearly? No, it shouldn’t be sunset. It should be morning. However, I couldn’t remember why I felt that way.
I crawled out onto the grass. The muffled, faraway sound reached my ears again, but it seemed much closer. It was a voice. I heard it again — my name. I took a deep breath to shout in answer, but my nose filled with the sickly sweet odor from my hair and I had a fit of coughing.
Rising to wobbly knees I looked toward the sound. I saw rows of plants. It was a garden. Then I saw a figure running toward me, trampling the rows of plants that I suddenly recognized for herbs. I knew him. My muddled brain searched for a name. All I came up with was tofu. I knew that wasn’t the name, but I remembered I was supposed to be getting tofu. Granny wanted tofu, but why would she want that?
“Pip! Where have you been? Are you all right? Holy Hannah we were so worried about you!” said Alastair Wong in one frantic sounding stream of words. “There’s dirt all over your face,” he added sounding puzzled.
My answer was another sneeze. Alastair immediately reached into his breast pocket, but seemed to find it empty. I realized he meant to offer me a handkerchief. Oh yes, there would be a hanky in my pocket. As I removed the embroidered soft cotton cloth something else came out of my pocket and fluttered to the ground. I hardly noticed it, but Alastair stooped to retrieve it.
Alastair inspected the small rectangular piece of paper. His expression shifted from confusion to fear as he looked at it.
“What is it?” I asked.
I didn’t remember having kind of paper or note with me. I could tell it was too stiff to be a shopping list. In Alastair’s hand it looked more like a calling card. Wordlessly Alastair handed it to me. It wasn’t a business card. It was a playing card — the king of clubs!
Recipe credit: Food Network Magazine. Photo credit: Antonis Achilleos
Total Time: 50 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 40 min
Toss 1 large peeled and cubed rutabaga with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Roast at 425 degrees F until golden and soft, 40 minutes. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and chopped parsley.