Even though I didn’t finish The Call of the Wild at the Dirty Dash (who was I kidding?), I did manage to finish it last night before bed, in large part because I made such an easy crockpot dinner that there weren’t even enough dishes to run the dishwasher. I even threw it in before we left, which was around 8:30 in the morning, and although I turned it off around 3:30 or 4 and turned it back on 20 minutes before dinner to make sure it was still hot, the timing wasn’t bad. And would you like to know what I put in the crockpot?
It’s my sister’s creation, really. One small bottle of alfredo sauce (I used Classico Four Cheese), one small bottle of pesto (or, you know, one of the several containers of pesto that I separated my Costco bottle into and froze, thawed in the fridge the night before), and five small-ish chicken breasts. (I put them in frozen, but only because I used the individually frozen kind from Costco that come well-trimmed.) Into the crockpot it all went! If we’d been leaving later, I would have started it later, but such is life. (I’m sure you could also put it on high for 2-3 hours, if your chicken is thawed.) The point is, it was an insanely easy meal; all I had left to do when we got home was to cook some pasta and cut up and cook some broccoli. Voila! A dinner that got a thumbs up from everyone.
As for The Call of the Wild, I found it very interesting. I read White Fang several times in elementary school, but I’d never read the other, and I had no idea how perfectly matched they are. White Fang is about a wild thing being ultimately tamed–sort of–by love; The Call of the Wild is about a civilized dog growing wilder and wilder, until–with the loss of love–he reverts completely to his wolfish ancestors. One ends where the other starts, right down to–if I remember correctly–the house of a judge. I see now why they are so often published together (in fact, I made sure the version I linked to this post had them both). London’s writing style is on the flowery side, but it’s less objectionable than it might be because his subject matter is so emphatically NOT flowery. (I’m reminded of a documentary on the making of “Dr. Zhivago” that I saw, where the director talked about purposely shooting the love scenes in harsh cold light and the war scenes in beautiful golden light.) Flowery might not even be the right word for it. Grandiose, maybe? At any rate. I still enjoy White Fang more, because I find it a more emotionally satisfying book to read, but I rather think you need to read both books at least once. The contrast between the stories is too good to miss.