At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.
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Josh Hanagarne couldn’t be invisible if he tried. Although he wouldn’t officially be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome until his freshman year of high school, Josh was six years old and onstage in a school Thanksgiving play when he first began exhibiting symptoms. By the time he was twenty, the young Mormon had reached his towering adult height of 6’7” when—while serving on a mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints—his Tourette’s tics escalated to nightmarish levels.
Determined to conquer his affliction, Josh underwent everything from quack remedies to lethargy-inducing drug regimes to Botox injections that paralyzed his vocal cords and left him voiceless for three years. Undeterred, Josh persevered to marry and earn a degree in Library Science. At last, an eccentric, autistic strongman—and former Air Force Tech Sergeant and guard at an Iraqi prison—taught Josh how to “throttle” his tics into submission through strength-training.
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 3 eggs
- 2-1/4 cups of sugar (recipe called for 2-1/2 cups which seemed like a lot so I cut back)
- zest of 2 large lemons
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk
- 1-1/2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup toasted coconut (reserve 1/4 cup for top of cake
- 2 TB. lemon juice
- Grease a 13 x 9 pan or 2 loaf pans
- Toast coconut on a cookie sheet and set aside
- In a large bowl combine flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt-set aside
- In another bowl whisk eggs and sugar till mixture forms a ribbon
- Stir in zest, milk, oil and lemon juice
- Stir just till combined
- Fold in dry ingredients and 3/4 cup coconut
- Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup coconut on top of batter
- Bake 40-45 minutes or until center comes out clean with a toothpick