Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lady of the Lake

You know it's a crazy week when I have to put up a "do not disturb" sign.  Trial preparation, document deadlines, contentious court hearings, and too many files for signing stacked up to resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  People knock on my door anyway, which gives me the opportunity to ask if Armageddon has occurred. If I lock the door, they go get the master key and open it anyway.  Maybe next time they do that, I'll be sitting behind my desk with a big "666" written across my forehead with lipstick.  

Armageddon gas prices.  Coming soon to a station in YOUR neighborhood.

On my way back from court this morning, I took a quick break at the lake, just long enough to admire the view and take a couple of photos.

Lake Tohopekaliga

Beautiful Lake Tohopekaliga, a native name meaning "we will gather together here".  When we were moving to Florida from Long Island, I was concerned that I would miss my beloved Lake Ronkonkoma, not realizing that this part of Florida can out-lake Long Island seven ways to Sunday.

File:Lake Ronk.JPG 
Lake Ronkonkoma

"Lake Ronkonkoma has been called a place of haunting mystery. Indians and white men alike wondered about its source of pure fresh water and its unexplained tendency to rise and fall periodically with no apparent relationship to the local rainfall. Many legends, myths and superstitions about Lake Ronkonkoma were based on the theory that the lake was bottomless. Other legends are based on a forbidden love between a beautiful Indian princess and an English settler who met a tragic end together." From Three Waves: The Story of Lake Ronkonkoma

Few things are as soothing as gazing out on a lake, even one with a curse.  Our last day in New York, a day fraught with stress, I left Rob to handle the crazy Israeli movers and drove the two miles to the Brookhaven side of Lake Ronkonkoma, parked the car and just stared out at the water for a little while, until I could breathe again.

Oh, the curse?  Well, the legends seem to date back to the 1600's, and when I moved to the area in 1979, I heard the same stories about the Lady of the Lake:

"Other accounts involved the princess revisiting the lake, walking on water and taking the life of a man annually in search of her forbidden love. Her ghost is said to dwell in the depths of the lake, and some say each year, the princess drags down a least one young man to be her lover in death. This thought is considered the basis for the curse that at least one person shall drown in the waters of the lake each year."

Anyway, the drive-by to Lake Toho must have worked, because I was revived enough to finish preparing a Legal Staffing Decision Form (which bears the unfortunate acronym "LSD"), pull my files apart to facilitate trial prep, dash off back to court bearing gifts to drop off - two packages of lavender Hostess Sno-Balls for Rob and his trusty assistant Maria - and to start thinking about cooking.  I actually had the energy to cook, mirabile visu!  Magical Lake Toho, known for it's bass fishing and restorative powers, and our new offices are going to be in a (for Kissimmee) high rise building overlooking the lake.  O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

I had this package of rather healthy boneless chicken breasts that I picked up for a song a couple of days ago at Publix.  I went back to Publix after work, and drifted up and down the aisles seeking inspiration.  I did not want cutlet parmagiana or marsala or francese or mushroom anything, or rolled and stuffed, or butterflied, stir fried, Southern fried, Kieved or Cordon Bleued.  I was bored and I was stumped, but then my brain was revitalized from my adventure as Lady of the Lake and thus was born Southern Chicken Pot Pie - winner, winner, chicken dinner.  Enjoy.

Cook like there's nobody watching, and eat like it's heaven on earth.

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