So how does a tire change become a bad food story?
Let me tell you…
The Ford pickup had blown a tire and we had put the spare on, but my husband, Jim, didn’t like the idea of driving without a spare tire so it fell to me to get it fixed. With a snowstorm coming, I had to do it soon but the only place I could get to that was still open after work was the Walmart near my office. Normally, I avoid Walmart entirely but this time I had no choice.
So, I called the Walmart Tire Center on North Keystone here in Indianapolis and was told to come right after work and it would take about fifteen minutes. Arriving, there were no other customers waiting but I was told it would take 30 minutes. Mmmkay. With the choice of sitting in the waiting room or wandering the store, I wandered.
Thirty minutes later, I returned and the tire hadn’t even been started. And now, there were six other customers.
“It will another hour.” said the clerk.
“Pardon me? You said thirty minutes.”
“Yeah but there are people who need tires now.” His attitude made it clear he meant “customers spending more money.”
Exasperated, but with honestly nowhere else to be, I grabbed my laptop and sat down in Hell’s Waiting Room for the duration.
This waiting room was dingy, smelly and had Faux – er – Fox News blaring on a television but I did my best to ignore it. Until, SHE came in.
“Walmart Typical” would be an understatement.
Blonde hair with black roots? Check!
Too tight yoga pants? Check!
Flowered blouse exposing enough belly to realize she probably was not pregnant even though she looked it? Check!
Loud and obnoxious? Oh, yeah!
Plopping herself down in the waiting room, the woman started watching Fox News and loudly commenting on each story.
President Obama? “Needs to go back where he came from.” This got the stinkeye from the college student sitting next to me.
Welfare cheats? “Well, you know they are all inner city.” The attractive, older African American woman chose to change seats at that time.
That is when a news story on Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk of courts who refused to do her job issuing marriage licenses to all couples while still earning $80,000 a year, came on.
“Those faggots need to leave that woman alone. God is telling her what to do!”
Oh, Really?!? I started to respond when the woman’s cell phone rang.
“Yeah, this is Tawny!”… “You need what?” … “Oh, sure. I’m here at Walmart and will pick up some quick stuff for the party.” …
“Well they have something called crab raccoons.” ..Racoons? Did she mean “rangoons”?… “Yeah, those. You deep fry them and then serve them with salsa?” Gross!
“Yeah, I can get some of that and some of that hum-ass stuff.” As appropriate as it sounds, i think she meant hummus…
“How about some of that Chicken Tickle stuff?” … “You know! That Indian shit.” … Did she mean chicken tikka masala?… “Yeah, it’s best if you add some beef to it.” … At this, the college student rolled her eyes.
“Ribs? Sure. I can see if they have boneless”… “Yeah, I can make ’em better than anyone in this town.” At this, the African American woman rolled HER eyes.
“Anything else?” … “Cake? Sure, I can grab one.” … “Yeah, rather get one at a good Christian Place then one of those faggotty bakeries.”…And, the countdown starts.
The woman hung up her phone.
Before I could start, the older woman spoke up.
“Honey, I couldn’t help but overhear you. If you want good ribs, you need to go down to King Ribs on South Keystone.”
“Yes, at 39th and Keystone.” smiled the older woman.
“I don’t normally go to that neighborhood.” said Tawny uncomfortably.
“You don’t?” smiled the African American woman.
“Can I chime in?” said the college student who I now realized looked possibly South Asian.
“Um…sure.” said she of little taste.
“If you want Indian, you have to go to Delhi Palace.”
“Oh, yes.” the young woman responded. “And make sure you ask for their special beef menu.”
“Is it good?” asked Tawny.
“Like nothing you’ve ever had.” answered the college student.
I saw my opportunity. Wrists a flapping, I jumped in.
“Oh, gurrrrrrrl. While you’re at it, I know the most diviiiiiine little bakery near here.”
“You do?” she said nervously.
“My husband and I go there all the time.” I purred while adding extra estrogen for emphasis. “They have the most wonderful little cupcakes that you can pick up. Their pink velvet cupcakes are the best but, if you want variety, I would try their rainbow selection.”
“Umm…” Tawny began to look around nervously.
My inner drag queen peeked out.
“They’re just amaaaaazing.” I pulled out my cell phone. “Would you like me to call them for you?”
“Ummmm. No, thank you.”
“Oh, too bad. And, guuurlfriend, if you want sparklers and little tiaras for the party, there is that wonderful party store up on 86th in Nora.”
“Oh, I’ve been there.” chimed in the older woman.
“You have…?” squeaked Tawny.
“Oh, yes. That’s where we got the balloons for the Martin Luther King Breakfast.” she answered.
Tawny turned pale.
“Oooookay. I think my car is ready.”
“I didn’t hear them call you.” I said leaning in.
“OH, I DID!” and she was GONE!
We party rejects in the waiting room had a good laugh on that.
Two hours later and a firm discussion with the store manager, and I was free.
NOW LET’S DO IT RIGHT:
Chicken Tikka Masala
Boneless chicken breasts, three large
Yogurt, 1 pint
Garam masala, 2 tbsp.
Lemon juice, 1 tbsp.
Ground cumin, 2 tsps.
Cayenne pepper, 1 tsp.
Ground ginger, 3 tsps.
Salt, to taste
Cinnamon, 1 tsp.
Coriander, ground, 2 tsps.
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste.
Green chile, one, minced small.
Garlic, finely chopped, two tbsps.
Butter, 2 Tbsp.
Tomato paste, 4 oz.
Onion, Red, one large
Turmeric, to color if needed
Whipping Cream, 2 cups.
Cilantro, as a garnish
Start out by slicing the chicken breast into bite size pieces.
Next, mix all of the spices except for the turmeric, coriander, ginger and garam masala in a mixing bowl. Chop the onion and add as well. Mix in the yogurt. Fold in the chicken pieces and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours (Four to five hours is best).
Once marinated, preheat the oven to 450. Place the chicken pieces on a greased baking sheet and quickly bake but DO NOT BURN. Ten minutes at most.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and brown the onions. Add the chile and ginger to brown for the aroma. Add the tomato paste and the other spices. Add water as needed to keep from burning.
Add Whipping cream as needed to create a sauce.
Mix in the chicken pieces and seethe for 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro.
PLEASE NOTE: I like my tikka masala mild so you may want to up the spices for your palate.
COPYRIGHT 2016 Micheal J. Hobbs