Monday, August 26, 2013

Crazy Good Gas Station Indian Fare

It’s a Monday and Todd is driving home from Moses Lake. Between watering, harvesting and writing for pay, I’m too busy to even think of prepping dinner. Yet, a thought occurs to me—Todd could bring home chicken skewers from the gas station near the hanger where he turns wrenches on 747s.

When I make the suggestion, my mouth is already salivating at the possibility. But he tells me that the hot counter sells out by the time he leaves. I’m bummed until he calls, headed home saying, “Bob fixed you something.”

Bob is most likely not the cook’s name. How he ended up, turban and spices and all, in a gas station in central Washington is a curiosity.  His English is coming about and maybe he was tired of people mispronouncing his name so he learned to say he’s “Bob.” Divine Spicer, Master of Chicken and Drool Maker are a few other names I can think of for him. His mastery of Indian fare is superb.

Todd takes his time meandering home, shooting at the gun range on Mica Mountain, picking up Cast Master lures in Spokane and shopping for a bottle of wine. I have work a-plenty to keep me busy and cucumber slices to ward off hunger, but distracting thoughts of Bob’s dinner intrude.

At last, Todd pulls into our dark driveway with headlights setting off both dog alarms. He walks into the house amid frenzied barking, carrying a brown paper bag. Bob’s dinner. "Is it skewers," I ask, drool pooling at my bare toes.

“Nope,” Todd answers handing me the bag, “Bob just said it was special. He was excited to fix you dinner.”

Opening the bag, I can already smell the layers of spices. In one container I find jasmine rice so perfectly textured I wonder how he does it. My rice always has a slight stickiness or is not soft enough. In the next container is a profusion of orange-colored chicken, sauced with spices, onions and bell peppers. Unwrapping the foil, I’m delighted to discover naan bread. Naan bread in northern Idaho! What a stunning occurrence.

Plated, Bob’s dinner looks like a feast of flavor. Using my naan bread to scoop chicken and rice into savory bites, I can taste the lemongrass among cumin and curry and peppers. And this from a gas station in Moses Lake, WA? Bob can cook me dinner every Monday Night!  
Bob, My Gas Station Cook and Hero, Can Fix Dinner Every Monday Night!

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