Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: SHOP (01/03/19)
TITLE: Chicken (soup) Dance
By Barbara Lynn Culler
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Being on a limited income, I figured that I could find some of the items at the dollar store. Feeling upbeat I went early, believing it less crowded. I was wrong, and should have realized that when I saw the packed parking lot. People everywhere, especially unsupervised kids in the rows of holiday decorations. Dear God, please give me patience!
Reluctantly, I entered into the melee to pick up an ornament for a party game. Two small boys played catch with a stuffed elf, as I shimmied my cart through the crowd, and ducked a santa sled arcing through the air.
Checking my list, I browsed for canned corn and diced tomatoes. I found the corn, but no plain tomatoes. Pivoting past a girl sporting reindeer antlers, I spotted a can of diced tomatoes with special add-ins. My recipe called for fresh onion and garlic, but I found a can of tomatoes that included these ingredients. What a bargain! Now I would not have to spend time chopping up those pungent plants.
Feeling pleased with myself, I aimed my cart towards the produce section, dodging twin girls gyrating pink hoops. Cute. Searching for a Serrano pepper, all I could find were multi-packs. I only needed one little pepper. Brainstorming on what I could substitute, I trekked back to the row of canned goods, and discovered a tiny container of finely minced jalapeño peppers. Perfect! Just enough to give a salsa-like kick to my concoction. Yes! My fisted hands up in the air, I happy danced around my cart, my jubilant outburst witnessed by a sullen teenager coming around the corner. Smiling sheepishly, I slinked away to pay for my items.
Attempting to exit that small parking lot felt like being in the midst of an adjourned celebrity dancing show. It was slow and go, slow and stop. I’m starting to lose my patience here!
Still needing chicken and a few other things, I drove to the nearby market, which also teemed with people. I believed that the nearby retirement center must have been on a field trip for several silver haired ladies tottered throughout the aisles. While stopping to admire a floral bouquet, my ankle was abruptly attacked by a grocery cart. I’m really getting annoyed now.
I found the chicken breast and stock, but opted for the low sodium version of broth to make up for the other flavorful modifications. The recipe called for Monterey Jack cheese, but I decided on using the Mexican cheese mix because is sounded tastier.
The final ingredient needed was thin tortilla strips. Where were they? Not in the regular chip aisle. I finally found them with the salad fixings, but they were in a small package with a big price. No thank you. I shuffled back to the row of chips to debate what kind to use. Too tired to care anymore, I side-stepped an ancient looking man and grabbed a bag of regular tortilla strips that could be crumbled onto the soup.
The line to check out was long and slow, and I was tired, hungry and thirsty. The store music system blasted a song about rocking around the clock, and I was ready to fling frozen chicken at the musics’s source. I’m not feeling very jolly at this moment.
Finally, I was able to go home. Peace at last. Thank you, God.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 NIV
Ultimately, what I was thinking was to try something new, and my dance to acquire the ingredients was exhausting, but well worth it. The chicken tortilla soup, even with my modifications, turned out delicious and won rave reviews. Not so crazy after all.
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