Cooking on Ambien #3: Curried BBQ Chicken Salad

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taking pill




It’s my goddamned buzzer. I roll out of bed, into my living room and hit the “speak” button.

“What do you want?’ I’m more than convinced that it is Tommy Trikopsvski again. Tommy is the alcoholic Polish man who sleeps in the foyer every night.

“UPS!” a bright, cheery voice answers. “Need you to sign for these packages.”

What the eff? I didn’t order anything. Did my mother decide to order oatmeal in bulk for me again? Did I win something? I put pants on and run down the stairs. Stepping over Tommy, I opened the front door.

“Miss JAPburn, here’s the cooler,” the man says in a very thick Jamaican accent.
“And here’s the other thing.”
“It says it’s from Omaha Steaks.”

Oh, no. What the eff have I done. I sign for the packages, mumbling incoherently about lack of caffeine.

“Thank you Miss JAPburn, you have a nice day now.”

Struggling up the stairs with two huge boxes, I finally get to my apartment. I throw the boxes on the bed and open them. The first package contains a pink iPod alarm clock. The second package contains… four filet mignons. I now have something called an iLuv, and two and a half pounds of premium meat. And I have absolutely no recollection of ordering them.

This has been a consistent theme throughout my relationship with Ambien. Well, besides the whole cooking thing. When I first started taking it, I bought a rug, a Venus flytrap and of course, there’s always the infamous kielbasa incident.

Once I had set up my new iLuv, I took the steaks out of the cooler. Opening my fridge, I noticed there was a large chrome bowl. I cleared space for the steaks. Then, I pulled the bowl out. It was at that very moment that I noticed my George Foreman grill was still on.


Immediately, I unplugged the grill. Then, I peeled back the tin foil. I peer inside the bowl. Well, well, well. What do we have here?


Chicken salad?

I took a bite. A-ma-zing. Grilled chicken chunks marinating in homemade mayonnaise, curry, barbeque sauce, carrot, dried cranberries and pepitas. Toasted gluten-free bread, this salad and a glass of tomato juice made my morning. I lived off that salad for days. And now, you can, too!

Curried Barbeque Chicken Salad

2 cups cubed grilled or roasted chicken
½ cup mayonnaise
1 handful dried cranberries
1 handful pepitas
¼ cup chopped carrots
2 tbsp curry powder
¼ cup barbeque sauce (Kansas City style is best!)

1. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise and roasted chicken. Mix until chicken is fully coated.

2. Drop in curry powder, pepitas and cranberries. Stir well.

3. Continue stirring while slowly pouring in barbeque sauce.

4. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

Vegan alternative: replace chicken with cubed tofu, reduce curry amount by half and use Vegenaise, or another egg-free mayo alternative.

After consuming two of these sandwiches, I finally coaxed myself back to sleep. Dreams of iPhones and a particularly embarrassing sex dream with Regis Philbin were not the reason I woke up two hours later. Oh, no.


I run into my living room again.

“Yo, it’s Tommy.” He yells a slew of indecipherable Polish, and buzzes again. “You got a package down here.”