• Monica Montanari

The Lone CAR State


If you know me, you know how much I love my 2012 Chevy Camaro, lovingly dubbed Dante. His name was a way for me to pay homage to 14th century Dante Alighieri's epic poem- in his series of three poems (Inferno, Purgatorio, & Paradiso), the poet examined hell, purgatory, and heaven, respectively. Arguably the most famous was Dante's inferno. The color of my car is inferno orange- so Dante is inferno. (Get it? Dante's inferno? HA.) But on this trip, Dante has actually been giving me hell. So my dad and I are just driving along the I-10 East (which i7s one of the two freeways that take you straight into Tuscaloosa) and I feel the engine jolt as if the car had shifted bad- except it's an automatic transmission. Next thing I know, the engine light comes on, and my accelerator stops working. Now the inner panic ensues. I put on my emergency blinkers, slow down, and come to a stop on the side of the freeway. Here we are, in the middle of nowhere in Texas, baking in the noon-day sun as we sit in my car with no air conditioning. Fun. AAA dispatches their tow truck, who texts me that he will arrive in an hour. Absolutely wonderful. I get on Yelp! (arguably the best app ever invented) and start searching for repair shops that are open. In the entire city of El Paso, I find one shop whose owner is willing to come back to diagnose the problem and see if we can fix it today. Dante decides to start, after about 15 minutes of trying unsuccessfully. We drive him back to the shop, where we discover that he needs a new fuel pump and pressure regulator. The owner of the shop drives us to a nearby motel. 7 pm. We were supposed to be in the car driving all the way to the other edge of Texas tonight- instead, we are walking to Walmart to buy my dad some t-shirts to wear, since somehow he forgot to pack any. You know how they say everything is bigger in Texas? If my experience is any indication, I'm pretty sure it's true. Next to Walmart is a Texas Roadhouse, a barbecue chain, where I ordered a country-fried steak. Good Lord. It literally, I'm not kidding, was as big as my face. Probably bigger because my face is tiny. I actually used to hate green beans until I discovered the magical place that is Kentucky Fried Chicken- if you do not like KFC, I really cannot understand you. It's basically my favorite fast food chain of all time- and their green beans are pretty amazing. So I decided to try Texas green beans- and I was not disappointed. The thing I am looking forward to most about having my own apartment in August is having free reign of my kitchen and trying out amazing recipes. One of the recipes I can't wait to try out is this copycat recipe of KFC's green beans. I'll be posting more of my favorite recipes to the blog, so if you try them out, let me know how they turn out!