I walked into the small room filled with lime green ?70s style chairs atop dirty linoleum. I sat in the back.

The room slowly began to fill up, and I became surrounded by idle chitchat about what a great president George W. Bush is.

I knew I was in the right place. The meeting began. I was called to the front to introduce myself. I stood behind the faux-wood podium and cleared my throat.

?Hello,? I said. ?My name is Crista, and I?m an idiot.?

The crowd returned a lackluster greeting ? ?Hello Crista.?

I remember the exact moment that sealed my fate as a member of Idiots Anonymous.

Ever since I became literate ? which I guess was about eighth grade ? I would intently read all the Thruway signs on my way to Albany or New York City.

I am a very observant person, and there was one sign that always fascinated me and caused my imagination to run wild.

It was the brown sign with the white outline of a pilgrim that announced that the Mass. Turnpike was approaching. Every time, I would think to myself ? damn, that must be one big turnpike.

I wondered how big a turnpike had to be in order for it to be classified as a ?mass turnpike.?

Confusion ensued when I actually found myself on the Mass. Turnpike. It really wasn?t that big at all.

One day when the turnpike led me to Massachusetts, everything suddenly made sense.

In honor of the turnpike that leads us to either Boston or a 12-step program, I would like to share with you a great New England Recipe. It is a simple stir-fried chicken recipe with a maple syrup twist.

For ingredients, you will need two chicken breasts, one quarter cup vegetable oil, one half cup diced red sweet peppers, one half cup diced onions, one clove of crushed garlic, one half cup maple syrup, one quarter cup soy sauce, two tablespoons cornstarch and one half teaspoon ginger. Throw in one or two cups of your favorite veggies.

First fry up the chicken in the oil. Add the pepper, onions and garlic. Stir-fry for three minutes.

Add your veggies until they are cooked to your desired tenderness. Drain the extra oil.

Mix together the maple syrup, soy sauce, cornstarch and ginger, and add to stir-fry. Cook for only a few more minutes, until the veggies and chicken are glazed.

Place the mixture on top of rice or noodles.

Just as this recipe is not 100 percent New England, I am not 100 percent recovered from the shock of discovering what the Mass. Turnpike really was.

It has taken me a long time to get to this point and recognize I have a problem.

Finding my way to New England via the Mass turnpike was just the first step on my road to recovery.

It?s like they always say, idiots are always idiots, even if they have a degree from UR.

Bon Appetit!



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