27 - Chicken Tikka Masala and some surprises for James.

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"Explain again. Why three strangers, not one?" Demands Aoi in a fool mod while I am trying to cook the dinner that will be served in less than one hour and he is getting in the way. Aoi doesn't feel comfortable with anyone he doesn't know really well, which is basically me, so he has been very edgy all afternoon.

"Well." Where is the ceramic baking tray? "You wanted to meet James, so we decided on this dinner reunion, right? But Julian, James little brother, somehow learned about it and decided to come too." Aoi glares me a look that says 'Why'. "Ah, you see, it is difficult to say no to Julian." He is still glaring at me! And where did I lose the damn tray?! Ah, found it.

"And the third?" Asks Aoi grumpily.

"Uh, well, he is, not officially, but probably, Julian's lover." Enam, the dark skinned boy that visited the store together with Julian and the gang, is coming too. And I am just waiting to see how Julian is going to explain Enam's presence to James. This is gonna be fun!

For a while, Aoi just play with my scissor and a napkin - the paper kind, thankfully – "Is that chicken?" he suddenly asks warily.

"Hum, yeah." I respond distracted while washing the baby potatoes.

"You know" he starts but I quickly cut in before he can add any of his usual complaints. "Yes, I know that you don't eat almost anything except Japanese food, pizza, pasta with meat and hamburger. That is why I will make the chicken with just salt and let the sauce apart. You can just not put it on your plate, ok? I am also cooking rice for you so stay put there and let me do my job. And stop shredding my napkins or I will send you to buy more!"

When making big meals, especially for people I am not used to I get slightly stressed. So, not even Aoi dares to mess with me because I can easily turn into a mad dog.....not, but I can be mean.

OK, the potatoes need to first be boiled then seasoned with salt, black pepper, rosemary and some olive oil to finally go to the oven in the baking tray I was hunting earlier. The washed rice is cooking and the chicken is waiting for the salt and black pepper - yes, I lied, it is not just salt - to sink in and because, if I cooked them now, they would be dry and leathery at dinner time.

The plan was to make chicken Tikka Masala, but thanks to Aoi I will have to adapt the recipe and create a Tikka Masala sauce to pour over the meat instead. For that, I gather yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, ginger, garlic, jalapeno pepper, paprika, cilantro, tomato sauce, heavy cream and salt; yeah, a lot I know. But it will be good, I promise, and spicy.

There are still the vegetables too.....If only Aoi would go to the living room and watch some TV....

Half an hour later, the doorbell rings announcing probably Julian and Enam since James said he would be at work until later than this.

Despite his protests, I send Aoi to greet them because first, I am busy cooking; second, I want him out of my kitchen and third, seeing the big antisocial that he is dealing with strangers is going to be fun.

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