Thursday, September 27, 2007

To Fry Or Not To Fry

Warning: the following is what happens when I run out of things to blog about...

Since watching Alton Brown make homemade corn dogs 4 months ago, I have been craving a deep fryer. Well, I’ve been craving homemade corn dogs and wanting a deep fryer. I’m not sure you can really crave a kitchen gadget, though maybe you can lust after them. The problem with this new desire is that I am on a diet. A serious diet and have been seeing results. So I’m not sure how well a deep fryer would jive (that’s for you Brandy) with that.

I have a long love affair with kitchen things that plug in. I probably should learn how to cook given how much I like kitchen machines. I buy them, I use them (at least twice) and then I have to find a place to store them for the remainder of their time in the kitchen. The electric orange juicer, steamer, iced tea maker, bread maker, ice cream maker, popcorn popper and wireless BBQ meat thermometer that can transmit to the base unit up to 100 feet away all have a cozy place under my counters. The sane argument is whether or not I really need another bulky gadget taking up room in the kitchen.

I’d like to feel I can justify all these purchases which then makes it easier to justify adding another gizmo to the equipment list. While it takes more time to set up the orange juicer than it does to cut open an orange and juice it using the antique glass juicer that we already have, it’s so much cleaner and can automatically switch directions, which gets more juice out. Then again, hands can reverse direction too. The steamer was purchased for the exclusive purpose of steaming lobster tails. The fact that I could do corn, rice and other veggies at the same time only made the deal sweeter. And as if the redness of the lobster doesn’t tell you that it’s done, it has a neat timer. I have used the steamer 5 times in the last 7 years. A friend had one and I had to go buy one for me the next day. The iced tea maker comes in handy that one time of year when our relatives who drink iced tea come to town. Yeah, kinda hard to justify this one I guess.

Ahhh, but the bread maker, now that’s an entirely different story. You can make bread with it. Real bread. The kind of bread you eat and spread stuff on. I use this one a few times a year with the dough and the yeast and all of that. It makes me feel special knowing that I made bread, like a bread making elitist. Plus with WonderBread filing for bankruptcy, I figure I better take matters into my own hands. I don’t follow the recipes very well so I have never been able to duplicate what I’ve made but when you use it to sop up gravy, the taste is pretty irrelevant. I also use the pre-made bread mixes (that cost more than 2 loaves would in the store) and just dump them in and turn the unit on. Hmm, I think I’m making bread tonight! The ice cream maker doesn’t get used nearly enough, but once I photocopy every single page of my best bud’s ‘Ben and Jerry’s’ homemade ice cream recipe book, I swear I’ll use it more. Quick tip: combine a vanilla ice cream base with any flavor extract and you can’t go wrong. I have actually been challenged to an ice cream making contest by my parents’ neighbor. If anyone can think of an addictive ingredient that you crave constantly after tasting it once, and it’s still legal, please let me know. I really want to win this ice cream throw down.

Considering that you can pop a bag of popcorn in the microwave in less time than it takes to remove everything from the kitchen cabinets to find the popper, set it up, pour in the popcorn and pop it, I should probably turn this one into a planter for the back yard. But the real piece of resistance (that’s the American translation before you commence to start laughing at me!) is my wireless BBQ meat thermometer and probe. Does the word probe make you as uncomfortable as it makes me? Seriously, I can now grill meats for long periods of time and monitor the temperature from the comfort of my recliner while watching NASCAR or my hammock or garage or yes, home computer. This is one gadget that has revolutionized my life. I can be grilling a pork shoulder in the backyard while mowing the front yard. It’s efficient…and yummy. This gadget will leave my kitchen only if it’s attached to my dead, cold hand. Fortunately, since it’s a thermometer, you’ll be able to tell just how cold my dead hands are.

The more I think about it, the more I think I should start inventing electrical kitchen gadgets that actually save no time but come in pretty boxes with lots of words to make it sound more necessary than it really is. I could develop the electric peanut sheller, the electric corn shucker, the electric nacho cheese warmer upper, the electric butter knife, the electric salter, the electric apple peeler and the electric can popper opener. Oh and how about the electric ‘get the ketchup out of the bottle assistant.’

So all of this brings me to what I really meant to write about when I sat down to start this: the issue of adding a deep fryer to the mix. See, a deep fryer might not really be bad for my diet. As I am fond of telling people, it’s not what you eat, but how much you eat. For the sake of the rest of this post, I hope you see it that way too. Now here are all of the reasons I need a deep fryer in my life:

Deep fried lobster tails
Deep fried hamburger or hot dog (just place them in the bun and deep fry the whole thing!)
Deep fried marshmallows
Deep fried smores
Deep fried dove bars on a stick
Deep fried bacon
Deep fried BBQ (I realize it sounds like a sin, but you haven’t tasted it yet. Then again, neither have I)
Deep fried sushi (yes I realize this would be just a very fancy fish stick, but I can’t handle sushi. Go ahead; send your hate mail now)
Deep fried fruit on a stick
Deep fried M&Ms
Deep fried cotton candy
Deep fried nachos (seriously, this one has potential)
Deep fried frozen bananas
Deep fried eggnog balls (I’m still figuring out how to work the logistics on this one)
Deep fried fruitcake (yes, I am the only living American who likes fruit cake)

And the one I call ‘The Magic Bullet’ – The Deep fried macadamia nut. It's a slow, but tasty death.

****Giddy Alert: Season 4 of The Office finally premiers tonight. Woo Hoo!****


Dr. A said...

The first thing that flashed into my mind was Forrest Gump when there was that list of different ways to prepare shrimp. Hey, I can't wait - The Office - premieres tomorrow night. Yay!

Open Grove Claudia said...

My hubby calls fried food the food of his people. But he also says that he's from the hedenass tribe. Yeah.

Outside of a McDonald's French Fry or two, I never had fried food until I met him. Amazing stuff - wicked, but amazing...

Are you sure you're a Californian??

Patti said...

If at first you don't fricasee, fry, fry a hen.

If you can deep fry M&Ms, you can deep fry PEZ, right?

Airam said...

Michael I miss you!

Don't get me started on deep fried stuff! I love the fried goodness but find lately that I think I can actually feel the fried goodness latching themselves on the walls of my artery. Not good! Which is why I don't eat fried goodness as often anymore.

AndreAnna said...

"The Magic Bullet" sounds like an "adult" toy I may or may not own. ;)

ian said...

For a an addictive flavor for ice cream, I'd suggest Doritos, potato chips, or goldfish crackers.

If that's not going to work, pile in some peanut butter and crumble in Nutter Butter cookies. Mmmmmmmmm

FYI - I'll be down your way Oct. 10-13. Check my blog for further details.


TexasPeanut said...

With a list of all your deep fried food, I surprised that none of there are on the list of food the Texas State Fair is serving this year, they include:
Fried Cheesecake
Fried Banana Pudding
BW's Original Fried Banana Pudding
Viva Las Vegas Fried Ice Cream
Fried Oreo
Fried Nutter Butter
Fried Latte
Fried Banana Split
Fried Twinkie
Country Fried Peach Cobbler on a stick
Fried Banana Split
Fried Snickers
Fried Marshmallows
Fried Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Sandwich
Fried Coke
Texas Fried Cookie Dough

Of Course there are the same fried foods that everyone is already familiar with too.

Mags said...

I literally just looked up the exact same fryer you have pictured above, yesterday.

I'm getting it for a catering job-see, that's all you need-pretend to be a chef!

And also, WAY excited about The Office tonight!!!

meleah rebeccah said...

"the electric nacho cheese warmer upper"

I would soooo buy that one.

Odat said...

I have abstained from buying any more kitchen "gadgets" for the very same reasons as you list...I only use them a few times...and I don't have any more storage space.......I try and stay away from "deep fried" anything....
(ok, so am I still your friend?)

best bud's wife said...

I have a recipe for the Blue Bayou restaurant's Monte Cristo Sandwiches. We could deep fry those if you ever get the fryer while we make a second attempt at non-nasal-passage-clearing (because we used way too much peppermint extract) mint juleps!!

best bud's wife said...

You could also make the girls doughnuts eery Saturday morning...mmmmmmm!

Candace said...

1. is that "comence to" a reference to a certain NASCAR quote? :D

2. I like things that plug in too. Er, kitchen things, I mean.

3. OMG you DO need a deep fryer! Did you ever see the Jimmy Kimmel where he deep fried a ventriloquist's dummy? ^_^

Candace said...

Oh and I would SO buy an electric apple-peeler right about now. :-P

Ralph said...

The first and last deep fryer quit on Super Bowl Sunday, right in the middle of frying chicken for the eating party to follow. If you have an electric frying pan, just turn that piece of sushi over to finish the frying process...

Michael C said...

Dr. A: It's about time that the Office starts!!!!!

Claudia: Yes, I'm a Californian, but I somehow got a little fry in my blood!

Patti: That is clever. That quote will be taped to my deep fryer when I get it.

Airam: I think 'fried goodness' are two of the most beautiful words I've ever heard!!

AA: Uhhhhhhhh, ;-)

Ian: I will check, hopefully we can find a way to hook up!!

TexasP: I think I passed out while reading your list!! ;-)

Mags: That does it! I am now a chef!!

Meleah: It's better than a fondue pot.

Odat: of course you are still my friend! Deep fried is a difficult way of life ;-)

Best Bud's Wife: I'll actually be at the home of the Blue Bayou on Friday.

1. Yes
2. Uh, yeah, kitchen things
3. I did not see that but now want to!
Having trouble peeling apples, huh? Do I want to know what yummy thing you and Munki are making??

Ralph: That story breaks my heart.

kat said...

The Magic Bullet fucking rocks. I actually own one and I use it for all sorts of shit. Namely protien shakes and salsa (not at the same time).

Do you actually own a Magic Bullet? Because from what I read you just renamed something else that. You have to check it out. You are totally going to want to buy one!

FRIGGA said...

I want a deep fryer. But I don't think I'm a safe person to have one - fire hazard and all - do they give you a fire extinguisher when you buy it?