After reading Charlie’s ‘Like Oil and Coconut‘ entry and laughing hysterically, I was reminded of a hilarious encounter I have had with oil. I love the stuff and regularly use far too much of it when I cook, or at least too much according to you fat Americans… those last two words remind me of something i was told by a post office clerk yesterday here in England when I tried to pay with my debit card that does not have this integrated chip that all English people have in theirs.
Luke – “My debit card does not have a chip like all you English have.”
Mail guy – “It’s because all you Americans have eaten all the chips.”
I laughed and reminded him that the English are just as fat now-a-days and then we stared at each other. I recommend talking to my fattist friend Xavier if you want to continue this discussion but let me get back to the point of this entry. This is the story of how I enjoyed the benefits of a deep fryer I had found deep in the cupboards of my parents house. I wonder why they hid it so far back in the cupboards and never told me about it?
I returned to my Newport beach house with 5 gallons of corn oil, a deep frying machine that could just about hold a whole chicken, and a grin that extended from 34th street to 52nd. My first experiment was a bunch of chicken finger things we had in the freezer. It was easy, dump the oil in the machine, press the button, wait until it says its ready, and then put whatever you want inside. As far as how long, the machine gave recommendations on the lid for various types of common deep friable food. The result of the first experiment was a load of extremely tasty chicken fingers that could not have been eaten fast enough by me and my under fed roommates, except for Ian, who ate as if he had a large tape worm inside him. He also was huge and could beat three of us up at the same time, with me trying to choke him hanging on his back, he had Phil in a painful arm lock, and had Pat just held on the ground with some magical power with his other arm.
I decided I wanted to be a little more creative and for the next experiment tried a quesadilla. This was tougher since I had to use something to keep the quesadilla in the correct position otherwise everything would fall out. Everyone was sceptical but in the end it came out fantastically and I was happy to share with my roommates. Best quesadilla I have ever had.
Here is when things got interesting… part of my regular diet was grilled cheese sandwiches and since I was running around that anything dropped in this wonder machine was coming out perfectly, I had to try my favorite food inside it. I received immediate disapproval from everyone around but I had to persevere otherwise my deep fryer would lose all of it’s integrity. The oil at this point was collecting bits and bobs inside it from previous foods but I claimed this would only add flavor, and plus… what the hell do you do with 5 gallons of dirty oil? pshhh… So i butter up the bread, throw an extra amount of cheese on it, pin the bread together to ensure sealage, and drop it in.
I gave it five minutes and brought it out. It looked really good, I must tell you. It was very crispy but the sort of light crisp that you like to gobble up off your plate after eating some fried fish or something. It was an interesting brown but not burnt. A crowd had developed and was interested in the results and I could tell that they thought it might have actually worked. I bit into with a nice sizable bite and immediately about 6 fluid ounces of oil rushed into my mouth. Obviously the bread had soaked it all up and encapsulated it in the previously mentioned crisp. I struggled to not gag and chewed and swallowed. i could not taste cheese or anything else but it did not necessarily taste bad. It is just a really weird feeling. I didn’t make a face and tried to convince everyone it was good and they should try but because of my slow deliberate chew with no face , but definitely no smile, I could not convince them. Begrudgingly I admit, it was a failure and I did not finish my sandwich. So I no longer say to everybody as they eat deep friend fish heads and snickers… “you can deep fry anything and it will be good.”
P.S. As a final note on this story, I will tell you how I disposed of the oil. In a moment of complete stupidity, I went out back, and dumped it in the trashcan and walked inside. I had no idea that modern trashcans put wholes at the bottom to not let them fill up with water or trash sludge. I left for an hour or so and came back to my neighbor screaming at me and threatening to call the authorities (whoever it is for this kind of thing, EPA I suppose) unless I cleaned it up. Mind you I lived in Newport Beach, a very posh area, about 100 feet from the beach and a fine for something like this is on the order of $10,000. I spent the next three hours blowing all my non-existent cash buying clean up materials and sand cleaning that stuff up. Apparently you take that stuff to an auto store…
P.P.S This remind me of when I changed the oil on my motorcycle at a different house but still in Newport using 2 liter bottle. I had a 600 cc katana. Apparently two and a half coke bottles and some random plastic thing is enough to contain all that oil so when I ran out of containers I thought I would just let the last remaining bit go on the ground. Turns out there was a lot more and the complex had to come clean it up and they eventually charged us. I got them back by going backwards over those things that pop tires in parking lots and shredding a 13 inch gash in my exhaust pipe making my motorcyle sound like a harley and going to soccer practice at 6am.
I know, I can be really stupid. No people or baby seals were hurt in these oil fiascos.