Thursday, January 3, 2013

Why I Don't Fry

I have not fried food since 1989.  It's true.  I have seared, sauteed, and braised, but not deep fried since 1989.  There is a reason that has nothing to do with healthy choices.  Actually, it has nothing to do with good choices of any kind.  If the event that encouraged me to not fry food (since 1989) had been recorded, it would be used as a "What not to do" teaching tool.

My husband and I were living in Dallas at the time, in a neighborhood of cookie cutter homes spaced about 16 feet apart with our son Trevor who was somewhere between 2 and 3 months old at the time.  Breck was at work and I was busy in the kitchen making dinner.  I had never fried chicken before, but knew how much my southern husband loved it, so I was giving it a try for the first time.  While Trevor was napping on a blanket in the next room, I was busy heating 2 inches of oil in a frying pan over high heat.  High heat, people. Do you know what happens when you heat oil in a frying pan over high heat?  It catches fire, of course.  Bad choice #1.

What to do, what to do, what to do?  I grabbed the lid and thought "I'll smoother the fire by taking away its oxygen."  Bad choice #2.  The lid rested on the pan, but didn't cover it completely, so the flames were funneled through a smaller area and shot higher towards my above stove cabinets.

What to do, what to do, what to do?  I left the kitchen, grabbed Trevor, ran out the front door, (Bad choices #3 and 4) past my fire-glowing kitchen window to the neighbor's house, pounded on the door, handed them my baby and asked them to call 911, then ran back home to make my 5th and final bad choice.  I grabbed the flaming pan with lid and moved it to the sink.  My plan was to pour the grease down the drain and cover it with water.  Bad, right?  Luckily, I remembered at the last minute that I should cover the flames with baking soda.  Before the curtains on the window over the sink could catch fire (and before the fire department and paramedics arrived with their call-the-neighbors-to-see-what's-happening sirens blaring), I grabbed my baking soda and had the fire out in seconds.

This, ladies and gentleman, is why I don't fry.  Didn't fry.  After 24 years of being a non-fryer, I broke down and gave it another try.  I  heated my 1 inch of oil on medium high heat and successfully fried some egg rolls.

Am I ready to try fried chicken again?  No.  Not ever.  But the egg rolls were fantastic.