There’s a history of deep-fry discussions in my life. That link shows you how Fred discovered that Eric’s deep-fry hamburger theory was true. Chris’s nickname is due to the fact that he once ate a hamburger topped with a wheel of deep-fried cheese. The combination of those two facts once spurned this conversation, where we successfully grossed each other out to the point where Eric and I broke up, Chris and Allison moved away and got married, and we never spoke of deep-fried basketballs again. I tend to take out-of-towners to Lulu’s Blue Plate Special just to sample the deep-fried Twinkie, prompting letters such as this:
You are the first official winner of the Blynch Person of the Week Award. This honor has been bestowed upon you because of your recent recommendation that Blynch get a fried twinkie while in LA. Blynch was stated as saying “Wow” and even “Yum” after eating the wonderful delicacy. We do apologize that we have no monetary reward to go with this great honor, but knowing you are the first to receive it should be greater than any amount of money would could afford to give you. Thank you and congratulations,
The Blynch Association
PS. Blynch was also quoted as saying “Great show.”
I can’t find it right now, but I once got an email from a TWoP fan, thanking me for suggesting the place in a recap).
So the question usually arises: Is there anything that can’t be deep-fried and made better?
(I put that in the Sex and the City bold in honor of Sunday’s craptacular episode. Don’t tell me there are only eight left and then give me one that looks like it was written by someone who had never watched a single episode before.)
So. The question. After the initial inevitable jokes about deep-fried couches and deep-fried deep-fry, we do come up with serious suggestions. People agree that most things can and will be improved by introducing the element of hot grease, but I have always had one sticking point.
You cannot deep-fry citrus.
Apples, bananas, pickles, tomatoes, most veggies, all taste fine with a coating of batter and a few minutes in a fry-daddy. I do believe I’ve sampled most vegetables in their deep-fried state somewhere in the South (and I think every single one at Chris and Allison’s rehearsal dinner, prompting another conversation of deep-fried wonder with stee, Eric, Chris, Anna Beth, Vince and others, including semi-strangers who wondered why Al had such weird LA friends (holding a cell phone at any point during the weekend made you one of those LA people).) I suppose a deep-fried avocado would…
…be delicious. I just imagined it. Mmm. Dip it in cheese.
Anyway, Brian and Andy, also known as the brothers K, have had separate arguments with me, insisting that deep-fried citrus would be delicious. Apparently BK once deep-fried a lemon, and loved it. He makes this hand gesture as he describes it, which means he delicately sliced the lemon so thin that he was probably eating the equivalent of the lemon-soaked breaded crumbs after fish and chips.
All of this is to say that we rang in the new year settling the score.
Kevin had brought up Snickers bars and batter, and was prepared to treat us with deep-fried candy bars. Brian is allergic to peanuts, which gave us the opportunity to pick another candy bar (just realized: Deep fried Sweet Tarts or Nerds, or any other pure sugar confection would probably not taste good after a meeting with a fry-daddy). Brian wanted a Twix, but Todd insisted that the cookie ruins the deep-fry, and makes it fall apart. By “insisted” I mean that Todd kind of yelled at us and overturned his chair on his way to get another Guiness, wiping a tear from the corner of one eye.
People tend to get passionate about deep-frying.
Brian and I insisted that the deep-fried Twix would be most delicious indeed, but as a back-up, Brian requested a Mars-type bar.
The deep-fried Snickers bars, while good, were cold in the center from the fridge, and felt like attempting to eat seven meals at once. This might be because Kevin bought king-size bars, and after two bites (you couldn’t really bite into it, because of the cold center, but rather slide off a piece of chocolate batter, which was truly delicious), people were pushing the plates to the side, wondering how the Twix bar will turn out. For those of you who want to duplicate this situation, the film showing on your television must be Lake Placid.
The Twix bar was delicious, probably due to the fact that it was much smaller than the king-sized Snickers bars, and therefore felt like something you could conceivably eat without causing permanent damage to your arteries.
But I wasn’t done yet. The room was quickly filling up with smoke, giving all of us that lingering smell deep in our clothes of a car that takes one trip a day to McDonald’s. You know that smell, that oily, fry smell that stays on a person all the time? We were starting to gross ourselves out. (The smell never left the room, by the way, so if you’re going to try your own deep-fry festival, please make sure you have plenty of ventilation. I had to wash one pair of jeans twice to get the stank out.)
But what’s a new year without getting proven correct on the very first day? Why even have 2004 at all if I can’t be right immediately off the bat? So, I ran to the other cabin and retrieved a banana and an orange (Thank you, vegetarian people, for providing us with fun. Sorry we used your carrots to feed the horses. Hope you don’t get scurvy).
We deep-fried the banana first, which was the dirtiest thing Kevin has ever done, I’m sure. It was good, but better when smeared in melted chocolate.
Oh, man. That was good. Mmmm. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Brian was already making excuses about the deep-fried orange. He insisted that I wasn’t removing enough of the white rind stuff (he had a name for it, but I can’t remember), and that it would make the deep-fried orange bitter.
This is exactly why I said a deep-fried orange wouldn’t work. It would taste bitter, and be juicy, and generally be an explosion of nasty in your mouth.
I forgot to mention the sentence Brian would repeat, in this “The defense rests” kind of manner. Ready? “What about orange chicken?”
As in the Chinese food. Stee had the answer for that. “First of all, there’s no orange in orange chicken. It’s not even really the color orange. And you’re deep-frying chicken, not an orange. And even if you want to call that chemical covering the deep-fried chicken ‘orange,’ you’d have to admit that the orange goo isn’t deep-fried, it’s applied to the chicken after deep-frying.”
Brian: “And it’s delicious.”
We dropped the entire orange into the pot of oil, even though Brian warned us that it would explode and shoot oil into our eyes (it didn’t). We took it out and tried to cut it, but most of the orange was raw inside, and it looked like an orange with a batter covering (except there was raw batter throughout the inside of the orange, dripping white and scaring us). Brian insisted we only deep-fry a wedge at a time. So I deep-fried a triangle of orange, and pulled it out.
Before you eat it, all deep-fried food looks wonderful. This looked like an empanada.
I don’t know how he tricked me, but somehow I was the one taking the first bite of deep-fried orange.
Imagine hot orange juice trapped inside a corn dog. Hot as lava, by the way. I spit everything into the sink, and told Brian he had no choice but to take the next bite.
Clearly I wasn’t the only one who wanted to be right in 2004. “Not so bad,” Brian said, nodding his head.
Stee, who didn’t have nearly as much fight in him as I thought he would for this experiment, said, “You are a liar.”
“You want to try it?” I asked stee.
“Of course not.”
“Don’t you want to deep-fry something?”
“I smell so bad I want to cry.”
The vegetarian spoke up. “It’s terrible. But what’s kind of nice is a warm orange. I like the orange part of it.”
“Why are you eating it?”
“I feel bad for the orange.”
We closed out the evening by deep-frying a spoon.
- The Basic Eight, by Daniel Handler. Only in looking this book up on Amazon did I learn that this man is also Lemony Snicket, a name I typed seven hundred and eleven times last year. Also, accidentally, this is my third high school misfit/journal-type book in a row.
- Carrie Pilby, by Caren Lissner. There’s a recurring bit about Carrie loving new socks. This week I haven’t been able to find any of my socks. Just about a half hour ago I was doing laundry and found in the dryer an entire load of socks, underwear and undershirts. I celebrated like I had won the panty lottery.
Abandoned: In America, by Susan Sontag. I realized I was forcing myself to read this, and not actually enjoying it.