You Can't Deep Fry Water
I was minding my own business the other day, just reading some tweets and doing a little acting, when I came upon a missive about someone having done something stupid with fire. I do not recall what this was, but it got me thinking about stupid shit I have done and seen (and helped cover up - don’t lie, you have too). So anyway, I figured I would ask if anyone would be willing to share their own experiences making mistakes large and small while trying to produce comestibles for themselves and / or other humans to consume.
From my position as a keen observer of human behavior and as a guy who really doesn’t give much of a shit why other people do what other people do as long as they don’t bother me or hurt anybody while doing it, I’m going to tell some tales and provide reporting based on my research into the subject.
OK, here’s the ‘research’ I did:
Several people answered that tweet, and I will give each of them the floor in the space that follows. You’ll observe that I used the hashtag #DeepFriedWater. I did not know there had been a previous use of that tag until I searched it so I could make sure I had all the tweets replying about my ‘research’ tweet. There was an actual thing a while back. I didn’t read up on it because it seems pretty stupid to me.
Before I get into the things other people told me about, let me go first with a stupid thing I recently did. It’s only right that I confess to my own stupidity up front, lest it appear I’m trying to dish it out but unwilling to take it.
A few weeks ago, I had decided I would bake a couple chicken leg quarters for dinner. As I waited for the chicken to thaw, I decided to have an aperitif. OK, a 12-pack of aperitifs. I was quite hungry by the time the protein was ready to go. I was also pretty well in my cups, three sheets to the wind, God’s own Cooter Brown… I was drunk. But I got the bird prepped and into the oven. And then I promptly fell asleep. The smoke alarm woke me up.
Two morals: 1. Don’t cook drunk. 2. Always ensure your smoke alarm battery is serviceable.
If I come up with any more disasters I’ve had that I’m willing to cop to, I’ll include them later.
Now, on to my obliging correspondents and the things they admitted. Mistakes were made.
A few of the usual suspects made multiple appearances. Disasters while deep frying turkey, the hazards of making roux (aka ‘Cajun napalm’), bacon grease spillage, and cooking while drunk were all mentioned. Then there were some unexpected examples, such as the exploding can of baked beans and the also exploding Pyrex casserole and finally, a naked lady and the husband who may not have seen her that way since this incident.
First up is @Iamdynomite1969 with a story about a bird going for a swim:
That sounds very painful. I was reminded of this when I read Alex’s #AskAlex a couple days later. I thought about Tom’s tweet as I read her explanation of ‘sunk costs.’ I’ve never fried a turkey, but I’ve eaten fried turkey and I’ve been there when turkey was being fried. But even if I liked turkey and ever wanted to fry one for reasons I cannot envision, I’m just not sure I’d have stuck it out after my arms started cooking.
Another turkey frying response came from @punkerboy7, and he seems to have taken the old Lewis Grizzard advice to heart: “Damn brother, I don’t believe I’d have told that.”
Next up, sometimes we rue the roux day. Seems our own @molratty had a bad experience:
First, we’re all very happy you survived the ordeal, Mo. Roux truly earns its nickname. I mean, it’s very hot and made of glue. Roux is no laughing matter. It is, however, absolutely essential to cooking a lot of stews and such down around my region. Growing up in the vicinity of Mobile Bay, I could probably make roux before I could make a PB&J. And I salute you for wanting to bring the bayou to Sconnie. Now, if you could send some cheese curds down here…
This tweet from @leeharvey418 doesn’t indicate there was any conflagration or injury. It just makes me happy (and I like the song referenced). It also points up the magic that is roux and why we go to the trouble of dealing with all that danger:
Two sticks of butter will make a lot of roux. Buttery, tan-to-mahogany, delicious roux.
There is little more immediately panic inducing in a kitchen than a grease fire. @The_Kat_Roars tells of such a situation:
Glad to hear the bacon was still good, Kat. And that y’all were still there to eat it. Note: I do not recommend using flour to extinguish a fire. It can flash, which could cause a bigger problem than you already have. But fire causes panic. A dangerous servant indeed.
Our friend @elbh sacrificed a Pyrex casserole to the kitchen gods. Well, her husband did:
I’m guessing the food was not terrific in that particular case. A bit crunchier than expected in any case.
And @fyvie2 learned about pressure cookers, but not in a good way:
I don’t have anything to say about that. Guessing Jeff’s heard it all by now anyway.
And finally, @cdrusnret tells of the time he left the house and… well, let’s let him tell it:
I realize that isn’t technically a tale about “cooking,” but there’s a naked lady involved so I had to share it. (Glad everything came out OK, man. Although I’m guessing you can’t exactly say the same for yourself. :))
Finally, ‘cooking while drunk’ got an additional endorsement from Charlie (who seems to have blown up a house), and ‘at least 15’ from Sheepdog (who is considering writing a Drunk Cookbook). Endorsing things not to do, I mean. Of course that’s what I mean.
I haven’t thought of any other pertinent disasters I have caused in a (home) kitchen. I did once accidentally set a motorcycle on fire (it was mine), but it had nothing to do with cooking so I won’t tell that one here. I’m also not sure if the statute of limitations is up.
Stay safe out there,
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.