Sunday, November 12, 2006

Debra - Turkey Schmurkey

First let me say I'm reeling. Appalled. Horrified.

For years, I've been happily sending my husband out to fry a turkey for the holidays. Sounded a little odd when he first suggested one, but he assured me that the bird would be moist and have a fabulous crisp skin. Sure enough! It did! There was much cheering all around and we retired the roasting pan. My hubby does the cooking and I'm very happy with that whole dynamic. Or I was.

Today I've watched a "Good Eats" program (all about frying turkey) with Alton Brown, FootNetwork guru. After fifteen solid minutes of...

"This is dangerous."
"Don't do this."
"Whatever you do don't do this." (Firemen were standing by.)
"Check that."
"Don't get that equipment."
"Especially don't get this stand."
"Make sure you don't set up here, here, here or here."
"Not there either."
"Wrap your propane hose in aluminum foil."
"Unless you want to become Johnny the human torch, don't do this."

There was more, but you get the point. I've been trying to kill my husband for years.

On the bright side, I know how to tell how much gas is left in a propane tank. His response to my very calm and serious suggestion that maybe we shouldn't fry turkeys anymore was...
"Honey! Food is always better when there's danger involved! I've probably broken every one of Alton's rules at least once, some of 'em more than that. But, the good news is, I see new turkey frying gear in my future."

He rates recipes based on their danger quotient? When did cooking become a contact or adventure sport? For those of you who don't understand my concern, keep in mind that this man once set our kitchen on fire while cooking. A real fire. Complete with firemen and axes for chopping into walls.

Men are from Mars; we all know that. And I used to be thrilled that my Martian cooked. Now, I confess to being a tiny bit worried. And I'm checking prices on light-weight abestos suits in a men's XL.

Do the men in your life enjoy danger cooking? Are they passing this tradition on to their sons? How do we stop them or do we just buy them the safest gear available and tell 'em to go for it?


Helen Brenna said...

Deb, I've heard of deep frying a turkey - apparently you sink the bird in a vat of hot oil - but I've never before heard of "frying" a turkey.

Inquiring minds want to know ... Does your DH actually flame it with a torch? How long does it take to cook?

Oh, and my vote is ... don't ruin his fun! Or the great deal you've got going!

Candace said...

I come from a family where the men all cook. My father and brothers all have been, or are currently, in the restaurant business. So I grew up thinking cooking was just something men did. Except that my husband doesn't. Oh, he has his specialities. Toasted English Muffins with peanut butter, hot chocolate, old-fashioned oatmeal, air-popped corn loaded with butter and salt, a great cup of coffee, and... well, that's it. The sum total of his cooking skills.

When we use the grill (propane), he turns it on but I hand him the meat and tell him when to put it on, when to turn it over, and when to take it off.

Fortunately, he has other skills.

Debra Dixon said...

Helen-- This is the "deep frying" you're familiar with. Big vat of peanut oil. (low smoke point and neutral flavor) I think it cooks in like 4 minutes per pound so a 15 lb bird cooks up in 60 minutes. Something like that. Very quick and doesn't heat the house up because it's done outside.

Debra Dixon said...

Candace- My experience was the opposite. The men in my family were waited on hand-and-foot when it came to food and laundry. They wouldn't starve if left alone but they much preferred cooking as a spectator sport. Daddy would bring home the bacon and duck and brim and croppie and other edible creatures and fish but Momma always cooked 'em. As an impressionable young girl, I just tried not to think about what I was eating.

When given the chance, I married a man who didn't hunt and who cooked store bought food!

Helen Brenna said...

Flame it with a torch!! LOL Am I an idiot or what?

vodka and cigarettes said...

The men in my family expect me to chew the food and spit it in their mouths.


Honestly, that's not much of an exaggeration.

Betina Krahn said...

Deb, now I can't keep from thinking of all the great plot possibilities there are in deep frying turkeys! What a way to kill a nasty husband! Death by deep-fried turkey!

And Candace, how cool that the men in your family all cook. Most of the men in my family can barely make a sandwich if they're starving. . . which led me to teach both of my sons to cook. Both cook regularly, but one has turned out to be the chief cook and bottle washer of his household. Amazing. When it came to the bridal registry, HE did the walk-through at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Rex, however, cooks. Mostly southern style. However, he has recently been converted to low carb for health reasons and is working hard to convert to healthier ways. He loves to barbeque and I just refuse to look at the grill afterward. That's his pervue; I'm the salad and fresh veggie maven.

And V&C. . . you have my sympathies, girl. Have you tried buying them a gadget or two to trick them into cooking? Men usually love gadgets. . .

:) Betina

Uncle MDM said...

Of course, there is another side to it. Extreme danger exists in some kitchens for merely suggesting to help with HER job!