2008-11-27

Over the river and through the woods...

Two weeks ago, I made my annual pilgrimage to Idaho for Thanksgiving. Along with my Utah residency, it has become part of my holiday routine to get into the car Thursday morning for the lonely three hour schlep, salivating all the way.

It's an interesting drive, mostly because the interstate is a completely different experience. Instead of semis barreling cross-country, it's flotillas of mini-vans and SUVs loaded with children descending on grandma's house in Blackfoot or Rexburg. Occasionally, you'll see one of these Mormon assault vehicles pulled off to the side of road, adults scurrying about frantically. It's quite easy to guess that some sort of bodily fluid emergency has occurred. And then there are the typical car shenanigans, like the little girl who had crawled up on the rear dash and was making fish faces against the glass.

The pinnacle of the Thanksgiving tomfoolery, however, was my father's recent purchase: A TURKEY FRYER, because nothing says Thanksgiving like a medieval apparatus that boils oil to sufficient temperature to cook a bird the size of carry on luggage in under an hour. Of course, any device imbued with such great power must also come with great responsible, and the turkey fryer is no exception. And like a toddler with super powers, the turkey fryer has been known to to do the following in the hands of your average trailer park chef:

This is why the turkey fryer is accompanied with all sort of warnings:
  1. Don't operate the fryer indoors. (For those of you who thought it would be cool to boil 5 gallons of oil on the kitchen stove.)
  2. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry. (Remember how water an oil don't mix? Now picture water and boiling oil.)
  3. Turn off the flame before lowering the turkey into the oil. (See figure above.)
  4. Do not operate the fryer barefoot. (Really?)
Fortunately, we followed the directions, and our frying went without incident. Looking back, though, I must think about what an odd sight it must have been, the three males of the household, my father in a lawn chair, solemnly gathered around the aluminum pot that contained our Thanksgiving. Rest assured, also, that frying does nothing to diminish the turkey's tryptophan content. I was still quite able to sleep through the football game.