November 23, 2009
Fried Turkey and Beer
Exactly ten years ago this week, I was living in Dallas, TX and was introduced to the serendipitous culinary wonder that is...fried turkey. My (then) co-worker and (now) good friend Charles Mangan, a guy who grew up in the restaurant business, gave me my training. Ten years later, I'm proud to say I've raised up a whole new stable of turkey fryers here in the northwest.
For most anyone in the south, the likelihood of having fried turkey for Thanksgiving is about 50/50 compared to the baked variety. For much of the rest of the country, however, turkey frying is only something we know about through some unfortunate hillbilly YouTube video where the immediate aftermath is a burning house, and the prequel to the disaster is something along the lines of "Hey guys...watch this!"
Now, there are certainly risks associated with frying a turkey, especially when copious amounts of alcohol are injected into the mix. While my cousins and I enjoy a couple brewskis wile standing around the boiling cauldron of spattering oil, we also let common sense be the overriding factor in our decisions, ensuring no bad blood between family members over such insignificant issues as 3rd degree burns and towering infernos.
For those of you unfamiliar with the fried turkey phenomenon, let me first say this: We typically have one fried turkey and one baked turkey on my aunt's Thanksgiving table. The fried turkey is attacked in a manner not unlike the velociraptors attached the cow in "Jurassic Park". There's basically a ribcage and a few scattered bones left when the dust settles. The baked turkey? Well, it looks pretty, but it just collects the dust that settles after the battle for the fried turkey.
We've got three turkeys on the slate to be fried Thursday. One for Thanksgiving dinner, and one each for my cousin's family and my family for the rest of the weekend. At about 3 - 3 1/2 minutes per pound in the fryer, we can cook three turkeys in less time than it takes to bake just one of them. Most importantly, the taste is out of this world. Truly the most flavorful and tender meat you've ever sampled.
What will be on your table Thursday? In addition to the gluttony typically associated with Thanksgiving, please remember the real reason we get together with family and friends; to give thanks for all we've been blessed with. A friend of mine sent me an e-mail a few days ago that drives home the point:
80% of the world's population lives in poverty
70% of the world's population is illiterate
50% of the world's population suffers from hunger and malnutrition
If you have a full refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep each night, you are wealthier than 75% of the world's population.
If you currently have money in the bank, in your wallet, and a few coins in your purse, you are better off than 92% of the world's population.
Knowing all this, seems kind of silly to complain about what we DON'T have, huh?
From all of us at Proficient Note Buyers, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Give thanks, enjoy the time with family and friends, and BE HAPPY!
Have a blessed week.
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