Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why I couldn't be a fry cook....

There are infinite reasons why a love of cooking and food have channeled themselves away from the restaurant business.

First, it's hard work. Hot, hard work. Thermogenic challenges came back in startling clarity this afternoon when, out on the back deck, reporter Andy Johns and I were standing over a vat of peanut oil enveloped in the perfume of eau du South.

It's a perfume that seeps into the clothes, invades the occasional workplace, and will no doubt follow me and Andy to our respective homes tonight. Our dogs will be pleased. Family members? They'll point to the shower.

Neither Andy nor I are veteran deep-fat fry cooks. Our first batch of doughnuts went from raw to crispy in seconds because the oil was too hot. (At this point, it should be noted that our usual temperature control man is home this week. I'm about prepping and cooking; I don't know a thing about flamage.)

All told, our experiment in All Things Fried and Wonderful was a success. It was as great day to be outside. I'm all for anything that puts a little zip in the day.

Next week: We'll counteract the grease (seriously, they had to squeegie the back deck) with a nice, spring-inspired salad bar. Homemade dressings, fresh toppings, the best salad greens we can find.

Of course, there's such a thing as fried escarole....