|Christmas Turkey, Canadian Style|
And as I approach the live non-stop Vegas blogging action, sitting here on Air Canada's Air Fuck You Rouge Canada flight 1851, I can't help but think about the recent events back in Flusherville.
We got hit pretty hard by the icicle storm, but not as hard as in 1998, when our power was out for three days. After this experience, I bought one of those portable generators off of Kenny Blankenship from the plant, so I'd be able to blog even during an extended power outage.
The net effect of the expenditure was that once I took delivery of Kenny's generator, we had never had the power go out for any length of time whatsoever. That thing was still in its crate as of last Saturday.
But with the impending frozen doom of the coming icicle storm, I knew it could be bad (and for many Torontonians and other Ontario-a-ans it has been.) We wrestled the Voltblaster 3800 Amp-master out of its shipping carton, and spent an hour attaching doodads, wheels, blender attachment, and a handle to it.
When it came time to test the generator, I couldn't get any joy at all. No matter how much stuff I plugged into it, none of it would light up / run / spin / vibrate / or heat up. I phoned up Kenny and reamed him out good for dumping this piece of crap on me.
Kenny came over and put some gas in the Voltblaster and pulled a handle.
"THERE," he yelled, "YOU SHOULD BE GOOD TO GO."
"WHAT'S THAT NOISE???!!!" I replied.
The long and short of it was that the generator prep, plus the 800 or so feet of outdoor grade extension cords I'd strung through the house, served to prove once again that preparation is better than scrambling around in the dark later. Because our power never went out once, not even for a minute.
And I'm fine with that.
Our super-ultimate (dare I say over-used epic) Vegas trip was looming. And yes, its time to get right on with the degen gamblo-action!!! Yes, this is what I was thinking as we drove up to Ottawa for Christmas.
"You're gonna love this," said my brother-in-law Diesel when we arrived. "C'mon out back and take a look at this!"
"But its -21 frozen fucking degrees Celcuis (or about 0 Fahrenheit) out there!" I whined and also quickly converted for the sake of my primarily U.S.A. based audience.
"This," said Diesel, waving his mittened hands expansively, "is a top quality Chinese built 30 liter Megalon Ultra-Fryer, powered by a propane fed Pratt and Whitney J-2 turbofan jet engine. It generates 66,000 BTUs of thrust!"
Diesel always likes to have the best of whatever the subject of the hour might be, including Ultra-Friers.
"Is it the best?" I asked.
"You better believe it. And we're going to use it to deep fry two Christmas turkeys!" said Diesel. He sort of looked like the Grinch at that moment, with a sly smile, and narrowing eyes.
We put about 6 fire extinguishers at the ready and Diesel poured in the 30 liters of pure Canadian cold-pressed premium Canola oil ("the best-tasting, smoothest, deep frying oil you can get!") and fired up the Megalon Ultra-Fryer's Pratt and Whitney J-2. It's roar pretty much shook the entire neighborhood. Small animals fled. Windows shattered.
When the oil was heated up to the prescribed 9000 degrees Kelvin (approximately the temperature of a star going super nova), I stood back a safe distance (three feet) and watched him lower a rather rudely skewered bird (coat hanger) into the super-heated oil.
"This one's Cajun style! I injected the meat with spices and put my own special rub on it!" shouted Diesel.
I ignored the opportunity to chide him about his 'rub'. He wouldn't have been able to hear me anyway.
Clouds of pure hot grease filled the air and seared my lungs with a disgusting oily stench. It was like breathing pure vaporized super-heated burning canola oil vapor. Actually, it wasn't like that. It WAS that, It reminded me of the snack bar in the Cal. If you've ever played the Shaka 5-way progressive there, you know what I'm talking about.
The ass end of the turkey was sizzling and frying nicely in the oil while the fore end was still sticking out of the pot as Diesel tried to lower it in the rest of the way. Unfortunately, the oil had expanded with the heat or something, and was frothing with the cooking meat, and there was simply too much of it in there. Waves of the stuff cascaded over the gunwales of the fry pot, pooling on the patio under the Megalon, perilously close to the 66,000 BTUs of thrust being generated just above it. If it caught fire, we'd go up like the Christmas Saturn 5.
Diesel stuck to his guns and ploughed the bird into the pot.
"IN FOR A PENNY, IN FOR TWELVE POUNDS!" he shouted with glee. And soon the turkey was submerged!
We froze our asses out there nurturing this thing along and pulled it out successfully at the appropriate time - approximately 17 seconds after putting it in. Bird number two (sour cream and onion flavored!) went in. More oil spilled, this being a bigger fowl than the Cajun one. I kind of hoped it would go up in flames because I could no longer feel my feet, hands, legs, torso, arms or head in the shattering cold, which had dipped down another degree or two for bad measure.
This was about as far from any Vegas Vacation as I could possible imagine.
In actual fact, though, the turkeys turned out really well, and I thought the Cajun one was, err, epic. And really tasty too! In fact, I can't imagine ever eating another turkey without some spices in it.
Christmas over with, ice storm black-out deterred, we got down to business - setting our goals for the upcoming Vegas trip, which you will no doubt want to read about, RIGHT NOW!
But first, our goals for the trip, in Day 1, Part 2.