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I leave it to stand for a minute or two to drain and while I’m waiting chuck some sprouts into the oil, figuring that a good deep-fry can hardly harm their prospects. Because deep-frying must be performed outside and in the open, any rain or snow would be an insurmountable problem (quick recap: water and hot oil are a no-no).However, my initial delight at what I have produced takes a knock when other members of the family see it in all its glory. ’, my horrified eight-year-old daughter exclaims, reversing out of the room. It’s like a perfectly-timed oven-roasted turkey — after all it’s only the outside of the bird that comes into contact with the oil. And while the cooking time is shorter than using an oven, there’s quite a bit of preparation involved.
With this one I’m trusting on time — but, if you’re doing this at home, to be doubly sure, you could use a meat thermometer as well. When I winch the turkey out, it certainly looks like it’s had enough — its skin is brown and almost crisp to the touch.(Out of interest I saw you guys throwing your axes around — did you hunt your turkey down yourselves and then pin it down with an axe? If there is a good bit of water or marinade still sitting in the cavity of the bird, it will explode.’Buoyed by his advice, I set up my kit outside.As well as the danger of over-heated oil, another major risk is over-spill on to the flame beneath.Then it’s on with the burner — 20 minutes being enough to get the temperature up to 350f.Next, extremely tentatively, I lower in the turkey, immersing it inch by inch.But there is another reason we haven’t taken the deep-fried route, and it is one that dawns on me only after I take the first step on the process.
Popping a turkey in the oven is easy and is also, as things go, pretty safe.Both are generally unexceptional and unworthy of the time it takes to prepare and over-cook them.And, yet, like an episode of Antiques Roadshow, their familiar blandness is strangely life-affirming.This can happen if there is too much oil in the drum when the turkey is lowered into it.Having dried the drum and the turkey I now add oil up to the mark, knowing it will be the perfect amount.First off I need a pot large enough to handle the big bird.