When last we saw our Crafty Cat, he was struggling against the valiant fisherman in our first episode of this story. If you so desire, please browse back to that post. This next episode will see ole Crafty slipping out of his skin and into something far more comfortable... the frying pan. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll likely vote on Thursday as this is my entry for another day in the life of yeahwrite.me.
After successfully removing his winter coat, the remainder of the process is about going all Queen of Hearts "off with his head" and removing all the inedible parts, ewwwww.
Now, at the tender young age of teenager, I can't say that I had a recipe for cooking anything, but I knew that everyone else had always talked about beer battered and deep fried catfish. With that in mind, I set forth to creating a side-dish-less masterpiece of culinary design. With my buddy Mike at my side we set to pouring beer in a dish and putting some flour in another dish and some oil about an inch deep in a pan on the stove. Clearly a well thought out recipe for success.
As I said, I was fairly green in the culinary arts, so I took my time preparing my prep and cooking areas. I knew I wanted some nice hot oil to deep fry the fish and set out to achieve that. I had filled a deep saucepan with about and inch or so of Wesson canola oil. I had it covered and the electric burner on medium. You're convinced now that Julia Child has taken over my blog, I know! I've got you snowed with my cooking acumen for sure.
Before I began to batter the filets, I decided to make final checks of all the cooking bases.
I've got beer, check!
I've got flour, with just a hint of oregano, because everything tastes better with a little bit of the Italian O...check!
I've got filets of catfish, check!
I've got a pan of oil warming on the stove, check!
Wow, was I feeding it.
Crap! (*other words may have been used at the time and in the "heat" of the moment.
What do I do now? Stop, drop, and roll? No, that's if I am on fire. Fire Extinguisher, yeah...I don't know if we have one of those.
So I went all primal. Campfires... "Boy scout water" makes them bigger, but you always have a bucket of regular water on hand in case the fire gets out of hand.
Fire.... Water.... And there is a sink conveniently within pivot distance from the stove....
FIRE!Why don't they teach you about grease fires in the boy scouts? You see there is some sort of molecular bonding that takes place as the fire is fed by the oil and the oxygen and when water is added to it, the water and the oil bond like Katy Perry and Russell Brand on Twitter, and then the fire evaporates the water forming this fiery, oily steam that is no longer trapped by gravity in the pan. I had given my fire wings!
Like the steam in the bathroom, this fiery steam clings to the ceiling and to the cabinets and to the poor hanging plants over the sink.
So as the blink of an eye passed, my mom's kitchen had been engulfed in flames from the sink, the ceiling, the cabinets, the poor hanging plants, seemingly everything. At that point I did what any rational teenager would do after a split second of thought.
I abandoned ship. Still clutching the pan of flames, I ran through the dining area, the living room and out the front door. I pitched the pan onto the front lawn and made sure that Mike had followed me out.
Why I had taken a route through all the more lived areas and not out the back door or through the garage is a mystery. I'm sure it had a lot to do with doors I could manage with one hand while watching a burning pan of oil. Besides at that point, I was sure I had burned the house down and self-preservation was epically forefront in my mind. Besides, the garage has cans of gas and stuff, I wasn't stupid!
In a stroke of pure luck, the fire burned as long as there was oil coating the cabinets, ceiling and house plants. By the time I had made the front door, the fire in the kitchen was burning itself out. Though singed and charred a nice black color, the kitchen had survived the onslaught.
The houseplants not so much.
I survived telling my mom.
I never did eat the filets from that catfish.
The reminder burn mark in the lawn lasted almost a year.
As an aside, the following simple solutions were offered as better resolutions to the fire, other than the obvious "don't put water on a grease fire" (thanks to all that weighed in with that one, especially those who felt the need to add "everyone knows that you..." on the front.)
1. Cover the pan again and remove it from the heat.
2. Put baking soda on it. (what? are we making cupcakes?)
3. ALWAYS have a working fire extinguisher on hand.
4. Optionally, don't let teenage boys cook without supervision.
This has been a public service message.
Once again hitting up the YeahWrite since