Friday, December 01, 2006

Turkey on Fire


So, it's been a while since I've written. Sue me.

I'd like to spend some time today talking about the flash point of peanut oil. But wait...I'm getting ahead of myself. First, some background. Yeah, that's right. Strap on in.

The Thanksgiving holidays this year were something else. It seems every time I have some days off, I end up working for some other company. This time was no exception. I was in the middle of helping a company migrate their wide-area network onto a Metro E so decided that Thanksgiving day would be a good time to finish up, what with them being a bank and being closed and all. My original thoughts were to spend maybe 2 hours on this and then be freed up for the rest of the holiday.

As I have no real family in the area, it was decided that we would spend turkey day with Lynn’s Aunt Eleanor, a very lovely and gracious lady that I met last year. The “plan” (note the quotation marks) was for everyone to get together and eat at 11:00. Since I usually fry a turkey for Thanksgiving, this would involve me getting up at around 6:00am to fry turkeys, get everything packed up, drive two hours to Eleanor’s and have dinner. Then, go to my client’s and fix the network. Perfect! Except that on Wednesday night I was told the time had changed to 4:00pm.

At this point, I should have heard the Gods begin to snicker and known more fun was coming. I ignored them. Stupid mortal.


So, Lynn and I drove down Wednesday night, I changed my network plans to 8:00 am Thursday morning, and carried all of my turkey frying paraphernalia with me. This includes pot, burner, propane, tongs, lifters, injections, turkeys, oil, and assorted and sundry spices and what-nots. Oh, and the dog. Ain't he cute?

Thursday morning. Or as I like to remember it as “The Day Hell Came to Flora”. I won’t even go into how things went with the bank. Suffice it to say, I got there at 8:00 am and left at 4:30 pm. Get the picture?

So, I’m rushing to Aunt Eleanor’s house. I arrive, and everyone is there. I hurredly setup my fryer because I, stupidly it seems, believe that everyone is waiting on my delicious fried turkey. Naturally, I was wrong. Again, that tell-tale snicker from the heavens.

I measure the oil, light the flame and of course, I'm short on oil. For those of you who are not from here, Flora is in the country. I don't mean "Liberty Land is right up the road" country, but "oh my God, what is that man doing to that poor animal" country. But John, erstwhile bud and Lynn's bro-in-law, offers to go get more.

In the two hours he's gone, I decide to go ahead and heat the oil I have in anticipation of his return with the goods. Of course, there is a huge spread already in place so I go in and out of the house, alternating between snacking on the yummy's and checking my oil temperature.

Back to my original thought: the flash point of peanut oil. For you groovy science type people, you'll remember that the flash point for peanut oil is around the happy temperature of 670° F. With too little oil, a 54,000 BTU burner and no wind, this apparently was obtained in very short order.

My last check of the oil presented me with a fire. In my pot. Of oil. In the country. All I could do was turn around, go back inside, help myself to more ham and let folks know that the turkey frying had been postponed. Right about that time, John showed up with the extra oil. Oh, goody.

Ever been presented with three gallons of burning oil? It's amazing how fast your brain shuts off. At least ten adults stood around this thing, thinking "How the hell do we put this out?" So, we did what any rational person would do: we tossed powdery things at it. Salt. Baking Powder. Someone suggested flour, but I thought that would just make a roux, and it would only make us want gumbo or something.

Someone came out with a fire extinguisher. As an aside, I'm always amazed at people who have these in their house. I don't think I'd ever remember to pick one up along with my Coco-Krispies and bagels. Anyway, we spray the thing. Fire gets bigger. And now stinks to no end. The Gods are laughing so hard they're crying. Bastards.

Finally, Matt (family member) suggests a lid. Damn him.

Lid goes on, fire goes out. But there's more to this story...but I'm out of time at the moment. More later.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Hahahahahahaha haven't laughed this hard in a while. If the Gods put their eye on you again anytime soon, make sure to post it.
-Stephen