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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sound and fury: Choosing the music is part of the ritual

I'm going to be posting a lot about the turkey frying tomorrow this night and into the morning. Partly, it's to share any experience or bits of wisdom I've picked up along the way that has to do with this. Although I've been frying for three years, I spent three years before that just reading up on it, and trying to convince myself that I really could do something this crazy. And partly, it's because for me this really has become an exquisite form of art. Turkey frying is really the only thing that we here in America have that's comparable to the Japanese art of preparing fugu. Unless you consider that if you mess fugu up, you don't usually burn up everything around you in the process...

Three years into our marriage and, I think this has become the first real tradition of our own little family. Someday my own son might want to try this, and I'll be there, showing him how to clean the bird, how to inject it with marinade, and then how to prepare the fryer and drop it into the oil. Something like carving the Thanksgiving turkey, only much more unforgiving of mistakes. This is going to be a "coming of age" ritual, a thing that marks passage into manhood, sorta. I think of myself as a pretty good fryer, and someday I will pass it on to those that will follow. Something like how my Dad has passed along the art of making knives to me (although I'm NOWHERE near as good as Dad :-)

Anyway, this tradition has already developed into a certain ritual that must be followed. I always wear my long-sleeved denim shirt. Always have on a good pair of boots. I wear hat and sunglasses while doing this. And there is always some background music blaring from the speakers of my car's stereo system.

In 2002 it was the soundtrack for The Fellowship of the Ring. In 2003 and 2004 I used the soundtrack for The Return of the King. Tonight I decided that in keeping with the theme of flames and searing heat, and that this being 2005, I am going to fry my birds to the soundtrack from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. By the time it comes to "Battle of the Heroes" it should REALLY be coming along good, with those blasts of steam impregnated with the smell of marinade rising from the fryer.

Okay, off to watch Lost while the garlic butter sets in. More later.