Oh Lisa, your lovely writing always make me want to post. (And a sonnet?! Oh my gosh! Such untapped talent! Reader, you may be reading the work of a future Poet Laureate.) Yes, we will be joint posting soon. And yes, I also have food stories to tell (although admittedly less than Lisa because I don't have daily access to a kitchen this year).
Okay, so if you must know something about me, it's that I really like fried things. Can I emphasize this enough? Fried things are so good, so hot and crunchy and golden. I'm not sure where this affinity came from; I wouldn't say we ate a preponderance of fried things at home when I was little. That said, I've never been discouraged from eating lots of fried things (thanks for the everlasting search for the perfect fried chicken, Mom. I appreciate that a lot.) Sometimes it's hard being me in a health-crazed California. All the salad really gets to me sometimes.
Last night at my old apartment my friends Donna and Cindy decided to make samosas. They even made their own dough (courtesy of Manjula...you are awesome), and I was very proud. I didn't partake in the making of the little triangular pieces of goodness, but after dinner we were sitting around, eating cookies and I noticed that we had a lot of leftover oil from the samosas. What to do?
I decided in the spirit of my unabashed love for fried everything that we should fry the rest of the cookies. After I whipped up a quick batter, Donna also brought out all this candy she had been stashing, and so we fried that too. Basically, it was a mini-state fair in the Castle, and it was a very good night. Of particular note was the fried peanut butter cup...and the fried M&M's. Seriously!! Frying M&M's is such a joy. (A big plus is that some of the color starts to leak into the batter while coating them and then with the leftover batter you can make rainbow fritters/hush puppies! Am I obsessed?)
Fried things aren't particularly photogenic (probably the lack of color), but they are certainly tasty, especially with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. Moral of the story: don't be scared to fry things because otherwise you are just missing out on life. Moderation is key...every other day should do it. Kidding, maybe.
Fried dough batter*:
1 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 c. milk
oil for frying
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Combine the milk mixture with the flour mixture and stir. Coat fryable items of your choosing (we used Sandies cookies, the shortbread with the chocolate in the middle and several kinds of chocolate candy. This gets as good as you want it to be.) Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat; you know it is ready for frying when little bubbles form around a wooden chopstick inserted in the middle of the pan (credit to Mom for that trick). Fry on one side until golden, then flip; drain on paper towels. Eat until your stomach threatens mutiny.
*funny thing about this recipe: I tried to research online for batter recipes, and Epicurious was giving me a lot of trouble (i.e. they do not approve of such things by the noticeable lack of recipes on this topic on their site.) So this is from Emeril...your television personality may be more than slightly annoying, but you are superior to Epicurious in my book right now!
**the photo is beyond craptastic, I know. I took it with my camera phone because I didn't have my digital camera on me, and I could not let this event of monumental historical significance pass undocumented. One day I will embrace the whole food photography movement but until then...go fry things!