I love fried foods but I hate actually frying things. The snap-crackle of hot oil strikes terror into my very soul. My husband generally gets assigned to any sort of frying that must be done for dinner.
So when I saw a small deep fryer--with a LID!!--at the grocery store, I bought it. The lid goes over the oil while things are cooking, so the oil can't pop out and hurt me. Consequently, I've become a lot less fearful of frying things, and have made delicious calamari and fried shrimp in it so far. Byrd has also enjoyed the deep fryer because he gets to show off his fryer knowledge; apparently when he was a youngster he spent a little time as a fry cook at a fast food restaurant.
And I didn't know this, but according to the deep fryer manual, the oil can be kept in the fryer and reused over and over. However, the instructions also said that to keep the oil in best condition, I should strain out the food particles.
The deep fryer manual said to use a paper filter to strain the oil, but we'd already been to several stores and turned up nothing paper-like except coffee filters. So Byrd and I went to a local kitchen store and got a metal strainer with teeny tiny holes. I agonized quite a bit over the purchase because I wasn't convinced that the strainer would really clean the oil.
Byrd, who had been the proponent of this particular strainer (I'd been considering a smaller one), was apparently intensely curious to see if it would work--to have his purchase choice vindicated. I think that's why, when I asked if he would help me strain the oil, a potentially messy chore that he would ordinarily turn down, he readily agreed. He wanted to receive praise for his good choice if it worked out.
So we were both excited to make dirty oil into clean oil and see how well the strainer would work. I put the strainer over the sink and Byrd poured, and we were both pleased to see that all the little chunks of fried dough from the shrimp and calamari got caught by the strainer.
"Wow, that strainer works great! The oil is so clean!" I exclaimed as we watched the oil slide through the strainer.
Then Byrd and I both realized simultaneously that we'd forgotten to put a container under the strainer to catch the cleaned oil. The clean oil we were admiring snaked across the bottom of our sink and oozed down the drain--leaving us with a strainer full of greasy fried crumbles.
I don't think we've laughed that hard in quite a while.