Growing up, once we moved to Boone, my family was poor. We didn’t ever go without food – but Mom had to be very creative with her shopping and cooking. She is the epitome of frugal. All of us kids take after her in some ways in that frugal sense, although none of us are as financially strapped as our family was back then.
Any way, Dad had a garden, and raised potatoes. I’ve always loved french fries, and Mom discovered she could chop up a potato and fry it for me, and I was as happy as could be. I remember we always had a heavy cast iron pot filled with shortening, that lived on our stove. I was around 7 when she got tired of cooking french fries for me, and taught me how to safely heat up the oil and cook the fries. We had a veg-o-matic that we used to cut the potatoes, although I could rarely push it hard enough – I always had to get someone to do that part for me.
So yes, at 7 years old, I was a fry chef, in charge of a pot of grease on the stove. And yes, more than once it came very close to catching fire. Somehow, I managed not to burn down the house.
Any way, when we moved to our current house, the pot disappeared, and by then everyone was saying that you shouldn’t eat all that fat, so we never replaced it.
But of course, I still ate my fries. I love them. I just went to a restaurant to get them.
Last year, air fryers were all the rage, so I asked for one for my birthday. And of course, my goal was to make french fries in it.
So – drum roll – what did I think of the air fryer?
What I learned is that it does a few things okay. It’s good for reheating fried chicken. I’ve heard it’s good for mondu, and chicken wings. It heats up quicker than an oven, and uses less electricity.
But it’s not good for french fries. They taste a little better than oven fries, but they are not real FRENCH FRIES.
So what the air fryer taught me is that if you really want food that tastes fried – buy a fucking fryer.
That’s what I asked for my birthday this year. I kept the air fryer for a while, to see if I needed it for anything, but I haven’t used it once. So when I went to visit Bridgette, I took it to her, to see if she gets any use out of it.
And what do I think of my new pot of grease? I love it. It has a thermostat, so there’s much less chance of me burning down the house. It holds plenty of french fries. And I can buy a huge bag of frozen fries for $2 at Walmart.
Presto 06006 Kitchen Kettle Multi-Cooker/Steamer – (I may get a kickback if you use this link.)
Plus it’s great for wontons, egg rolls, tater wedges, mushrooms, fried squash, you name it. I use it 2-3 times a week.
I am happy to finally come back to my cooking roots.