I have gotten over my upper-middle class American fear of frying.
Having watched my Indonesian housemates fry tempeh and tofu for over three months, and having tasted the delicious results, I finally have gained the courage to fry for myself. Last night I made some delicious fries (or chips, to spare the jokes about America and France).
I did, however, wait until everybody had cleared out of the house, as the last thing I wanted was to be ridiculed for any oil spilling or burning. I stood outside at the stove, which is set up on a platform above the dining table on our patio. The chef then looks kind of like a DJ, standing over the two gas burners, surrounded by spices.
There is something extremely satisfying about frying. Soothing, watching the bubbles. Maybe this explains why Yankees are so uptight.
With frying, you don’t lose the element that does the cooking. In fact, you can use it over and over again. And the oil tastes better with each use, like the liquid version of sourdough. So today, when I go home for lunch, I’m going to fire up the wok again. Maybe this time I’ll make an omelette or something else to eat! Or a grilled cheese, as we have recently acquired a toaster.