I have met the devil.
I lost the battle for my soul.
It doesn't look like much, sitting on the island surrounding the cooktop.
It's small and light and easy to lift.
The handle tilts up and out of the way.
There's even a plastic lid to keep the used oil from sloshing over the sides when the machine is stored.
The cord goes in one way, and one way only, and I made sure that it couldn't be pulled out inadvertently.
The instructions were quite clear.
This was a dangerous piece of machinery.
If only they knew just how dangerous it was.
I found a recipe for Faux Cronuts on-line.
It was right up my alley - open a package, deep fry, dip in sugar/cinnamon mix, eat.
The fact that the package had two boxtops for Prince Elementary School's collection box just added to the joy..... as if it needed any enhancement from external sources.
I'm a carb-aholic.
Sweets don't do much for me.
I've never eaten chocolate - not a candy bar nor a bite of ice cream nor a wrapped-in-foil square.
It holds no allure.
But breads... wheat and rye and seeded and loaves and rolls and slices and muffins... they make me smile.
Raynor's in Baldwin was my favorite restaurant when I was young; their fried chicken was mostly crust and little meat. I loved it.
Big Cuter blames his obsession with grease on my pre-natal habits while he shared his living space with me. McDonald's french fries (at least once, sometimes twice, often three times every day) is seeded in his genetic makeup.
I don't apologize for any of it.
I'm just stating facts.
I knew that Cronuts recipe would be trouble.
I made the first batch with Carapelli's Light Olive Oil in a deep Reverware pot.
It called for four inches of oil.
That's a whole bottle and a little bit more.
The tube of dough wouldn't open, no matter how hard I knocked it on the counter's edge.
My stick-a-knife-through-the-packaging technique left me with some very interesting shapes in addition to the pre-cut triangles included by Pillsbury.
It didn't matter.
They fried up quite nicely, and we didn't mind long strips instead of round-ish faux donuts.
They were awesome.
We dipped the first batch in a mixture of granulated sugar and cinnamon, but TBG had a taste for something even sweeter, softer, dreamier.
He wondered if we had any powdered sugar.
An Aside: Every year my family would trek to Little Italy for the Feast of San Gennaro.
We'd put dollar bills in the statues moving slowly down the streets in the impromptu parades.
We'd window shop and try to find Mafioso in the crowd.
And we'd eat zepppole.... fried dough coated with powdered sugar.
The thought that I could create this in my own kitchen left me gobsmacked.
The cronuts would have to be perfect, though.
The pot on the stove technique had me fiddling with the temperature of the oil.
It would get hot, then too hot, then not hot enough.
There weren't any spatters... at first... but by the last batch I was dropping and jumping at the same time.
The dough went in - I went backwards, away from the flying grease.
So, I gave in to the devil.
I bought The Fry Daddy.
Though they suggested "high quality vegetable oil" I stuck with my olive oil.
There's a line on the inside that tells me when to stop pouring.
It's exactly one bottle's worth.
It heats up in fifteen minutes, and maintains the proper temperature throughout the cooking cycle.
The inside is coated with a non-stick material but I'm not thinking about all the chemicals that are leaching into the cronuts... this doesn't come close to being a healthy meal and I'm not making any excuses. I've created a bit of Little Italy in my kitchen in America's desert southwest there will never be a reason to criticize my own personal slice of heaven
It's easy to clean up, when the coating from the deep fried french toast sloshes onto the sides.
Yes, deep fried french toast.
I made it for dinner.
We didn't snack at all that night.
Nor did I eat breakfast the next morning.
I was full for eighteen hours.
Full.... bloated... exploding... and very very happy.