Deep-Fried Fat!

How ridiculously repetitive (and wonderful!) would deep-fried fat really be? Just think about that for a moment.

Justin and his friend Bryan (I'm pretty sure it's Bryan, but his name could be Brian, Ryan or even Luther. You know how bad I am with names.) have earned the entirely honorary and esteemed titles of Kings of All Fatties for their awe-inspiring venture into the vast world of deep-fried goodies.

You probably didn't think the deep-fried world was all that big, did you? And you certainly didn't think it was all that wonderful. But imagine this: It's a Small World, only instead of floating in a boat through water, you're in metal basket floating through a river of melted Crisco. And instead of mechanical under-represented minority kids singing their asses off, you've got sizzling cheeseburgers, bananas, bacon-and-peanut-butter wraps, candy bars and Peeps.

That's the Happiest Place on Earth, my friends.

And it's also scarily real. In Justin's tidy backyard, on a porch that is coated in months-old grease from an earlier experiment in hot oil, little bits of heaven were battered and deep-fried on a recent Sunday afternoon.

The event began when Justin melted down the contents of no less than four king-sized containers of Crisco _ scooping out the solid fat with his own bare hands _ in two deep-fryers. That's right, he had two of them going at the same time. Side by side. One for the vegetarians, one for the meaties (although I suspect there was some cross-pollinating at some point).

The deep-frying began immediately. We started simple, with wedges of tortillas that made crispy little treats when appropriately salted and BATHED IN GREASE. Later we moved onto bits of bananas and pineapple, dunked in batter and deep-fried until they were moist and blistering hot on the inside. Tasty.

Meanwhile, the real adventure _ the sole purpose for the deep-fry, as far as many Fatties were concerned _ was beginning inside. Bryan (Brian? Luther?) had started building the soon-to-be-deep-fried burgers. He must've pan-fried 1,000 patties (or maybe 30).

They had a marvelously efficient assembly line going on in the kitchen, with someone assigned to the cheese, the mustard, the ketchup, the buns, and the pickles...oh, the glorious pickles.

Let me take a moment here to really describe these burgers, because it occurs to me that many people who haven't experienced them just don't understand them. It's simple, really. Imagine taking a MacDonald's cheeseburger _ beef, cheese, bun (pickle!) and all _ impaling it on a toothpick and then dipping the whole thing in batter. Yes, the whole thing. And then you dunk that marvel of modern tastiness into the grease until it becomes the best damned food in the world. The deep-fried burger.

I have yet to meet anyone who has tried this burger and isn't a fan of it. Many people are scared to try it. Yes, even Fatty herself was scared the first time. Stacie (whose name was misspelled here originally, damn "ie/ey") refused to try it at first but was finally convinced to take a small bite of one at a gathering several months ago; at the most recent deep-fry, she ate 500 (another mistake _ I said five, but Stacie informs me it was closer to 500; silly me!).

I am convinced that I could live quite happily off of deep-fried burgers. Sure, I'd only live for about 20 minutes, but damn if those wouldn't be the best 20 minutes of my very short life.

But don't take my word for it. Just look at the pure joy on the faces of all these happy Fatties. (Ignore Kelly's apparent uncertainty. She doesn't like mustard.)

But don't go thinking that we were done after the deep-fried burgers. No, next came the bacon. It was wrapped around peanut butter and mozzarella, then battered and fried. Later came the Snickers and Peeps. I wasn't there to witness the Peeps, but word is they were terrifying.

Already plans are under way for the next deep-fry. Chris wants to try Oreos. Kelly (or was it Liana?) mentioned deep-frying cookie dough. I'd like to just deep-fry the batter and eat it dipped in ranch.

Or maybe I'd like to deep-fry this dog on your left. The one licking the grease-covered barbecue _ a victim of another adventure in deep-frying.

I'm gonna have good, deep-fried dreams tonight. So are these boys.

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