Friday, January 21, 2005

Quest for Tacos II

What was that saying? "A watched pot never boils"? While continuing to install software on the "loner" computer (see previous post), I decided to attempt a tortilla chip recipe I found on the web. The hard drive which I had to reformat would take about 45 minutes. Plenty of time to start this chip thing.

The first step was to mix the ingredients and make little round balls which would then be flattened and heated in a skillet (see picture above). That went pretty smoothly. I used a cookie cutter to get that perfect circle. Then on to the second step... the frying stage.

My first specimen looked like a miss vickie's potato chip in that was very brown from being deep fried. The only difference appearance wise was that it was about half a centimeter thick. Surprisingly, it actually tasted okay. I decided I would fry a number of chips at once. Five actually, as I didn't have that much oil and was cooking them in my wok.

Once the corn tortillas were in the oil frying away I went to check on the computer. Windows was at the stage where it asks you for all those drivers for all the added hardware. Swapping CDs in and out and rebooting a couple of times I forgot I was frying...

Until, that is, I noticed my kitchen was hidden by all the smoke. First thing that entered my brain was "Crap! All that stuff is going to be sucked into the computers!". This is why I scored a 56 on that nerd test. The second thing that entered my head was that it was 3:00am and the smoke might waft upstairs and alert one of my neighbours.

I opened all my windows (there's two of them) and because I live in a basement apartment I opened the only door into my apartment going outside. There's not much in the way of ventilation in my kitchen. There's no fan exhaust over the stove and my stove is located halfway in a hallway that goes to my other room where the window has been taped shut with plastic wrap to help insulate during the winter. So no air flow. The smoke cloud just lingered. A mental picture of my fan sitting in Darryls office not being used came to mind.

Using my cutting board, I waved the bad air out. It didn't take long before the apartment became very cold and the wok was still producing smoke. Sort of reminded me of the Challenger blowing up. Smoke was spewing a plenty. The open portals didn't have much effect. Luckily I shovelled the drive way last night. There was still a large mound of snow just outside my apartment door. A mound of snow that I used to put the wok in to cool off and air out. I kept looking to see if fire engines would should up or if someone may have noticed and poked their head out the window.

The wind dispersed the thick grey smog pretty quickly. Once the oil cooled I got an empty can from my recycling bin and drained the wok into it. The can was put into the freezer where it can be left, then thrown away later as a solid.

The five chips were burnt beyond recognition. They looked like flat black pieces of charcoal that were dripping with lighter fluid. I drained one with a paper towel and cut it open just to make sure. Yep, it was a goner. Blackened throughout.

I am very tempted to just go to Taco Bell and buy a taco or even purchase some El Paso taco shells. But it wouldn't be the same would it?

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