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Deep Fat Frying day is becoming almost as traditional as Christmas at Swallowtail Hill.  The deep fat fryer is the one kitchen gadget that doesn’t get used very often a) because it would be exceptionally bad for our health and b) because I hate the job of cleaning it, but we allow the use of it on occasion – most often on New Year’s Day when hangovers permit the making of chips. 

The physical craving for greasy carbs on this particular day is fortunate because one of our regular houseguests – Suzanne – likes nothing better than to fry stuff. In fact it’s debatable whether she actually comes to visit for the New Year celebrations at all – or whether it’s just for the opportunity to play at chip shops.  I’m not kidding – this year BestFriendLisa joined in the frying and we dubbed the pair ‘The Chip Shop Chicks’ – I think they may have started writing a business plan for opening their own chippie, such is the happiness it brings them.  It seems that the big attraction (and the part that causes most squabbling) is the chance to lift the frying basket when the food is ready and shake off the excess oil like a professional.  They even took on chip-shop-alter-egos while frying – Stacey and Pauline.  Worryingly, Suz commented that she quite likes the thought of having to wear one of those little hats with a hairnet on the back and a white overall (that solves next year’s Christmas gift). 

Of course the rest of us just sit back and eat – this year it wasn’t just chips – over the course of several hours it was homemade scotch-eggs, crispy celeriac, and potato croquettes with cheese inside. Pauline and Stacey started to get a crazed look in their eyes going through the fridge to see what else they could roll in breadcrumbs and dunk in hot oil, so after a while we had to call an end to frying time before they got too over excited and we had to go to A&E with dangerously high cholesterol. 

Obviously it goes without saying that on January 2nd we have to go on a detox diet as we have put on pounds / broken out in spots  / reek of chip fat, but it makes for a fun start to the New Year! Maybe the Chip Shop Chicks should be allowed to open their first branch here at Swallowtail Hill during the summer so that our campers can at least eat chips if they can’t get their bbq campfires started?

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