Prior to this year’s Thanksgiving feast, my sister sent me out into the wilds of Phoenix to retrieve something called a gravy separator. She typically chooses a “special job” that matches my talents (aka: a job that even I can’t screw up). There is long history here of bringing back the wrong cooking sherry, the wrong cranberry sauce, or the wrong homeless person that I met at the bar on the way over. She obviously decided to throw care into the wind this year by sending me to a large kitchen store. This was clearly above my pay grade. It was not some recent increase in confidence, mind you, for the ‘just pick up some ice’ fiasco was still fresh on her mind (ice also has a drug slang connotation).
I thought “hey, I’m going to learn something today about the alchemical mysteries behind separating gravy from gravy fat. Maybe they’ll even have a demonstration!”
I also thought to myself, five bucks and about fifteen minutes later, I’d be back talking turkey.
I thought wrong…
Amidst my endless quest for this bizarre kitchen aid, I half expected Rod Serling to step out from behind the food processors and say something like, “A man on his way to Thanksgiving dinner is now on the menu in one of the darker corners of The Kitchen Zone.” But, there was a no smoking policy, so they would have probably kicked him out. Anyway, a half an hour of browsing and fifteen dollars later, I had this unholy thing in my hand—a contraption that allegedly separates gravy from gravy fat.
Do you realize how many Breckenridge Oatmeal Stouts I could have picked up for fifteen bucks? Next time, I get the beer and take my chances with the turkey fat. I will also never get back that awful thirty-minutes wandering aimlessly around this store with utensils literally reaching to the top of their twenty-foot ceiling.
“No, no, sir, I want the ladle to the right. Six rows up.”
“What do you mean, you have to get the forklift? I want the ladle not the fork!”
I just wanted the cheapest gravy separator, but they only carried one type. As I came to find out later, it’s the only gravy separator in the Valley of the Sun. So you mean the only gravy separator in the greater Phoenix area is a fifteen dollar version, which just happens to be ergonomically correct? It has a rubberized and user-friendly shaped-handle that aids the lifter, protecting their delicate wrists from the unnecessary wear and tear of the lifting process. What!?! Are you friggin kidding me?! If you use a gravy separator enough times to need it to be ergonomically correct, carpal tunnel is the least of your problems!
Then I studied this thing that I’m about to purchase for the low, low price of 12 Breckenridge Oatmeal Stouts over at the beer distributor (I’m really trying to put this in perspective for some of you folks). OK…so I’m reading more about this thing. The kitchen gods have peaked my curiosity. It is simply a device that has a spout at the bottom, instead of the top, so the lighter fat will not come out until last. It’s not stopping the fat from coming out, mind you, it’s just taking one year off the cardiac life of the last unlucky soul to use this thing.
Sooooo, it’s really not separating anything. Separating is this: girls in the west dorm and boys in the east dorm and there are vigilant nuns, teachers, or security guards between the two (usually armed to the teeth). I managed anyway.
So the person going back for thirds, the person with the most fragile arteries, is the one being put at the most risk by this thing? No batteries, no bells and no whistles? For fifteen-dollars a damn siren should go off when you reach a certain predetermined fat-to-gravy index. But no, nothing…hey, but my wrists feel great!
So I left Bed, Bath & Beyond Bull Shit and I returned to my holiday feast victorious. My sister was impressed with my work and she hardly complained about the short, malodorous person I invited on the way over. I toasted this new fangled gadget with my new found friend and chugged that gravy fat like a Valhalla Viking on ‘roids and, yes, I had picked up the extra beer anyway…just to show ‘em. You see, beer cuts cholesterol better than any bottom-spouted, ergonomically correct, kitchen-aid bullshit thingy any day.
Happy Holidays! Now, if you will excuse me, I’m having chest pains…