Apr 152014

As I type, I have just about 100 hours of my meatless Lent left. I would love to tell you that I’m seeing it out peacefully and in a place of greatly centered spirituality.

The reality is that I have more than half of my meals planned next week, and I can’t wait. I’m trying desperately to keep things as herbivorously interesting as possible for these last few days.

It was in this spirit that I went into Publix looking for something interesting to fry with the boys’ chicken sandwiches tonight. Thought I might find some onion rings. Then I saw Arby’s Seasoned Curly Fries ($3.19), and that got the nod.

arbys1Arby’s curly fries are a viscerally gustatory time warp straight back to high school for me. We hung out there quite a bit. Those fries are also some of the only fast food items left that taste like they did in 1988. It’s a high bar indeed to get over with me on this frozen grocery store freezer case item. Hope it doesn’t disappoint.

I found the appearance out of the package a bit jarring:

arbys2I expected the fries to be pale, but a perusal of the package reveals why they’re not. The only provided instructions for preparation are to bake them in the oven at 450º. So basically, these are already cooked—you’re warming them and giving them a little patina of crisp.

I deep-fried them instead. Because fries. I went four minutes in canola oil at 375º. Here they are cooling:

arbys3The moment of truth was very satisfying. Dudes and dolls, I can tell you with conviction that those are, essentially, Arby’s curly fries sitting in your grocer’s freezer. These are them for less than half the price, and without you having to put pants on.

The only probable deviation from how they do it at the restaurants, and the only minor deduction in my rating, has to do with them being already cooked when they come out of the bag.

But because they are, I’m confident in my assumption that following oven instructions will result in a highly palatable product, just as my unsupported deep fryer path did.

Go for it. They’re worthy.


 Posted by at 8:22 pm
Apr 112014

It is nothing short of one of the great blessings of my fatherhood that I’ve been able to attend Camp McDowell Environmental Center with each of my sons.

I went with Nathan two years ago. I got back from going with Aaron on Wednesday.

It remains a beautiful locale, ripe for making memories.

mcd3 mcd2 mcd1I want to brag on the staff. There is obviously a highly rigorous hiring process in place. All of our instructors—Nate, Kacie, Alyssa, Dave, and Gar—are top-notch educators and personalities.

Anyone with control of a decent chunk of land has at least a C or C+ experience in hand, right? But to truly deliver something magical for the kids, it takes talent and dedication. I’m so impressed with what all of our instructors brought to our students’ respective mosaics.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

(Please also read about something transcendental that happened to me at Camp McDowell this week.)

 Posted by at 5:25 pm

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