I learned one thing about fritters today. I learned that if you mention fritters to Lola, she launches into the song “Ya Got Trouble” from Broadway’s The Music Man. She’s a song and dance person at heart, so it usually doesn’t take too much to get her going. I can randomly sing the first verse of the opening song in In The Heights and then she will immediately grab the baton and continue to sing the rest of the whole song. If I didn’t stop her, she’ll sing the whole show. I compare her song and dance reflex-response to how Roger Rabbit HAS to sing, “Two Bits” when he hears “Shave and a Haircut.” Lola is compelled to sing when a song hits her head. So when I said I was making fritters tonight, I instantly got the song and dance:
“I say your young men’ll be frittern!Frittern away their noontime, suppertime, choretime too!Get the ball in the pocket,Never mind gittin’ Dandelions pulledOr the screen door patched or the beefsteak pounded.Never mind pumpin’ any water‘Til your parents are caught with the Cistern emptyOn a Saturday night and that’s trouble,Oh, yes we got lots and lots a’ trouble.I’m thinkin’ of the kids in the knickerbockers,Shirt-tail young ones, peekin’ in the poolHall window after school.Ya got trouble, folks, right here in River City.”
I guess I am lucky that way. Not everyone gets that kind of quality in home entertainment. I feel like I should leave top hats and canes randomly around the house in case a big number should happen to occur. The “Ya Got Trouble” song has always been one of Lola’s classics. I think she attached herself to it when she was young. She’s always been a fan of lyrics and that song has some particularly good ones. There’s a connection there to her Dad and her aunt Gail as well. For me, I just wanted to fry up some fritters, and in doing so, I got a serving of classic Broadway.
My original thought for National Fritter Day was to serve it up the same way I did last year which was with some classic Rhode Island clam cakes. Those are everywhere in the summer around here but not so much in the winter. I decided that on my way home from the Vineyard that I would stop at Clements to see if they had any. Sometimes they have a selection of ready-made seafood and thinking they would have some clam cakes was not a stretch. But they didn’t have any today. They too must follow the clam cake in summer rule. Instead I knew I would have to make my own fritters. In the middle of the produce section, I searched for a recipe on my phone and decided on corn fritters. It came from a blog called Just a Taste.com. I picked up everything I needed (which was really just corn and cream) and then when I got home, I got to fritterin’.
A fritter is essentially a batter or breading filled with bits of meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables or other ingredients and then fried, so a corn fritter is just corn kernels in a batter made from flour and sugar. It’s a messy job to make them and get them going. Plus you end up frying them in oil and I am no fan of frying in oil at home. It brings a smell into the house not to mention there is a certain amount of danger working with a pot full of boiling oil. I managed however and tried to be careful. I made one mistake and used frozen corn which I didn’t give enough time to thaw. I think that led to some corn pops in the oil. In fact, there was one pop of corn that was so violent it splattered oil on my arm and shirt – I still don’t understand how I was not burned. But that’s fritterin’ for you. I cooked the fritters until they were nice and brown on both sides. I think because I was making them fast, I didn’t give enough attention to the batter because it started to break apart, but it was still tasty and I was able to get a few fritters that looked really good.
After Lola was finished with her song and dance, we sat down for some dinner. I served them with some sour cream. The recipe suggested serving with some fresh herbs too which would have been nice, but I kept it simple. I had purchased some BBQ beef to serve on the side for protein and it paired nicely. The fritters we’re actually fantastic! Lots of corn flavor with a nice sweet batter. Despite my frying issues, they came out nice and crispy on the outside and good and hot on the inside. Lola raved about them. She thought they would be particularly good as a version of huevos rancheros with the fritter as the tortilla on the bottom. I ended up making this for her the next morning and she was right – she loved them even more. Sometimes you get a food that has the perfect density to it. Not too heavy, not too light. That’s what the fritters were with tons of flavor too. These could work their way into our rotation as something we bust out when we are looking for something different. Plus we could really experiment with the ingredients.
In the drudge of this quest, I have been feeling that I haven’t been putting in too much effort into my celebrations, this past week especially. It was nice to make something new and even better that it came out so tasty. I like when I can surprise Lola with a tasty new food. It surprised her and got her palette thinking about how it could be better. That’s a win in Portsmouth, RI just as it would be a win in Gary, IN. That’s where the boys are all fritterin’ and today, we joined them in celebration. I’m just worried this could turn to a life of pool.
Next Up: National Peppermint Latte Day