Sunday, August 1, 2010

Grumpy Summer Vacation, Day 17

This morning started when someone (I can’t imagine who) put the mannequin outside my MIL’s window.

Today we went whitewater rafting. Our guide, I swear, was a guy named Stoner.

Craig, of course, was horrified at the idea he might get wet, and so insisted on sitting in the middle of the raft. Frank and Marie loved the idea of getting soaked, and even wanted to help row. So Stoner gave them each a paddle.

For a while they were somewhat helpful, and it kept them busy. Until we hit a stretch of non-rowing quiet water.

Somehow a shouting match broke out, and I turned around just in time to see them beating each other WITH THE PADDLES while Craig tried to hide in the bottom of the raft. Before I could yell at them to stop, Frank sent Marie’s paddle into the river. Craig, trying to avenge his sister, stood up and knocked Frank’s into the river.

And now we were heading into white water, with half our paddles gone. Stoner was clearly horrified to be watching his company’s property floating behind us, and began frantically steering the boat to try to get them, while Mrs. Grumpy and I paddled away. The next few seconds sent some big waves crashing over the raft, drenching everyone (including Craig). He began hitting Marie on the grounds that it was her fault he was wet, since she’d lost her paddle.

Fortunately, we were able to collect the paddles at the other end of the rapid run. But we spent the rest of the day hearing from Craig about how this was “the worst day ever” because he got wet. All the kids, when we got back to shore, agreed that they liked the river rides at amusement parks better. Wimps.

On the way home we stopped for burgers.

In most of the U.S. condiments are fairly simple: ketchup (yes, I know the Filipino’s like ketchup made from bananas, but I’m talking about the tomato kind), mustard, mayo, BBQ sauce, sometimes 1000 Island dressing. Preferences vary by person and region, but those are the basics

EXCEPT in Utah (and southern Idaho). In this area the main condiment is a concoction called Fry Sauce.

What is Fry Sauce you ask? Nobody really knows, because it’s wildly variable depending on where you eat. Each restaurant/roadstand/house has their own peculiar recipe for it.

But here’s the basic idea: imagine a bunch of typical condiments (ketchup, mayo, mustard, BBQ sauce, 1000 Island, relish, chopped onions, chopped pickles, Russian dressing, Ranch dressing, etc.), all on a shelf. Basically, Fry Sauce is a random combination of any number of these, and it’s usually a pink-red color. To make it I think they take a guy, blindfold him, spin him around 3 times, then send him into the pantry. The first 3 bottles he picks up are what's go into that day’s Fry Sauce. As a result, when you get Fry Sauce, you have no idea what it’s going to taste like.

This evening the planned dinner was turkey & spinach burgers. This didn’t sound good to me to begin with. Then we discovered that the turkey meat had been forgotten. And by the time this was noticed, the town’s grocery store was closed.

So my SIL tried to improvise. She chopped up the spinach, and tried to get it to form patties by mixing it with egg whites, then grilling them.

This was a remarkable unsuccessful endeavor. Frank was convinced that we were either going to starve to death or be forced to eat bugs to survive. I was trying to convince them that they'd love to have hamburger buns with leftover Fry Sauce on them.

Then Mrs. Grumpy saved the day. She went out to the car, and brought in the Costco bag of pancake mix. This was a MUCH more popular item, and we had syrup and butter leftover from breakfast. After a dinner of pancakes everyone was happy, and thanked her for saving our lives. Except for the SIL left with a tray of untouched grilled spinach patties. Who was pissed. She forced her husband and kids to eat her horrible offering (though didn't touch them herself), and ignored the rest of the family who was eating pancakes.

We caught her trying to sneak out of the kitchen later, with a leftover pancake in her purse.


Unknown said...

The two basic ingredients of (most) fry sauce are ketchup and mayonnaise. Yay, let's make fries even more fattening than usual! My favorite addition is a tiny bit of dill pickle juice, but my favorite ice cream place also adds finely chopped onion, and that's good, too.

The local restaurant chain Training Table mixes barbecue sauce and mayo, which is fun for a change.

I was so surprised the first time I went out of state and realized that no one else ate fry sauce. I felt so sorry for all those poor people. :P

Andrew C said...

My big hobby is whitewater kayaking. It's like rafting, but your boat is about 1/10 the size and your butt is right at water level! It may not be the best hobby for Craig - when you're learning you spend half the rapids upside down in your boat.

Do you know what stretch of river you were on?

Anonymous said...

excellent. real life shaggy dog. some of us, including one poster, have been wondering where that box of mix was.

Sunflower RN said...

Well, there is still hope for your son. My brother would cry if he was sprayed with water unless he was in a pool. It got so bad at one point, during a long winter, that he was given the ultimatum of
"bath or a spank". He chose the spank, and then he was placed in the bath. Boys who haven't been washed in 3 weeks really stink.

My brother is now a Tallship Captain and can manage being wet without being in a pool.

Zach said...

So I'm from Utah originally, and my recipe for fry sauce is about equal parts mayo and ketchup with one packet of Taco Bell hot sauce. The proportions are right if you use a container that's about one cup.

CornflakeGirrlRN said...

*L* I forgot about fry sauce....lived in Utah for four years about a half hour north of SLC. Utah is a beautiful, but quirky state :)

lbparker said...

"After lunch we stopped for burgers."

Are ALL your kids in growth spurts right now, or do they normally eat this much?

Do you have two under-the-table jobs to help pay the grocery bills? ;-)

Grumpy, M.D. said...

lbparker- good point, my error. I have no idea why I wrote that. I corrected it.

mongolian yak said...

i don't understand why the spinach patties were horrible, it's just like spinach omelette, should be easy to make and there's not really much that could go wrong :p

Angela said...


THERE A GO! THAT! is why you bought pancake mix at Costco in Seattle was it???

Mrs. Grumpy saves the day!



The Engineer said...

I have always been perplexed by the Utah fascination with fry sauce as well. Condiments obviously do mix in use, but why premix the stuff?

Alex said...

Is it me or do your kids fight an incredibly large amount considering frank is eleven for starters?

HVS said...

I am so definatly an Eastener,it's the first time I've
heard of "Fry Sauce." It's ingenious though..just mix everything together & no need to set anything else out!

Anonymous said...

Six fathers and sons on a fishing trip in Canada camping on an island.
The first morning went to fix pancakes....where is the milk?
We had, of course, a case of beer.....the boys thought they were the best pancakes ever....


Earl said...

Heinz 57 mixed with equal parts of ketchup.

Anonymous said...

I'd forgotten wondering about the Shah Guido G; now I know Anonymous 3:56. One outdoor picnic, drinking cups were forgotten 25 miles out of town. Hollowed out orange skin halves were pressed into service.

McDonald's 'special sauce' promoted in the late 70's; 'two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, on a sesame seed bun' sounds like a variation on a theme of 'fry sauce'.

The Mother said...

I have never heard of fry sauce. And somehow, I don't feel left out.

Anonymous said...

I went white-water rafting on the Little Pigeon River once. Our guide's name was Sprocket.

Don said...

My local grocery story carries a brand called "Some Dudes Fry Sauce".

From the bottle, there is ketchup, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and a bunch of other ingredients.

Lots of restaurants around here (southern Idaho) have fry sauce. Artic Circle (hamburger chain) probably has the best. Jack in the Box has the worst.

Anonymous said...

See and you were wondering why on earth Mrs. Grumpy bought pancake mix and Costco! She is a keeper!

dining table said...

I was following this post for its first day till now. I am so in love in all the things that you are experiencing. I wish there is more amazing happenings that you can share with us.

Eileen said...

The Germans deep fry things in Bierteig - which is basically pancake mix with enough beer to make it the right consistency to coat the food. Other nations insist that sparkling water is the thing to make it light and crispy. Did you know that in Bavaria (contains Munich, southern Germany) beer is not subject to tax as it is a food not an alcoholic drink. And the Roman Catholic church was persuaded that beer was an essential part of the diet in Lent so at that time of year you get "Starkesbier" (strong beer).

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