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Dinner for Dummies

Please don't try this at home.

If your IQ rivals that of the season's favorite feathered bird and you fear being able to fry one without inadvertently setting alight to your person, children, home, pet, and/ or relatives, listen up.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue staged a fiery little demo this past Tuesday at their Doral-based HQ in the hopes of helping you avoid making the same mistakes countless other featherheads have in past years:

1. If you insist on frying your turkey, put the damn fryer on flat concrete so it won't topple over and engulf the neighborhood in flames. Flames means having to call the Fire Department, and they want a quiet day -- for once.

2. Similarly, ensure the fryer is located far from your pets, children, relatives, and home, should you wish to see any of them again without grotesque scars.

3. Do not over fill the fryer with oil -- unlike the vodka that sloshes over the edges of your martini glass when you plonk too many olives in it, oil catches fire. Fire is hot. Hot things burn.

4. Do not let your children watch you plonk the turkey in the pot. The action causes splashing. Splashing oil will be hot. Hot things burn, remember?

5. When plonking, make sure the bird is thawed completely. Water and oil are like bitter ex lovers that flare into a fiery rage at the mere sight of each other. They do not mix. They will never mix. Keep them apart or face the consequences.

6. Oil remains hot for several hours. (See number three.)

7. If you are Cuban and simply must cook an entire pig for dinner in a Caja China -- a coffin-shaped box inside of which one places an oinker, crowned by charcoal -- do not use gasoline to light your fire or the next coffin-shaped box you see will be housing your own remains.

8. Place the charcoal evenly over the top of said caja, unless you plan on cooking in a flame retardant suit and goggles.

9. Don't let your kids play with the charcoal. Charcoal is hot. What do hot things do?

10. Enjoy!-Joanne Green

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