After a surprise snow storm, and now, a thunderstorm in progress, my internet connection has been in and out. So, before I head off to play piano for a couple of days (and hopefully before my signal is disrupted again), I’ll share a lil’ story.
I’ve been in love with cheeseburgers since I was sixteen years old.
(That’s nigh on four decades if you want to do the math…)
Not just eating them – making them. During my formative years, I was an apprentice of the fine art of burger-flipping at a café not much larger than my present dining room. (Insert nostalgia here.)
Weekdays, we catered to retired folks and truck drivers, and on the weekends (particularly after ball games), the café was swamped with teenagers in search of sustenance — most of whom ordered cheeseburgers. (That’s a lot of burger-flipping!)
We also served daily “blue plate specials” and massive breakfasts on Saturday mornings, but… there’s only so much room for tender recollections in one post.
Suffice it to say, cheeseburgers made a huge impression on me… followed closely by truck drivers. :)
Years later during my over-the-road adventures, I discovered that I’d retained a “burger frame of reference” from my diner days of yore… skinny little burgers just didn’t cut it. I craved classic burgers.
By “classic,” I mean thick, hand-formed hamburger patties, seasoned and grilled to perfection, with cheese dripping down the sides, plated with “the works” on a buttered, toasted bun, served alongside an order of fries (preferably with a circumference larger than a pencil) that were made out of real spuds.
I can’t begin to count the number of truck stops I bypassed that had already succumbed to “fast food frenzy.” At the end of a long day, I wanted to sit down and be served, instead of standing in line at a counter waiting to pick up a plastic tray.
To this day, burgers still set the bar for me.
Whenever I visit a new restaurant (which isn’t often), I’ll look over the menu, debate the selections, and nine-times-out-of-ten, end up ordering a cheeseburger. If it meets my expectations, things bode well for a return trip to sample the rest of the menu.
(Not in one sitting, of course…)
Fast forward to a few nights ago.
The Man Of Few Words was due home for dinner in 30 minutes and I had two options: Turn a half-pound of ground beef and a couple of Idaho russets into cheeseburgers & fries, or try something different in the time allowed. Surprisingly, I opted for the latter.
The ensuing goings-on included washing, piercing, and tossing the spuds into the microwave (I would’ve preferred doing them in the oven, but the clock was ticking), plus slicing & dicing “the works” while the ground beef sautéed casually in a skillet.
Time was of the essence, so I made a few other executive decisions.
“The Works” (aka onions and tomatoes) joined the skillet party, while the lettuce went for a carefree toss into a salad bowl. Pickles were reserved for garnish and cheese was set aside for future melting consideration. (Sliced or crumbled? Both? Yes.)
After a few grinds of pepper and a sprinkling of ”classic” burger seasoning (which, as I recall from my diner days, consisted of celery salt, onion powder and garlic powder), voila! Dinner was ready.
It took 15 minutes to make, with fifteen minutes to spare.
Hmmm… what to do with the extra 15 minutes?
Yup. Play with the ketchup and mustard. :)
It’s said that we all remember things differently.
Whenever The Man Of Few Words and I reminisce about our trucking days, he remembers routes. I remember cheeseburgers.
Long live love affairs of the foodie kind.
Enjoying cheeseburgers in paradise,
What fond food memories do you recall?