Desperately needed inspiration comes from the oddest places. Dinner this week had included one salmon filet that must have been destined for sainthood, as it was raw after 20 minutes in boiling liquid, and three undistinguished chicken dishes, plus 28 indie bands with the same opening riff. Then @YoSwanny proposed #foodthursday in response to this series of tweets and the accompanying widespread revelation that many people had felt my same urge to tumble off the healthful eating bandwagon.
The only possible inauguration for #foodthursday is therefore a cheeseburger, accompanied by songs about cheeseburgers.
KJ-52 is a Christian rap act, so there are some who interpret that plaintive cry for a Coke, fries, and a cheeseburger as a call to give the Lord his due. Or maybe cheeseburgers are a temptation we’re called to resist. Clearly the narrator is not practicing the virtue of patience.
Shake your booty! That’ll hold you until the gym later. If one gets going fast, the result strongly resembles the bees’ direction-giving dance on the vertical comb. Food is thataway.
That moodily lit bun is whole wheat. So we already know this burger is going down a path that makes red-blooded American males flinch and check their catsup packets.
I am frying onions in olive oil because fried onions were essential to burgers back in Minnesota. I recklessly chose a yellow onion because it was cheap, forgetting that cheap yellow onions are like cheap yellow-spined dime novels: tearjerkers all the way. Fry ‘em anyway.
The wisdom on burger meat is that one is not supposed to squish it, mash it, mix it, squeeze it, or otherwise maul it. This philosophy creates a problem if one has bought one’s meat in the one-pound package, and for those insisting that I should invest in a meat grinder and feed it steak, the answer is “no.” Dithering in the meat aisle about which forms of boeuf look most buff is much more my style. I settled on cube steak, not from any clue about what it is, but because it looked lean and had already been shaped into patties. If it objected to being mauled, at least the unwanted touching was someone else’s fault.
Here, the beef has been transported into the hot, oily pan by the powers of my mind alone.
Sizzling hot, the burger hits the bun!
Damn, that sounds lewd. The post-punk Gang of Four gives us a highly politicized cheeseburger, in which it’s a metaphor for a mobile, disconnected society. But this cheeseburger brings people together!
In keeping with our food theme, Gang of Four influenced Red Hot Chili Peppers. In keeping with the joy that cheeseburgers bring us, it also influenced Nirvana.
First, it brings onions together with meat.
Then it adds reduced-fat feta. Yes, feta. Be happy it’s not ricotta. I’ve got a ton of that left from the crepe-making crawl, as well as most of a vat of non-fat plain yogurt. Left utterly unsupervised, I’m capable of mixing orange-ginger marmalade with yogurt and calling it chutney. “Hi, Chutney!”
For the American cheese enthusiasts: American cheese is on my list of Things That Are Not Food. Spread a celery stick with mustard, stuff it with cottage cheese, and wrap it in a rubbery orange American cheese slice. We have now defined the anti-matter of food. All food in the presence of that celery stick will vanish in a puff of yummy, yummy calories.
The final layer is effete European salad greens mix, in which all the little leafs are adorably oddly shaped and tiny. I have a fondness for frivolous little greens that wallow in postmodern philosophy.
We are about to close up the burger. Bun lift engaged… bun in motion… bun closure achieved!
Now all that’s required is a spicy pickle spear.
And it was good. I almost fainted with pleasure.
To top off my unAmerican glee, I accompanied it with a glass of chardonnay.
Since we’ve had cheeseburgers for Jesus and cheeseburgers for political alienation, it’s time for a cheeseburger that’s just about being a cheeseburger. Here’s Jimmy Buffet singing about a symbolism-free burger with Münster (not mustard!).