Gary and I are having cheeseburgers and coleslaw and fries for dinner. Of course his will be made with a beef patty and mine with a vegetable patty. Our coleslaw is homemade. Our fries are not (I’m lazy), but I’ve read all the labels and made the best choice I could. I’ll bake them in the oven, and no, we won’t put extra salt on them. There isn’t any salt in the house.
The cheeseburger, more than any other food I can think of, is the barometer of the American lifestyle. We love to watch cooking shows and it’s amazing to see the variety of burgers being made, and enthusiastically consumed, across the country. But the basic idea- meat and cheese between two pieces of bread- remains the same.
When I was a child my grandmother owned a “bar and grill” and that blackened greasy grill made the best burgers in the world. I can still hear them sizzle!
In a few years we were privileged to walk up to the window of the first McDonald’s franchise and order a cheeseburger for 19 cents. Yes, I’m that old!
When our own children were small we were always short on money, so even McDonald’s burgers seemed a bit pricey. Instead we dined at a small drive-in that may or may not have been serving meat. In any case, we all lived.
Once while traveling in Texas we took the kids to a restaurant that served a burger so big it had to be cut with a knife and shared. They thought the plate-sized burger was the best!
When I worked for a small publishing house there was a food truck parked on the corner that cooked onion burgers and the smell permeated the whole neighborhood.
I went to college with a woman who had a cheeseburger only once a year- on her birthday.
Of course the burger wars are waged each day on our televisions and everyone has a favorite. There are round ones and square ones, fried ones and grilled ones, with everything in the world piled on top of them.
The two summer holidays looming on the horizon will no doubt prompt a spike in hamburger sales. Every other yard in the neighborhood will have a crowd enjoying their meat and cheese between two pieces of bread. We’re just practicing tonight!