Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hambiguous

I have funny taste in hamburgers. I don't like to eat them at home.
When I was a kid, my dad would turn ground beef into nasty black wads on the barbecue. Around the very same time, I spent a lot of summer days at the Officer's Pool, where they also happened to have a geedunk. I don't know if I'm spelling that right, but it was a Navy term for, basically, a snack bar. I'm not sure what else they served, because I always, always got the hamburger.
A geedunk burger is thin and flimsy, good and greasy, and tastes just right. What is just right? Not too meaty.
Lacking any geedunks in my adulthood, I had to turn to fast-food joints. Really. I can't tell you how much I love a Whopper. But I can't eat them anymore. (Read Fast-Food Nation if you wonder why.)
Cranky naturally thinks that we should have wonderful hamburgers from reliable steakhouses. If we're not making our own at home.
A few days ago we were having a Bolognese adventure in the kitchen, and there was extra ground beef of good quality. He wanted a hamburger, and he knew he would have to treat me extra special to get one on my plate. He made it small, he layered it with my favorite condiments, he formed the meat patty to fit within the slider-size bun. Without thinking, though, he just used a regular-size lump of raw meat, small enough to fit the bun, but too thick.
I didn't like it. It was too meaty.
Actually, it was a perfect hamburger.
I am such a meat wuss.

23 comments:

cookiecrumb said...

SCOT OLSEN IS OUT OF THE HOSPITAL.

Ryan said...

Sounds like you should try the fake shack burger recipe from AHT, it gives a nice smashed flat burger at home.
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/10/the-fake-shack-shake-shack-burger-recipe.html

kudzu said...

Oh...Whoppers. I know -- especially Whopper Juniors. Yesterday I had a hamburger (in a restaurant) made from righteous grass-fed, etc., meat, a huge one on a huge bun. It was almost tasteless and was too big and, and, and. (And almost $12.) I've found the Mini Pearl at Pearl's in MV is perfect in size (though not so thin as you seem to prefer). You remind me of my mother, who wanted thin burgers, cooked well, no condiments.

namastenancy said...

Good news about Scot - now pray for his full recovery.
As for "navy" hamburgers, that brought back memories. When my dad was stationed in Trinidad, the guy in charge of the shack grill at the beach on base was called "shorty.' Shorty made the best burgers, just like the ones you described. He also grilled shrimp and various kinds of fish, caught just off shore from the base, but I remember the burgers best. WOW - what a memory. it's been a half century since I lived in Trinidad.

Zoomie said...

I think you need a burger press, one of those that makes a thin burger of uniform size.

Although I'm not a meat wimp, I know what you mean - it's all about the caramelized _outside_ of the burger when they are flat, rather than the meat inside. Done correctly, they are soooo good. Snack bars know how.

cookiecrumb said...

Ryan: Wow, thanks. I just read the recipe. "crisp, brown crust." You had me at hell yeah.

Kudzu: You're right; the Whopper Jr. is just the right size. I guess I grew up on the taste of crappy beef, because today's politically correct is too meaty for me. I do like the White Trash burger at Weezy's, which is just one short red Flyer wagon ride away.

Nancy: Scott is talking now, but he's still struggling with speech. He is intellectually intact, thank goodness.
Oh, my, your beach shack burger in Trinidad sounds exactly like my geedunk version. Glad I poked a memory for you.

Zoomie: I'll tell you why I won't get a hamburger press. I don't like to eat hamburgers at home. Its almost a phobia. I know, I'm a mess.

Chilebrown said...

If you go to the Marin market in the morning look for us wearing our Thanksgiving cloths. We will be there at eight. Be there or be being.

Zoomie said...

Hey, nothin wrong with eating your hamburgers out. Doesn't make you a mess, just discerning.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

We could not get over how little you Septics put on your buns!
If you're a meat wuss you'd absolutely hate Australian Hamburgers. Or, perhaps you'd like them, just hold the meat :)

Chilebrown said...

Thankyou so much for the beautiful bow tie. I love it. Will have to do some research on how to tie. Thanks again.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: I realized it's a rule. Hamburgers are to be bought out, and the seedier the place, the better. Not sesame seeds. I mean in some seamy joint. :)

Mouse: Yeah. For sure, I don't take cheese on a burger. No grilled onions. I even skipped the ketchup this time. So, do you put pickled emu eggs on yours?

Chilebrown: Oh, you are so damn welcome! You will be a dapper gent indeed. Sorry I didn't see you this morning.

Greg said...

Oh! I do love a Whopper with cheese now and again. I am convinced that food is always better when someone else makes it. I think the secret to a good burger is high fat content, thin or thick patties.The low fat beef gets dry and leathery.

Hungry Dog said...

Never heard of a geedunk.

I don't eat burgers at home either, though I'm not afraid of meat. I just can't get them right at home and we don't have a grill etc etc. The bottom line is: go out for burgers.

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: I don't go out for all my meals. It was just funny to discover I had an aversion to homemade burgers. Not that they couldn't be good.

Dawg! I'm not "quite" meat phobic, because I obviously love a good hamburg.
But "geedunk." You can Wikipedia it, but oh, it was just such a common sight near Hawaii naval bases. Ford Island in this case.

Zoomie said...

Next time you need geedunk, I have the perfect suggestion for you. The Great American Hamburger in Point Richmond. It has been there since God was a child and it has the perfect atmosphere. Cheerful, slightly seedy and the dog park is just across the street where Bartlett can enjoy a run after lunch.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

We put ALL THE THINGS on :) This is quite a tame (if a bit posh) example http://www.notquitenigella.com/2010/11/15/charlie-co-burgers-sydney/

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Thanks! Sounds great. Is that dive out on Point Molate still in business?

Mouse: Urp, gag. Really good looking, but one bite and I'd be done. Maybe I'd still pick at the Parmesan truffle fries. :)

bewitchingkitchen.com said...

I once made what I thought was going to be the best hamburger ever, because it got great hype in the blogosphere. It called for a little bit of fish sauce with the meat.

My beloved professed it to be the worst hamburger he ever had, and I didn't even add the full amount "prescribed" in the recipe.

go figure...

Zoomie said...

As far as I know, it is, but I haven't been there in donkey's years. We definitely felt like interlopers.

cookiecrumb said...

Bewitch: Yow! Your husband has acute taste buds.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Interlopers? I bet they were glad just to have customers. But I know what you mean about that strange, insular boat community.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Those Chips Cookie, are to die for!

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: At our house, we make popcorn with Parmesan and truffle salt. So brilliant.