Tonight I made turkey burgers in the George Foreman grill.
I grew up eating the real thing.
Hamburgers that we charcoaled on Saturday nights in the summertime.
Or pan fried ones when it was too cold to cook out. I think I grew to love those even more because they were greasier.
We made them so thick that they never completely cooked in the middle and oh, they were so good like that. Go ahead and comment about E. coli all you want – beef is best if you can still hear a little moo when you stick a fork in it.
Standing in line at Griff’s Hamburgers is one of my earliest memories, making sure my dad told them I only wanted meat, bread and mayonnaise on my burger. None of those nasty pickles.
Thank goodness my taste buds have been refined.
I’ll eat just about anything on a hamburger now, but my absolute favorite is with mustard, ketchup, tomato, onion, and cheese. And if the bun is greasy, that’s even better.
My favorite hamburger dump of all time was Gene’s Tasty Burger in Wichita Falls. When I was in high school you couldn’t get in the place on a Saturday around lunchtime. People were lined up out the door. Because the chocolate malts were as thick and good as the cheeseburgers and French fries were greasy.
I can still taste all of that. And the people who shared all that grease with me.
Maybe that’s why we call some foods ‘comfort.’ Because they take you back to times and places where you shared a meal. A treat. Just a cup of coffee.
And you don’t ever eat those foods again without being there. With someone.
Sometimes we don’t even consciously realize the association, but maybe that’s at least one of the reasons why it tastes so good. Why we keep wanting more.
That turkey burger I fixed tonight was good. Really.
But a Gene’s tasty burger it ain’t.