Ole Grandpa Badfinger has made a choice, and it was more complicated than his usual choice of what flavor of mush he’s having for breakfast. He had to choose a vice-presidential running mate, and as people who are smarter than me about such things have observed, he had no good choices. And yet he still made the crappiest one.
Also, there are no good choices as to burgers. The only choice is simplicity, as I try to finally discuss below, except you people flooded me with input before I gave mine so we’ll certainly be having more burger talk in future columns.
It’s Kamala Harris. It had to be unless Oldfinger was a complete idiot in which case…oh, right. And I originally wrote this before he picked the Botoxic One.
Hugh Hewitt aptly suggests that he “not make the easy hard” and Harris is certainly known for her easiness. On paper, she checks the right left boxes. There is the problem of her being totally unlikeable and having called the doddering puppet a racist during the primary, but that’s just politics, right? Also, the Democrats don’t actually care about racism, so when push comes to shove, that fake concern gets shoved.
I think she’s terrible – what is the name of the person saying, “I was torn between Trump and Biden, but the gal who has seen Willie Brown naked has convinced me to cast my ballot for the senile old weirdo”?
All the smart blue checks thought Susan Rice would get the conservatives riled up, but any of these bozos would do that. Rice is a stiff and a reminder of all things Obama – who, exactly, outside of DC is all “Susan Rice? Oh, hell to the yeah”? No one. She was designed to not overshadow Biden (which is a knock on Harris, whose grasping, grating ambition will compel her to overshadow him), but then that bar’s lower than Bill Kristol’s popularity at CPAC.
Why not Elizabeth Warren? I never thought Chiefette Lies With Resumes was enough of a person of color to qualify, though butt-white is technically a color.
Besides her ethnic fail, Gretchen Whitmer was out because she gives off the vibe of one of the Bulwark staff’s on-call dominatrixes.
Karen Bass had to explain on TV that she is not a communist. This killed her with moderates because she had to explain on TV that she is not a communist, and it killed her with the Left because they believed her.
Val Demmings was not going to be picked because who is Val Demmings again? Oddly, she was the one in-the-know cons feared most, and they didn’t much fear her.
And rumor has it that Stacey Abrams took herself out of the running because it involved running.
Look, there were no good choices. Harris is the least bad, and she’s bad. Combined with the fact that the 25th Amendment is lurking out there like Bruce the Shark eyeing swimmers off Amity Beach, this is a big decision. The guy who is utterly senile picked from a pack of losers.
Right now, Trump’s got this.
And if I were Crusty von Amtrak, I’d hire a food taster.
I had not even gotten to the proper making of a burger when I got flooded with insights from the readers. Here’s a basic principle: Good beef, good soft bun, and the following allowable condiments – ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise (or similar sauce), cheese (American or cheddar), pickles, onions (which may be grilled), tomato and maybe lettuce, though I don’t really see the point. Proper seasonings are salt (including season salt) and pepper. You may grill it on a skillet or open flame. You may smash it if you wish.
This is undeniable truth and I don’t want to hear your cisgender racist lies to the contrary, though I have. Have I ever…
Anne has it right: “Also, there's a good case that any beef burger that contains anything but salt, pepper and a few other simple seasonings, is not a burger. It's meat loaf.”
Curt is manifestly right when he concurs with Kurt that the meat is critical and that “there is only one acceptable cow for hamburger and that is the American corn-fed cow...Like you, in the military I traveled the world and ate many different types of cows and outside of America, they all had a gamey taste....I had water buffalo in Asia and that was probably one of the worst kinds. I even tried some Kobe beef and found it bad tasting, which only adds insult to injury considering the cost of it. And even American buffalo I don't care for.”
It’s true – European beef is totally weird (I lived over there twice). Hawaiian beef is different too, but in a good way.
Bill is right when he says, “On the critical matter of hamburgers, simple is best: good beef, well-prepared, without exposure to fancy-pants spices other than salt. I don’t trust this talk of Worcestershire sauce and other adulterations of good beef: those are the kinds of things that NPR listeners do to their food. Even cheese is suspect in my burger-world-view.” Then he puzzles me by adding: “On the topic, one excellent way to enjoy a good burger is a Hawaiian dish called ‘loco moco’ in which a big old greasy/juicy burger is plopped on a patty of rice with a fried egg.”
Randy’s recipe is as follows: “Angus beef 1/4 to 1/3 pound, charcoal grilled (mesquite chips help) four minutes per side. Season with salt, black pepper and porterhouse roast seasoning. Add medium cheddar cheese (Tillamook), slice about 30 seconds from second side being cooked. Use mustard and mayo on Kaiser rolls, top with thick cut fried bacon (everything is better with bacon). Add condiments of your choice.” Love the bacon, but back-off it from my burgers.
Kendall understands that “for the best tasting meat, touch it as little as possible. Pull a patty sized chunk, smash it flat, put it on the grill. The less you work and roll it, the tastier the meat is. Has something to do with emulsifying the fat, changes the flavor.”
Bill demands you get a Weston Burger Express Hamburger Press, which seems unnecessary to me. He then gives this recipe:
“The secret to my success:
- Take 2oz ground beef, smash flat in the press
- Fold in half one slice of pepper jack cheese, place on top of patty
- Take 2oz ground beef, place on top and smash it all together in the press
- Grill, or cook to desired doneness in a skillet
- (optional) Add one more slice of pepper jack on top near the end of cooking
- Toast buns while the burger is cooking
Serve with desired toppings. I prefer mustard, mayo, pickles, and Valentino's hot sauce.”
Hot sauce? No.
Now, some of you get it mostly right, but embrace bizarre heresies that make the Arian heresy look sensible in comparison.
For example, Rodney says that “[t]he best hamburger bun is a lightly toasted, slightly crunchy English muffin.” Huh?
Sharon says: “My opinion only... but the best burger is just meat. Nice 85% ground beef. Rare, with a slice of Swiss on top. I can do with or without other toppings, but it doesn't need anything fancy, just rare beef...And if you bother with a bun, a plain one is perfect so as to not distract from the beef, the star of the show.” She gets a waiver on the Swiss cheese, but what kind of monster has a burger without a bun?
Norm is mostly there when he asserts:
“The perfect burger isn’t that hard:
1) use a decent grade of ground beef, not floor sweepings or cow anuses.
2) if you’re not a layabout like me, mix in 10-20% pork sausage (preferably spicey).
3) use garden-ripe tomatoes and lettuce if you can.
4) don’t forget the slice of onion to irritate my wife.
5) most importantly, use a plastic mold to shape the patty into the shape of Texas. One of the 7000 amendments to the Texas Constitution requires us to do this, but sadly, it’s often neglected.”
Not sure about the Texas shape, but better Texas than Hawaii. However, the pork sausage thing is a wrong thing and do not do it. Similarly, Jim says to add ground linguiçia to the meat. No.
Julie makes hers out of venison, which is not a burger but still sounds tasty. To make her sliders, “take your pound of meat, add three thinly sliced scallions, some low sodium soy sauce (SLSSS) and a little A-1 to the meat and form small patties. Heat to hell and back on an iron skillet, then turn down to middle inferno and add 1/2 stick butter and some olive oil (to keep the butter from burning.) Put your patties in there and immediately get a splatter screen between your eyes and the pan or you WILL be permanently scarred. Do not flip until patties are halfway cooked because you want a good crust. After flipping and just before plating, add whatever cheese it is you crave.”
David starts strong then descends into chaos: “[B]esides the classic American grilled cheeseburger with cheddar cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, and catsup, I like them with Swiss cheese and caramelized onions and mushrooms or with crumbled blue cheese and bacon.”
Adam is just talking crazy: “What if I told you there was a classic American restaurant (started by a Greek immigrant), in a classic American town, that served Hamburgers shaped like Hot Dogs. The meat is mixed with spices and baked in a special sauce, then served in a Hot Dog Bun covered with Coney Sauce, Fresh Onions, and Mustard (you should always order extra onions and mustard)! Behold, Louie’s Coney Island with their famous Baked Hamburger.” That’s baffling.
Anyway, next week I’ll share more of your input and talk more about my manifestly correct and proper burger guidance.
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