This might piss off some vegans or animal rights people, but how great is it to bite into a nice, juicy hamburger with all the fixins? Take a nicely seasoned ground beef patty, whatever size you’re inclined to have, be it a quarter-, third-, or half-pound patty (or two or however many), cook it to whatever you consider done, melt some cheese, put some mayo, lettuce, tomato, mustard on a bun and slap that burger onto the bun, then take a huge-ass bite. In the process, some grease from the burger drips down your chin.

Many places sell hamburgers. From upscale restaurants to national chains (Red Robin, Applebee’s, etc.) and fast food (McDonald’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr/Hardee’s), everyone has their take on a hamburger. Where I work at Cracker Barrel, we have a half-pound hamburger called a Barrel Burger, which has your basic condiments (mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles) and cheese. It can be cooked to order and seasoned or not. I’ve probably seen every possible combination of burger we have; some of them make my mouth water, others make me throw up in my mouth. Just yesterday (Tuesday), I made two burgers, each exact polar opposites of the other. From the nasty well-done, unseasoned burger with American slices🤮 to the medium burger with Colby cheese, with added bacon and onions. Once I made the second burger, I was tempted to take a picture, as it was a beautiful burger, not just in terms of ingredients, but it was visually pleasing. Sometimes our burgers sit slightly drooping on the plate, tilted to an angle. This one stood straight up, as if it were proud to be eaten.

If I have the ingredients available, I would take some ground beef, add a little shredded cheese to the meat and hand-form a patty. Season the beef with some salt and pepper, and cook to medium/medium rare—not too underdone, but with plenty of juice. As for cheese, any slice of real cheese will do. Never that fake American shit. If you have real cheese available, why willingly choose a slice of plastic? Gross. Anyway, add cheese. You may or may not agree, but I like blue cheese crumbles, letting them melt into a layer of melty blue cheese goodness on that former cow. Sear a bun, add a little mustard (something with a kick like spicy brown), a leaf of lettuce (absolutely not iceberg), tomatoes and onions. Don’t forget some crispy bacon. That’s a hamburger! Ooh, I should put a little horseradish along with cheese into the meat pre-cooking. That’d give it a nice little bite. What about your burger? Go crazy! You want some yucky mushrooms? Go for it. You want those weird “beyond” or “impossible” fake burgers? Have at it. You’re the artist, and the burger is your canvas. In the words of SpongeBob, “I’m ready!”

To wind things up, here’s today’s motivational quote:

“Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.”
– Albert Einstein

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