Friday, March 21, 2008

Flippin' burgers.

People sometimes ask me how I learned to cook.

I think back to different reasons. First of all, my mom is an incredible cook. Her food is my favorite. But I had been eating her food for almost 20 years before I lifted a knife. And then, AHA! I knew the reason.

For about 2 and a half years in college, I paid for my booze, my clothes, and my outings by flipping burgers, making quesadillas, and putting together sandwiches. The only place that took non-work study students (wich I was for the first 3 years of school) was at this deli-like place called the Coop, where students would go when they were sick of dining hall food.

I learned how to chop, mince, and mix. I learned how to fry fries, and make shakes, and learned how to correctly boil eggs for egg salad. In fact, I can't look at mayo without getting slightly grossed out because I had to scoop out mounds of mayo out of gallon tubs to make enough egg salad for the day. Although, I also had to deal with the same amount of avocados, and my love for them have only increased. Sometimes, it's meant to be.

There were times when I honestly questioned people's choices. My least favorite thing to make was a quesadilla with American cheese. I meeaaaaan, come on. We had perfectly melt-worthy jack and cheddar cheese. Why American?? Why ruin such a perfect concept? (I just have issues with American cheese. Even in grilled cheese sandwich.)

Then there were people who ordered the triple patty burgers. With grilled onions. And melted cheese. Now, let me tell you. This is coming from someone who has worked in fast food joints: We do not care about your health. I used to slather oil and butter on the pan so that things would slide off and cook easier. And to top it off with those blood red beef patties... Yum?

I was thinking about my old and still technically the longest job I had while I was making an adapted version of Veganomicon's black bean burger. I didn't adore my job, but I am glad I did flip all of those burgers, because it has helped me luuuurve cooking today.

The black bean burgers were awesome. It called for onions, which I didn't have. I know. No onions in a kitchen? That is the equivalent of having no light bulb in a lamp. But I subbed it with grated zucchini and extra spices, and it came out fine. Oh, and the "optional" cilantro suggested by the book? Totally essential.

Spread Trader Joe's Peach Salsa (which I slather on EVERYTHING because it makes EVERYTHING better) on a sprouted hamburger bun with the burger, and devour. You can see my Veganomicon cookbook in the background of the picture below.

I have several patties left to survive me a couple of days. Excited! I shall be flippin' burgers like the old days, and reminisce about all those American cheese monstrosities.

P.S. I got rid of almost all of the nasta-funk soyogurt by baking a chocolate orange yogurt cake, pictured below. My co-workers ate that entire cake. I think I really like baking for people.


yvontron said...

baking for other people is really the best thing. that's why i usually don't bake things. i only crave the final outcome for a second and then wish that the plate of cookies/cake/whatever would go away.

the food industry is weird, no?

avocados rock.

american cheese sucks.

black bean burgers yum. would go nicely to finish off that meal with black bean brownies. (ps. i put some in my freezer for you)

Betsy said...

american cheese is evil. i don't get how people can eat it. even as a kid, I would get nauseous after eating a bite of it. ewwwwww

Lisa said...

to both betsy and yvonnesky:

i feel like american cheese is the representation of everything we are mocked for by foreign countries.