Two burgers worth, please…”

As I move, ever so slowly, toward full-service parenting, new hurdles arise: today’s was cooking meat.

I have been a vegetarian for as long as I can remember, and the last time I purchased meat was perhaps 35 years ago. But circumstances conspired today to require meat to be cooked: Californian niece A. is running the Family Zoom tonight, and we’ve been instructed to come bearing magical potions of our own design.

Oliver, sensing a way over the fence of my fascist vegetable regime, specified that he required burgers for his magic potion.

What was I to do?

I tried pulling the old “surely veggie burgers will do?” routine, but was immediately shut down. So meat it was to be.

Off to KJL we went.

I’m looking for ground beef,” I announced on arrival.

How much would you like?”, asked the jaunty young butcher.

Well played, meat boy.

Two burgers worth, please” I squeaked out, certain he could smell the vegetarian all over me.

I was directed toward the case behind me, where I picked up the smallest possible amount of ground beef. $6.80 worth.

Once home, I had to figure out how not to kill myself or Oliver; visions of Jack Klugman’s Quincy danced in my head: “Looks like a classic case of naïve meat poisoning by a vegetarian, Sam.”

I proceeded to conduct what might be the most hygienic preparation of hamburgers ever: I washed my hands every couple of minutes; I made sure that no surfaces that had meat on them touched anything else, and went immediately into the dishwasher; I cooked the burgers to within an inch of their life, and used a meat thermometer to make sure they were at an appropriate “way more than well done” internal temperature.

Meanwhile, in the backup frying pan, I made myself a Beyond Meat burger.

At this hour, both Oliver and I are still alive, and Oliver reported that the burger was tasty and satisfying. The potion ingredient burger is in the fridge, standing by for later use.

As that might be all the meat cooking I have in me for 2020, if you are moved to take Oliver out for a steak sometime, please be my guest.


Sandy 's picture
Sandy on July 11, 2020 - 06:13 Permalink

I can relate to this post. Dale and I have been vegetarian for 30 years and the kids since birth. Bailey decided that he was a meat eater a couple of years ago. Initially, that just meant eating meat when he was out, but now he has meat a home. I, too have no idea how to cook meat and have mostly left him to figure it out. Luckily, Bailey likes to cook and watches lots of videos to learn techniques. Feel free to ask Bailey to come over if you have another meat crises.

Paul Capewell's picture
Paul Capewell on July 11, 2020 - 08:54 Permalink

Peter, I absolutely loved this - the exchange at the butcher's just absolutely tickled me.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on July 11, 2020 - 10:03 Permalink

I feel guilty for laughing. The meat lobby wins another round. Curses!

Andrea's picture
Andrea on July 11, 2020 - 13:30 Permalink

As a flexitarian who doesn't get very excited about red meat, most of the meat prep at our house is done by Jim. But since his accident, I've had to do all the shopping, and can relate to your experience with the butcher. I had to buy bacon the other day, and had no idea that is available in different flavours and thicknesses. I'm much better at selecting avocados.