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The horror of hamburgers at home

Submitted by on Monday, 7 July 2008 No Comment

Say what you will about McDonald’s — and I’ve said a lot, only to take back most of it on a Friday evening when the guys are clamoring and I’ve forgotten to take dinner out to thaw — but you have to give Ronald credit .

That clown is on the ball when it comes to listing ingredients, thus earning the eternal gratitude and frequent patronage of any family with food allergies.

That’s why I was surprised that crack cocaine isn’t listed as a hamburger ingredient. I know it’s in there. How else do you explain Big Guy willingness to gobble one, sometimes two, while refusing a burger lovingly prepared by mom?

It couldn’t be because he’s stubborn and averse to trying new foods. Drug addiction has to be the answer.

I knew this afternoon we were in for a wild ride when he asked what was for dinner. “”Hamburgers,”" I replied.

His eyes lit up. “”We’re going to McDonald’s? Yippee!”"

Sometimes I almost feel guilty about crushing his soul. “”Nope. I’m going to make hamburgers.”"

“”You can do that?”" he asked, incredulous.

I nodded. “”But the buns won’t have seeds,”" he countered.

“”No, but everything else is the same.”"

Last month, as I packaged patties for the freezer, I’d thought this was going to be easy. He’d fallen in love with the burger of late, and I’d looked forward to a simple, stress-free meal.

I’d pounded the patties wafer-thin in the finest McD’s tradition. I was bold enough, though, to sneak in minced onion, figured that if he accepted it in his grandmother’s ground beef shish kabobs, it would be permissible in a burger.

Instead, he stood by the stove tonight with his “”you’re trying to poison me”" look.

“”You know how to do this?”" Sheesh, does everyone think I’m a bad cook just because I have a career?

“”Yes, babes. I’ve done it a lot of times.”"

“”And it’s the same meat, right?”"

I nodded, biting back the urge to tell him I was cooking kangaroo. Some sarcasm is simply too sick for a 4-year-old.

He was skeptical but bored, so he left to watch cartoons.

Meanwhile, I prepared their plates — the dreaded burgers plus the most boring tortilla chips on earth (no trans fat and low sodium) plus salsa. Despite my avowed neutrality in the food wars, I was going to get a vegetable down that kid tonight.

“”Hey, chips!”" Big Guy cheered . Then suspicion resurfaced. “”You never let us have chips for dinner,”" he said. That burger must be wretched, he thought.

“”I didn’t figure you’d want potato salad,”" I said. Even Little Guy won’t eat potato salad — his mouth can’t figure out crunchy pickles and mooshy potatoes in the same dish.

It earned me enough points that he tried three dainty bites of burger before pushing it aside. “”I’m just not hungry. Can I have a donut?”"

He knew he wasn’t going to get away with that. “”OK, Cheerios, then.”"

Cheerios, it is. I’d rather live to not fight another day — there’s still 4 1/2 pounds of patties in the freezer.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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