Matt has a great way of sharing things. There is always a story. A detailed one. He has a better memory than me, thats for sure. So here you go! Take it away, Matt!
Growing up, ground beef was a staple in our house. Is that over stating it? Or was it THE staple holding it all together? I don’t recall my mom using chicken all that often. When she would try her hand at cooking, it was usually ground beef based.
She was a very thrifty lady who would buy it when it went on sale, bring it home divvy it up into patties, wrap it in plastic wrap, wrap that in plastic wrap, then wrap that in tin foil. Freezer. Then, when it was time for dinner (aw, crap – again, already? Didn’t we just go through this last night?) she would glumly announce, “Matt, get me some hamburger out of the freezer.” My job would be to pry off a couple of patties from the stack. Her job was to wreck ‘em.
When I would go grocery shopping with her, we went to this store called “Prairie Market” in West Seattle. This was a discount grocery store to say the least. They didn’t have price tags on the products, rather they would simply open the cases, put the open cases on the shelves and the price per unit was posted under the open case. Upon entering the store, you would select a black grease pencil and it was your task to write down the price on the can or box. Can you imagine? DISCOUNTS FOR ALL! “Everyday’s a sale at Prarie Market” should have been their jingle. But they were too cheap to have a jingle. They were lucky to have a sign.
This was in the day before the scanners and you’d just have a receipt with codes and numbers on it and when we got home, she would go through the foot long receipt item by item and sound like a broken record. “What was grocery at 59 cents?” “What was produce at 38 cents?” “What was grocery at 17 cents?” Now, I would be barking back “What can you buy for 17 cents?!?!?!?”
Whoops. I digressed.
Anyway, often she would buy our ground beef, bring it home and then proceed to get angry because the outside was all bright and pink and the inside was darker. She thought that the store was taking old meat, and covering it with new meat. Bless her heart.
“Mom, look, this one tiny piece is dark at one point and brighter at the outside.” I’m pretty sure it was an oxygen thing. But secretly I think she liked to complain about it.
The ground beef was packaged on these little square Styrofoam trays. It looked like a mini bundt meat cake with the Saran Wrap on it. One day, we’re shopping and I was bored out of my little boy brain and the butcher had just put out a whole tray of ground beef. Every one of them was this little bundt looking meat under wrap. With a hole in the center. A hole that just begged for my finger. And look! I have a finger available! While mom was elsewhere scribbling “25 (there is no ‘cent’ sign on this keyboard)” on a dented can of god-knows-what, I was busy poking my finger in each and every package of ground beef the butcher had just put out. POP! went the plastic wrap. POP! The POP was very satisfying.
I don’t know how my mom found out, and I don’t remember what happened over the next couple of hours, but my mom had anger issues and a pair of size 9 rubber soled peep toe house slippers. Burgundy. Velour. Glam. POP!
Long story short, she purchased each and every package of ground beef and I spent the rest of the night alternating between making patties and wrapping them up and rubbing the side of my head trying to get the slipper print welt to go down.
We had ground beef to last us the duration. (one of my mom’s favorite ‘isms’) Come to think of it, maybe that’s why ground beef was a staple?
I don’t remember her making hamburgers very often. But my most favorite thing she used to make was “Beef Stroganoff”. And if you think it really was Beef Stroganoff, you’ve got another think coming. (another one of her ‘isms’) She would brown a couple of patties, bust them up, sprinkle on the contents of an onion soup mix packet and put in a can of cream of mushroom soup (27 cents per the grease pencil). This would then be poured over minute rice. DINNER IS SERVED! And may God have mercy on your soul.
When I was a kid, it was the best thing she cooked. There is no way you could imagine what the worst thing was, that’s another post for another day – you could take a thousand guesses, but you’d NEVER get it.
One day, I was over at my friend Joe’s house. That night his mom had made beef stroganoff for dinner. It was cold and hours old on the stove. I asked what smelled so good and he told me. He said have some if you want. OMG! Beef Stroganoff was delicious! It had real meat in it! Real sour cream! And shock of all shocks – IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE SERVED ON EGG NOODLES! I returned and reported back to my mother that she had been doing it all wrong. That went over great. I’m glad I had hidden those slippers!
Well, I’m not going to make stroganoff out of Zaycon ground beef. That’s not its calling. I’m going to make a hamburger. A flawless hamburger. That’s the beauty of Zaycon Ground Beef. It’s 93/7 and ordinarily I’d never make a hamburger patty out of 93/7. It would be too dry, but ours is perfectly delicious. Order your ground beef before it sells out! Also, when you order a case of beef, the purchase will allow you to get our boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.49 a pound in October/November!!!!
If you want to split a case with somebody, it’s really easy to do, since the case contains 4 chubs. Much easier to split than the chicken breast.
So here’s my hamburger, yes – it’s a “Matt Burger”. Growing up with the food I did, I have to make up for lost time, so my food tends to be a little on the “fussy” side.
In future posts, I’ll post my fantastic recipes for s’getti, chili, gyros, beef teki, mama’s meatloaf (not Elizabeth’s – another mama, so don’t worry), and others using Zaycon Ground Beef, but for today, it’s just going to be some classic Burgers and Fries. And yes, these pics are actually of my hamburger patties, hamburger & fries. All made from scratch. I suffer from OCD and have delusions of grandeur.
Zaycon Ground Beef.
Buns & accoutrements to your liking.
You don’t get much easier than that.
I’ll be slinging ground beef in July in Georgia, Florida (or as I like to call it “Baja Alabama”), and in North & South Carolina.
I hope to see you in the parking lot!