Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Mother Taught Me How to Brown Hamburger Meat

It’s so odd, when you’ve lost someone close to you, how they come to you in the strangest ways.

Mother liked her hamburger meat well done.  She didn’t want any hint of rawness getting in there.  So, when she fixed ANYTHING involving hamburger meat (frequent, since we were usually broke), she browned the heck out of it.  In fact, some of it was just this side of burnt.  She left the grease in, too; it cooked up into the meat.

When I became an adult (having listened to none of her efforts to teach me to cook), the one thing I could fix was “spaghetti gunk”.  I named it; it was basically Mother’s combo of hamburger meat, pasta (any kind), and sauce she made herself.  Mine, somehow, never turned out like hers, though.

I was home one time and asked her to show me how she made it (since I was going exactly by her recipe and it wasn’t working), and she did.  She stood there at the stove and almost burned the meat.  I was shocked; I’d been browning it till it was gray (all the pink gone). 

The next time I fixed “spaghetti gunk” at home, I did as she did---and mine turned out almost like hers.  Amazing!


My friend West lost his father a couple of weeks ago.  My friend Keith lost his step-mother this week.

Once the initial pain goes away, it’s so funny, the ten million small ways in which you see them.  Of course you remember the big things---but it’s the little things that get you.

1 comment:

  1. The young generation doesn't call it hamburger meat anymore. It's ground whatever (sirloin, chuck, round, etc.). We always called it hamburger meat.