May is officially National Hamburger Month, official in the sense that it was enacted as a vast marketing scheme by either White Castle or Krystal depending on whom you ask. We here at Short Order support fast food America, capitalism, and fake holidays, but let's face it, corporate chain burgers suck. Here are our top ten do-it-yourself ways to celebrate
10. Fire it up. BBQ is humankind's greatest technological achievement in cooked food. Whether you're working with a Grillmaster5000 on dual propane tanks, a grocery shopping cart turned on its side and stocked with brokedown wood pallets, or a traditional coal top grill, get that fire started and cook up some grub.
9. Try something new. Wikipedia defines a hamburger as a "cooked ground meat patty, usually beef, placed in a sliced bun or between pieces of bread or toast." That leaves plenty of room for interpretation so whether it's turkey, ostrich, bison, or even a veggie burger that you've never eaten, give it a shot, you might discover a new favorite.
8. Experiment with condiments. Sure you could be boring and go the old ketchup, mustard, etcetera route, but that's lame. How bout cabbage, vinegar, chili powder and pineapple on a tuna burger. Sound gross? Make up your own.
7. Try a new bread. Some people put their burger between two glazed donuts, some live by Texas Toast. Throw your patty between a couple grilled bacon waffles with maple syrup and tell me if that don't kick start your flavor engine.
6. Cheese it up. Sure you've probably had plenty of cheddar burgers, but have you ever stopped to think that maybe there's more to life than individually wrapped, floppy, neon cheese slices? Me neither. Go for it.
5. Get crazy. This is America dammit, land of opportunity, and Obama said it's time for change. Make a patty from ground turkey, ground chicken, jerk seasoning, and pine nuts. Grill. Top with mango salsa, grilled tomato, grilled onions, grilled lemon slice, on jalapeno cheese bread. I just made that up, somebody tell me if it's any good.
4. Have a cookoff. Invite friends over to someone else's house, drink copious amounts of alcohol, set up three grills, come up with your own creation or go with a tried and tested recipe, bet on who will win, pay off judges, enjoy.
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3. Pay an expert. Whether you go to Tobacco Road, Pit BBQ, Keg South, Red Light, or any of the other million local joints that serve a tasty burger, make sure to support your favorites this and every month.
2. Volunteer at a homeless shelter on burger night. Do homeless shelters even have burger night? They should, and if they do, give yourself a greater appreciation for whatever it is you got, whether it's a little or a lot, it's probably better than nothing. Fill up on the sense of entitlement that comes with having worked for free and build your appetite for the greater food, I mean good.
1. Stop supporting global burger corporations. Their profits are growing while most everybody else's are falling. Sure their product is reliable and satisfying, sometimes delicious even, but that's only cause millions of dollars go into developing their formulas and marketing them. If they could sell us processed carboard soaked in used fry trap grease they would. Eat em if you want, but never trust em.
Happy National Burger Month. Click here for inspiration.