Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Comme au pays... or almost

Tonight my husband is at a company dinner function, so I'm enjoying what's probably one of the last nights I can sit at home in an old t-shirt and waste time as tranquilly as I used to back in my college days. All the freedom of being a single girl at home, and what do I do? I make myself a hamburger.

My husband doesn't hate hamburgers, and he's even become American enough to have a theory on the best way to extract ketchup from a glass Heinz bottle: give it a good tap with the palm of your hand right on the "57" logo on the neck of the bottle. I've tried it, and it works. However, as with most of the other American classics in my cooking repertoire, he always has some other idea when I suggest it. "It's not that I don't like them," he'll tell me, "It's just they're overcooked. And the bread. Do you have to use that horrible, squishy pain de mie?" I offer to make him a nice, rare burger in between slices of baguette and he still hesitates. Since there are plenty of other things I make which I know he'll appreciate far more, I rarely insist.

So tonight I wasn't missing my chance. I dropped by the store after work and bought a hamburger patty (they come in individual packages here, what convenience!), some good old-fashioned American-brand [sic] hamburger buns, a package of frozen french fries, a bottle of Heinz, and some tasteless, imported tomatoes. Bliss.

Unfortunately, my pregnancy diet dictates that I cook the hell out of all meat products, ground beef in particular. The gray, dry, and crumbly result didn't marry too well with the squishy bun despite a generous slice of tomato, and the Maille dijon mustard made the ketchup taste a little too sweet. The cornichons were a nice touch, but the end result couldn't be saved. Oh, for a nice, juicy, medium-rare charcoal-grilled burger with a nice slice of melted Vermont cheddar!

Homesick? Nah. But barbecue season is going to be tough this year, I assure you.

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