"I know how to make a burger 50 different ways." His eyebrows raise, a smile starts at its corners. If this Dutchman thinks that America makes the best burgers, and if it’s true I am an American, then my statement is an agreeing…
It is quite possible to make a burger in over 50 incarnations. Think of how many ways you've had one. Barbequin’ is an American right of passage. The two most life changing burgers I've been introduced to are the Squirrel Burger and the Burns Burger. The Squirrel Burger is from a bar in Corvallis Oregon. Consisting of a beef party, and a slice of ham cooked on the griddle with a fried egg on top. I ate three of them one night, maybe four, let’s go with four for the sake of a good story. The other breakthrough in burger making for me was the Burns Burger; consisting of ground beef mixed by hand with spices, mostly garlic. In my younger years, we just slapped a Costco death disk on the grill – propane generally. The evolution of a man's keen ability is gradual, and learning the flavor benefit of fire over propane is pivotal in that evolution; Burns was pivotal to mine. How about donuts for buns? Or two grilled bacon and cheese sandwiches for buns? Blend some ground bacon with the beef, put cubes of cheese in the beef, or In-N-Out's animal style – possibilities! Though as the great Ron Johnson put it, "You can put ketchup or lettuce and tomato on it if you want, I don't really care what you do." The beef is all that matters; that, consistency, and flame.
The Dutchman's skepticism from my earlier statements regarding California's superior beer, wine, and weed had been forgotten after all the burger talk. He had a right to skepticism considering his origins where French wine, Amsterdam weed, and Belgium beer are rooted in time. California has agricultural superiority, its viniculture and brew-master embezzlement from the old world and its unquenchable desire for cannabis has driven its own right to arrogance. I told him he'll have to come taste it to believe. Plus, I'll make him a burger.
Our Greek friend had other interests to discuss, mostly linguistics. Apparently English is plastic; a statement to be condescending toward a language lacking original roots, being fabricated from other ancient languages such as Latin, Greek, and Germanic tongues. She apologized to me after saying it, fearing the weight of such a heavy defamation would be more than I would stand for; her words having cut me like a knife. The insult was completely lost on me though. Having no pride at all in my birth or origins, language is a tool to me not an identification. Plus I have the superiority of bearing mastery of the world language -- plastic origins or not. She spoke seven languages, was a journalist, and was drunk. Her middle age and "worldliness” gave her a certain attractiveness. Her drunkenness and desire to interrupt everyone and change the subject according to her will...well, that made her the hottest woman imaginable. The Dutchman was attempting to fly up her dress, with my exhaustion from hiking ancient ruins and talking through the night at the protest gave me a break from flirting. Thus leading me to be a bystander to his attempts and her rejections. Though the focus was on me, as rightly it should.