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The First Man Food Blog

It is that time again for the Man Blog. It seems like forever that I have been waiting for it to fall on a Friday and continue the tradition of Foodie Friday. We have spent the last three weekends in a hotel. There was a point in time when I lived in hotels during the week. I was always told how fabulous life was for me. "Eating out every meal. Watching what I wanted to on T.V. Meeting new people.” I didn't" hate it. Everyone is capable of adjusting. I have adjusted the other way now. Having to be in a room by yourself all week seems to be easier than being in a room with two other people for three nights. I learned things I would not have known because Tina started her day watching the news. I avoid the news because there isn't a single thing I can do about any of it.

I realized how much of a carrot trick the weather forecast is. Just spit out the forecast for the love of all that is holy. I must have heard "the complete forecast when we return" a million times. That was the catchphrase when I was a kid, and we had three channels to choose from. There are numerous channels, free apps, and who knows what else they are competing against now. Just spit it out, "73 degrees and sunny today." Done, D.U.N. DONE.

I learned that India landed on the moon. How in the world did that happen? Granted, I don't watch any news to speak of and randomly look up a headline if I overhear something of interest. Last I knew, Russia was a bully. He's not the greatest at being a bully. Established a bromance with Iran. He has a grumpy-looking leader who didn't even laugh as a baby. More than likely, he was kicked out of preschool for being such a grumpy bully. He found his calling of torturing people in the K.G.B. China was making islands, super-fast missiles, and hot air balloons that spied on everything, the obvious and possibly not the obvious. In my mind, India was charming snakes and making food that was too brutally hot to even think about eating. Out of nowhere, India does a giant, Hold My Beer, and lands on the moon. I can't be the only person that was blind-sided. How did we all miss it? Waiting for the damn weatherman to spit out the forecast is how. Perhaps if they spent that time with a brief overview of world events, we would all know something of value.

I learned that hotels no longer make your bed and bring fresh towels. That has to be requested. We stayed at one that I would say was not the worst and not Eastern. Nothing of movie star staying type or by-the-hour type, but clean and functional. Someplace that you would assume would have the grace and style to know using the same towel to dry your face that you dried your butt with the day before isn't going to fly. It is one hundred percent corporate policy. They try to make the pitch that we can all do our part to save the resources. Let us just be honest. They don't like water bills. They can't get help to do the work. Rather than any self-reflection as an institution of why they are short-handed, they want everyone to use day-old butt towels. It would be a completely different story if the town were experiencing a drought. I would not be concerned about fresh towels. I would run the water to lather and again to rinse. I feel like policies like that set up the folks working hard at the hotel to have half-pissed-off folks to deal with.

I also had my first experience at a coffee shop. Let me say I don't get it. It was trendy. There were trendy people who were social, drinking coffee and looking at their phones. At first, I thought a killer breakfast sandwich would be on the menu. It was little tiny baby sandwiches with a million different ways to make a drink. I would drink a mud puddle at a truck stop in the morning if it had caffeine. If I am making the trip for breakfast, the menu had better have gravy and biscuits, some hash, and scrapple. I want to hear old men shouting inappropriate things because they can't hear anything and have no idea how loud they are. I want to see old ladies complain about everything on their bill and fuss about everything, then say, see you tomorrow when they leave. I don't want to sip a fancy version of what takes no effort for me to make at the house and see folks in skinny jeans. I briefly thought there was an unwritten rule: don't bring your kids. I could see the draw to something like that. I personally don't care for the noise of the bar scene. I am in bed before the bar scene even happens. But I thought perhaps a coffee shop was an early morning hang-out for grown-ups. It is not. There is no McCloset of toys to cut the children loose in. I honestly can't see the point and am not picky enough about coffee to make the effort.

My favorite part of staying anywhere is always coming home. I have said before I would not trade one hundred acres of anywhere else for all the more farm I could stick to my boots. When I had to stay away before, my first wife would always tell me I could pick anything I wanted for supper on Friday night when I got home. She thought I was joking with hamburger helper, toasted cheese, soup, or even bacon and eggs. Our first meal when we returned to the farm after this trip was oatmeal. I have never had such delicious oatmeal.

One meal I can never get tired of is a cheeseburger. I have to be honest; there are unwritten rules about cheeseburgers. Smash burgers are not acceptable. Don't mutilate a meatball and act like it is an exotic treat. Use a burger press and accept the role of not being a savage. Choose your cheese wisely. If you are using American cheese, go ahead and use spray cheese. The only options for cheese are Longhorn or Swiss. Swiss is only acceptable if mushrooms are involved or you are out of Longhorn. My favorite burger is the stuffed burger. To make the stuffed burger, you will need a burger press capable of making the proper form.


½ an onion

1 spoonful of garlic

3 pickles

Sprinkle of hot sauce

1 lb. bacon.

2 lb. hamburger (off the farm good stuff, not the poor tortured old dairy cow you get at the grocery store)

4 eggs.

4 slices of cheese

8 slices of bread.

Step 1) Start by cooking the bacon. Cook it slow. Make sure the bacon is crispy. If you prefer to have limp, undercooked bacon, this is not a recipe that you should follow. You should reevaluate your life choices until you realize that crispy bacon is the only, not savage, option. Leave all of the bacon grease in the skillet.

Step 2) While the bacon is slowly cooking to crispy perfection, chop up the onions and pickles. Add garlic and a splash of hot sauce in a small bowl and stir in the chopped onions and pickles.

Step 3) Form the burger with the press that hollows out a magical spot for the chopped-up goodies. Add the goodies. Add the top of the burger and press it all again tight.

Step 4) If the bacon is ten seconds away from being burnt, remove it from the skillet and add the stuffed burger. Do not drain off the bacon grease. I usually add a bit of water and cook with the lid on for 10 minutes before flipping. Let the burgers cook for another 10 minutes and flip again. I squish just a bit to check for blood but not to flatten.

Step 5) On a separate griddle, fry butter bread to make Texas toast for a bun.

Step 6) Once the burgers are completely cooked, add the bacon to the top and put the cheese on top of the bacon as a dairy-based bacon holder. Cover and cook on simmer until the cheese is melted and headed over the side of the burger.

Step 7) While the skillet is still hot and the burger has been removed, hard fry an egg for each burger.

Step 8) Layer the egg on the Texas toast bun with the burger on top and enjoy.

I hope you try out what I consider to be the best meal at least once. Unless, of course, you have an issue with cholesterol or diabetes, are vegan, have religious restrictions, have a soft spot for cows, or think that meat is murder. Technically, you might be correct on the meat is murder. Honestly, if you ever met a cow, you would know eating a hamburger is doing the cow a favor.

Until next month, stay safe and make the right choices on cooking cheeseburgers.

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