Trade of the Week: 365 Ways to Cook Hamburger
This post is in honor of Doyne Nickerson, a true renaissance man and luminary in the fields of acting, advertising, writing, printing and hydroponic gardening.
In other words, everything except cooking.
But don’t hold that against him! It takes a man who can think outside the box to judge the weighty issue of ground beef and deliver 365 separate and disturbingly original convictions against it. Doyne’s recipes are as impressive for their awkward alchemy of ingredients as they are for an unapologetic reliance on both MSG and wheat-germ.
He had the unique and unprecedented capacity to examine the humble hamburger and see a world of unrealized potential. Doyne saw it all and gave us the improbable (Hamburger Birds) as well as the redundant (Hamburgerbunburgers).
Who else could have conceived the need for the Sour Cream Stuffed Meat Loaf? Sure, it was a new idea in 1958. But can any of us today imagine eating meatloaf without a piping-hot geyser of curdled cream shooting into our mouths? It was Doyne as well who first introduced us to the topsy-turvy world of Hamburger Upside-Down Pie, and took us back to the tables of our ancestors with that Thanksgiving classic, Early American Chop Suey For One Hundred.
We can forgive Doyne’s later decline, and the troubled years he spent wandering the country, doing whatever he must in order to survive. His experiences during this dark time are evident in such classic recipes as “Piquant Balls”, “Pungent Balls”, “Beat Balls” and the unexpectedly tender “Balls in a Blanket”. And who could forget the pheonix-like triumph of Doyne’s “Cocktail Balls”?
So this one’s for Doyne Nickerson. This upcoming Fourth of July, as you beat the heat with a refreshing trencher of Lemony Meat Balls in Cream Sauce, say a silent “Thank You” to the man who made the day possible. Doyne, America owes you a debt of gratitude.