Move over, McDonald’s. I’ve discovered a way to really put the “happy” into a “Happy Meal”…into the burger part of the meal, that is.
In our house, happy faces are de rigeur. The Maiden likes everything to be Botoxed into an eternal grin. We have smiley salads, smiley pizzas, smiley raisin patterns on the oatmeal, fruit arranged into a smiley. It goes beyond food too; I am constantly required to tattoo a happy face onto random objects in order to ward off the dreaded trembling upper lip, which appears whenever the Maiden is concerned that anyone except her mother might be unhappy.
When I read Kim’s post on making meatballs into eyeballs (we are so having that for supper next Hallowe’en!), I realized yet another avenue of spreading the culinary joy. Why not extend the meat-decorating into an entire face– and make happy hamburgers?
Olives could be the eyeballs, of course (except for the Man’s hamburgers–he hates olives–although come to think of it, he doesn’t care whether his burgers are happy or not, as long as they’re made with meat and slathered with mayo, ketchup and cheddar cheese, and of course the obligatory thin lettuce leaf which he uses as an excuse to avoid eating vegetables at the meal since he’s “already having salad.”). I could use other vegetables as the nose, mouth, and ears. If I got really creative, I could use mung bean sprouts as the hair.
It’s like playing Mr. Potato Head, although more excitingly dangerous, because it involves salmonella.
I like it.
The results were…interesting.
Before (warning: may contain salmonella): Aren’t they cute?
Poor things, they have no idea what’s about to happen to them…
Although, actually, the one on the bottom left is sort of looking up at the grill lid with a quizzical air, as if to say, “Hmmm, what is that odd heat-spewing plate hovering over us? It’s almost as if we’re going to get burned alive. Nahhh, I must stop being so paranoid. And yet…”
Turns out he should have given in to paranoia and gotten the heck off that grill:
I swear I did not alter the top right burger’s expression. It happened on its own during grilling.
To be honest, I think they look like the entrance to a horror museum. All they need is the sign from Dante’s Inferno, “All hope abandon, ye who enter here.”
But the Maiden hadn’t read Dante, and she was thrilled. “I love you, my happy little burger!” she crooned. She was happy because her hamburger was smiling. I was happy because I didn’t have to ice the burger with the obligatory mustard eyes, relish nose, and ketchup smile. The hamburger– well, I’m not sure whether it enjoyed being crunched, munched, and dissolved by digestive juices, but there you have it. Happy burgers to you all!