The Makings of a Junkie

I am an unabashed news junkie.  Actually, I might even be worse than that-I am a news groupie of sorts.  I have my favorite news reporters, journalists and anchor people and I have been known to swoon when I see or meet them.  I once was at a party with the late Peter Jennings and for days I talked about it to anyone who would listen.  Fifteen years later, I can still vividly remember meeting Ed Bradley in the lobby of The Reebok Sports Club- I can tell you what sweats and t-shirt he was wearing. 

You see, journalists are my rock stars; I adore them.  I respect them.  I think they try to help us understand the world we live in.  They expose wrongs-and rights.  In theory, they strive for truth and light…I say in theory because, while I am a junkie, I am not naive! 

Where did this passion for news come from, you ask, and what does it have to do with a cooking blog?  My parents loved the news and we watched it as a family every night at dinnertime.  Before homes had a tv in every room, we sat around the one in our den with our dinners on trays.  We saw the news as a family and then talked about the day’s events together.  We watched Walter Cronkite tell us about Nixon resigning; Peter Jennings lead us day by day through the hostage crisis in Iran; Tom Brokaw narrate the courtship and then Royal Wedding of Lady Di and Prince Charles.  The news-and our family discussions- helped shape my world view.

Today things are different.  There are dvrs in almost every home that allow you to have the nightly news when and where you want it.  There are multiple tvs in almost every home and so what Mom and Dad want to watch does not solely dictate what the family will see.  There are multiple ways to get and digest news making the nightly news ritual less of a neccessity.  And, while these technological changes make it easier to access the news, I am not sure that we are richer for this ease.  My family’s odd dinner ritual was central to developing us to be thoughtful, engaged thinkers and citizens of the world.  The news showed us every night that important things that affected us could happen in places we had never heard of.  The big world was small and tangled.

Lately, I have been making an effort to invite Harrison, our ten-year-old, to watch the news with us each evening.  He does not always choose to join us-and sometimes homework and other things get in the way- yet, this watching the events of the day together has spurred some fascinating family conversations.  I want my children to realize that the world is big and small all at once- it is a gift that my parents gave to me and one that I treasure more the older I get.

Big Ed’s (my Dad) Favorite Hamburgers– serves 4

1 ½ lbs lean hamburger meat

1 small –medium onion, chopped

2-3 T Worchestershire Sauce

Good swiss or cheddar cheese (optional)

Preheat the broiler or grill.  In a bowl, mix the hamburger with the onions and Worcestershire.  Make thick patties.  Grill or broil the hamburgers 5 minutes a side, or until cooked to your desired temperature.  Add cheese and let melt.  Serve immediately- preferably while watching the news.

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2 Comments

  1. aunt fred
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My father used to throw questions of mental arithmetic at my brother and I during dinner and of course that was long before we all had calculators and computers but I often get an opportunity to feel smug when at the cash register the machine doesnt work and I noctulantly tell the cashier how much I have spent and what is my change…..hope you also add french fries to your hamburger…

  2. Kristen
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh how this takes me back! We used to call Walter Cronkite’s broadcast “The Big News” and watched it together while eating the So Cal version of your dad’s burgers…tacos.

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