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Glen Lentil introduces you to some of the greatest friends he’s made in the kitchen. Our horoscope writer just wants what’s best for you. A pool manager owns up to an honest mistake.
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These Cheeseburger Sliders Just Want to Play!
By Glen Lentil
Welcome back. Today, you’ll be learning to make one of the most fun dishes in my repertoire (that’s French for “list”): Sliders!
Sometimes you need a dish that’s a little off-the-wall, a little silly, even, to get those juices flowing after a slow week, or a slow ten years. Whenever I happen to be in a slump, I throw together a couple of these playful patties and I feel a decade younger, if only for a fleeting moment.
- Ground beef
- Diced onion
- Hamburger buns, cut into quarters
- American cheese
- Sliced pickles
For those who don’t know, a slider is like if you took a burger, and made it smaller (think bigger than a golf ball, but smaller than the trophy for the coveted Five Guys “Sixth Guy” Best Customer Award).
Start by forming the ground beef into balls. A handy trick to make them smaller than regular hamburgers is to use less meat. You’ll want to make at least nine or ten of these little guys, so they can really get each other going. And remember to mix in some diced onion—it’s the secret to their jolly spirit! Sometimes I wish I could add some diced onions to me.
Be in conversation with your food, and listen to your little guys so they can tell you what they need. If they’re jonesing for more onion or even some jalapeño, give it to them! If they tell you a joke, laugh! I also encourage talking to yourself. For instance, I often say “this is fun, I’m having a fun time right now, I’m a good chef with many friends” out loud to myself when I make these.
Take the time to get to know each slider from the beginning. You wouldn’t want to accidentally put two troublemakers next to each other on the grill. Once you turn the heat on, their personalities really come out to play. Soon everyone’s bantering on the griddle. You only need to check the grill every two minutes or so, but you’ll probably find yourself over there for pretty much the whole time. And don’t worry if they didn’t invite you over—if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life it’s that there’s no shame in just showing up to a party when everyone forgot to invite you!
While we all might wish the party on the grill could go on forever, it’s important to take the sliders off early, before they start getting worn down by excess heat, expectations, the monotony of adulthood, or the inevitable frustration of trying to make it as a chef. While it’s tempting to keep these little balls of energy and hope in your life for as long as possible, it’s important to eat them as fresh as you can—you wouldn’t want to find them dried up, a little shriveled, 15 years into a thankless pursuit of an award from Five Guys, and needing their own set of cheeseburger sliders. So eat them fresh!
Each slider goes on its own bun, and each one will want different toppings. Mustard always adds an element of silliness to the equation. And pickles have been known to turn one of the shyest sliders from the grill into the life of the party at the dinner table. If there’s one topping you always like on your burgers, it’s fine to choose it, but ideally this decision shouldn’t have anything to do with you. Let the little guys introduce you to whatever little game they feel like playing. Sometimes it’s Twister, sometimes it’s Truth or Dare, and one time it was even Russian Roulette—that happened when I mixed the ground beef with vodka.
However their personalities differ, all of the sliders will be exciting and supportive. I’m certain that without their encouragement and pick-me-ups, there’s no way I could’ve mustered the endurance to continue competing for the Sixth Guy award after this many rejections. It’s a bi-annual award. You do the math.
This recipe is great for parties and easy to adjust for as many or as few guests as you might have. And if you have no guests? Don’t worry. It can be a blessing in disguise. I only got to play Russian Roulette because I spent a good long dinner alone with them after all my invitees dropped out to attend a party celebrating my brother Ben getting a job as a “real chef” at a “restaurant.”
See you next week (if you even show up! haha),
A Horoscope Written By Your Mom
For the Week of July 12, 2021
Aries – You’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish if you just trust yourself and put yourself out there.
Taurus – Embrace life’s simple joys— stay home and watch Friends with your mother on Netflix.
Gemini – You will be cold if you don’t bring a jacket, Gemini.
Cancer – Allow yourself the pleasure of picking up some oat milk on your way home from work.
Leo – Good things on the horizon for you, Leo. You will do very well in your job interview tomorrow. You’re going to crush it. You have to. That or you need to start paying rent.
Virgo – Virgo, life is full of little mysteries. Like who’s that actor from that show? The one that I like?
Libra – It’s time to take risks. Look at that cute barista. What if you went and talked to her? I’m serious! I already gave her your number and showed her your Facebook profile.
Scorpio – I can’t stand it when your father gets like this, Scorpio. If you’re going to start a puzzle on the dinner table, you have to finish it before dinner. Is that so crazy of me to say?
Sagittarius – You will call your grandmother to wish her a happy belated independence day.
Capricorn – When you go to work tomorrow could you return the oat milk? This is the brand I don’t like. Yes, I’ve already opened it.
Aquarius – How’s that girl you knew in high school? Tania? Tabitha? You know, the one who went to MIT but then dropped out because she couldn’t keep up? Oh, Samantha, that’s right. She just got engaged to a lawyer.
Pisces – What is my Netflix password?
A Formal Apology from the Dunshire Town Pool
Dear Dunshire Residents,
My name is Rebecca Hickey, I’m the head lifeguard, manager, CEO, and president of the Dunshire Town Pool, and I am reaching out with a heavy heart and an open mind. I’m sure you’ve all seen the headlines on the news. “Local Pool Full of Lizards.” “CDC Shuts Down Changing Rooms After HPV Outbreak.” “Head Lifeguard Punches Hot Mom in the Face.” Well, we’ve seen them too. And—I give you my word—we’re finally going to do something about it.
Apologies are not enough. Words are not enough. We need action. As a town, we will stand together, united against the unfortunate circumstances that left the pool in such an unacceptable state. Frankly, we just don’t have a budget anymore. The funding for the equipment and maintenance that are necessary for the upkeep of a safe pool, such as lifeguard training and lizard poison, does not exist.
And sure, maybe it’s because on my first day I threw a six-figure bash to celebrate my promotion to Head Lifeguard. And sure, maybe I did fill the pool with Mike’s Hard Lemonade. And yeah, maybe I did wire Bono $500 to try to entice him to come. Do I regret not having any money for chlorine anymore? Yes. Do I regret that magical day? Not for a second. You all were there. You saw how special it was.
But the health inspector has informed me that “vibes” don’t keep pools open, so now we must focus on moving forward.
In addition to the health inspector and the police, some Dunshire residents have expressed that they believe there was a connection between my taking over the pool and the onset of this funding crisis. While I do now feel that my idea to, say, fill the pool with Mike’s Hard Lemonade was a flawed one, we are all to blame, equally, for the damage that has been done. Each member of the staff will have to re-examine the way they’ve been running things.
Take Ted Balsom, whom you might know from the concession stand. Well, we love Ted, but if he wants to keep his job, he’s going to have to stop scooping ice cream with his bare hands. Yes, all the ice cream scoopers we had did get sold to pay for a sick sound system—Pitbull has NEVER sounded better— but Ted’s still the one putting his grubby paws in your cream.
Or Melissa Chaplin, our groundskeeper. She set up the fog machine for the party, and even though it was my idea to fill the fog machine with, you guessed it, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, she probably should’ve said something like “no, that’s gross.” Or said it louder, anyway.
We at the Dunshire Town Pool know that accountability is important. It’s one thing for us to say we’re going to get rid of the floating DJ station I had installed in the center of the pool. It’s another thing to actually do it. And so, as proof of our commitment to making this little swimming hole a safe community space once again, we will drain the week-old Mike’s Hard Lemonade and refill the pool with something boring like water. While I would completely understand if this choice was disappointing to some of our cooler and more popular community members, it seems that the more vocal members at last night’s town meeting feel that it is a necessary change.
The town council has also requested that we create a website where members of the community can post questions, comments, and concerns, so that we can make the real changes and reforms that you want to see. Tired of that guy Warty Marty who I thought was Bono but was just wearing sunglasses and now he keeps trying to sell people his ADHD meds and he won’t leave? Hop on our website, log a complaint, and Marty will be gone by supper. Worried about bringing your kids to the pool ever since that lizard someone brought to the party turned out to be a baby alligator and then bit that one guy? Let us know. Community input is crucial to the running of a successful pool—if even three more people had simply just told me that it was a bad idea to fill a public pool with Mike’s Hard, I never would have done it.
And we’re going to need your help too, Dunshire. Even more important than commenting your concerns on our website, we are going to need you to keep coming to the pool. Because if you don’t, the rest of our funding will get pulled, and if that happens, you can say goodbye to next month’s Summer Rager Drink-O-Rama. As a matter of fact, the State Economic Agency has us on the top of their list of unprofitable public pools, as well as many other lists. So please, please keep coming. We need the Dunshire Town Pool to remain a community center. Because, if there’s one thing that’s worth risking a yeast infection for, it’s community.
Rebecca Hickey, Head Lifeguard at the Dunshire Town Pool, Former Mike’s Hard Lemonade Ambassador
Thanks for joining us at the PIC Newspaper this week. Never stop learning.