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Today I am sharing a childhood favorite. One of those foods that keeps me connected to my past in the best way ever. A touchstone that I like to revisit from time to time that is connected to a happy memory. In this case it is these “Wargo Whoppers” English muffin burgers. When I was 7 or 8 years old, my daddy grilled burgers and realized we had no buns, but we did have English muffins. So he toasted those on the grill and served the burgers on them and the Wargo Whopper was born. As clearly as it were yesterday, I can see him setting that burger down in front of me. If I think hard enough, I can probably even smell his English Leather after shave. A happy memory indeed. This is nothing new or special in the great vast scheme of things, but to me it is one of the happiest memories. So come with me as we revisit the story and enjoy the burger of my youth.
In the early 70’s McDonalds and Burger King were hard hitting competitors and burger giants. Turn on the TV and hear the jingles about two all beef patties or hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. While the Whopper was introduced by Burger King in 1957 and the Big Mac in 1968, my early childhood was filled with jingles for these two burger joints. These were the impetus for my daddy calling his burger the “Wargo Whopper”. You see, my maiden name is Wargo and at the time of this happy accident, the burger competitors were going at it hard. The day my father grilled those burgers and put them on toasted English muffins is a day that will forever live in my memory. Sitting down to to dinner and having a platter of Wargo Whopper’s presented to us by my smiling father was indeed the apex of that weekend for certain. What child would not love to indulge in a burger given a special moniker and be able to brag about it?
The Wargo whopper is a combination of both the Whopper and the Big Mac. The English muffin is an original and born out of necessity. No buns made muffins a great option. In fact, I remember many a burger night featuring this sandwich in my younger days. I always thought it was funny. I laughed everytime I heard the name. It also is the reason I love alteration so much. The burger was simple, with lettuce, tomato and onion along with cheese and “special sauce” which at the time, was nothing more than Wishbone thousand island dressing poured from the bottle. Good times.
So many times, food connects us to our past in ways we do not realize until they are upon us. The first bite of a food your grandmother once made you that you have not had in a long time may bring a flood of emotion and the olfactory memories associated with the smells of that memory can sometimes be too much, leading to a momentary loss of the present, taking you back to that moment many years ago when you were at her side watching her make it for you. This is just one of many food memories that I keep close to my heart.
Food and traditions weave into our lives like gold threads in a tapestry. They are the tiny jewels interwoven into the moments we have shared with loved ones still here and those who have passed beyond the veil. These memories can be imbibed by simply making the particular recipe and eating it. Sharing the stories and passing that love along to future generations.
Now I have shared this silly little burger with my husband and my children. I hope that know how special it is, in it simplicity and it’s meaning for me and I hope that by making it I have created a memory for them. We are here for little time. The impact we make is up to us.
What are some of your favorite food memories? What takes you back to that special place and or person? Share them with me in comments. I love to hear what is special to you.
I hope this storytime and burger share has been something enjoyable for you. I hope you give this a try and I hope you love it!
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