Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spam Burgers

Spam Burgers

Dorcas Annette Walker

I first tasted Spam Burgers in the Bible Institute kitchen that I attended. Since I had a study hall right before lunch, and the call had gone out for volunteer help in the kitchen, I found myself a couple days each week in the school kitchen helping prepare and serve the lunches. I soon became good friends with the cooks. Guess who was one of the first fellows to arrive at the kitchen close to lunchtime? This tall lanky blond fellow with a wide grin seemed to hang around every time I worked in the kitchen. He knew just exactly how to butter up the cooks and get larger portions of food. He also knew how to work his charm on me and that is how one afternoon, instead of a romantic setting like I had always envisioned, I found myself being proposed to at one end of the dining hall while the cooks bustled back and forth in the kitchen preparing a meal. For some unknown reason my destiny always seems to circle around a kitchen.

Spam by first developed by Hormel in 1926 and was the first canned meat that did not require refrigeration. It was called the “miracle meat” and became a prime staple for the military during WWII, who soon began singing songs about how much they hated the stuff. Regardless, once they returned home the soldiers brought a taste of Spam back with them. This innovative product became fated to save lives, win wars, and balance the diet of people worldwide. One of the most important moments in Spam’s history was in 1970 when a popular British comedy show produced a skit where every item on the menu consisted of Spam ending with a song in praise of Spam. Today spam is most widely known as a term used for the sending of unsolicited bulk messages over the internet. Its start in 1993 came by Richard Drew, who had a software program with a bug in it that ended up posting 200 messages ticking a lot of people off.

My Spam Burgers have a sharp ham flavor surrounded by melting cheese on toasted wheat bread. Spam Burgers can be made up ahead of time and popped into the oven right before serving. Leftovers can be frozen and microwaved later. These Spam Burgers are great for parties or as a snack. Any type of breads or buns can be used from regular, pita, and French to rye along with using Swiss cheese instead of mozzarella. My Spam Burgers take only ten minutes to prepare and this recipe serves eight.

Spam Burgers

8 slices of wheat bread
1 (12 oz) can of luncheon meat
½ (12 oz) bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c mayonnaise
3 tb catsup
1 tb dried onion
1 tb sweet pickle relish
Black pepper

In a medium-size bowl shred the luncheon meat and add cheese, mayonnaise, catsup, onion, and pickle relish. Sprinkle on black pepper to taste. Mix well, divide up, and spread on the slices of wheat bread laid out on a large tray. Bake at 350ยบ for 15 minutes until lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Garnish with chives or parsley and serve hot with a tossed salad!

Weekly tip: Salad tip #2: Cut the core out of lettuce heads with a paring knife, wrap in paper towels, and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. You can store lettuce this way for up to a month letting you stock up on lettuce when on sale!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: dorcaswalker@twlakes.net. For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com

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