Backcountry Sliders: Camping Grub Proper
It was years ago I first married my bride now, and many years before that, that I tried my first White Castle Slider. That the two entities should ever conspire together some day was but a fanciful pipe dream. For it is not with out merit that my lovely bride has refused to eat one the entire time I’ve known her…Except yesterday.
Turns out she has an adventurous palate after all, or barring that, at least a cameo moment of some rather low standards. Makes a patron take pause, it does, and consider his cooking prowess for a bit. That aside, I will admit the venerable White Castle Slider is not what we should call, gourmet. Or even good. In point of fact, half the time I wonder why I just ate it. But for some reason they persist upon the buttocks of human consumption and culinary enigmas as a gastronomic anomaly all unto their own. Why do we eat these things? The fact that I can’t answer this question sort of adds to their own legend. And that’s the disturbing pleasure of it all. But I digress.
Backcountry Sliders 101
Hearken back with me now to another time and place, far away and up north. North of the big city where the wind whispers in the pines with a stately purpose, and the rivers tumble through wide, rocky gorges, and the skies spill the color blue like you have never seen before. It was up there, at a camp site in Jay Cooke State Park, where my bride and I made camp last, and where I also cooked her the PotP version of a proper slider.
Helping me out on this cook today was our little grill donated to us by Instagrill. A prototype they were working on, which off-hand and by the way, has raised the proper funding now to put these babies into production. If all goes well, they should start becoming available this summer some time. Feel free to learn more about it in the link provided here.
Two quarter-pound patties of ground chuck, people, each impregnated with globular clusters of cheddar cheese and the occasional bit of onion. Still more onion was put on the grill, these slathered in olive oil and seasoned in salt and freshly cracked black pepper. We did onions like this a few posts back, and one of our subscribers, Todd baker, suggested that such an onion be slapped onto a burger some day. Doh! I was inspired by the man’s genius, and well, this one is for you Todd. And by the way, if ever you are looking for some good reads concerning running, metal concerts, and the odd rumination of life, do check out Todd’s blog, anddocoolstuff. Quite enjoyable. Anyways, back to the cook.
Ever gander at your meat from below? No, not with a mirror when you’re checking for ticks. But like in the photo above. I found this a refreshing angle not privy to most grills. I sat there in my folding man chair and just watched the fat render and drip, sizzling onto the coals whilst listening to Milwaukee Brewers baseball on the little radio. Oh yes, there are worse things in life than roughing it in the woods.
You all know how to grill a hamburger. There’s no secret here. We did go the extra mile however, and toasted the dollar buns like a good pit jockey ought to. We chose dollar buns because, well, that’s all the little store along the country road had. But the little buns were about the same size as a White Castle bun, and secretly I knew it would only accentuate my bountiful burgers into a thing of rapturous beauty. And this in turn would impress my wife, who was not all that impressed, I think, with the meat offering in the original WC. I can see why. The White Castle Slider sports some dubiously thin meat. Thin as a worm’s tongue it is. And not all that better tasting. Well, tonight in the woods, things would be different. Much different indeed. We would not want for beef!
Glory be! Say what you will, but this is a proper meat-to-bun ratio! Mercy, it knocked the hunger pangs out of the park like a Roger Maris home run. I was too full to even burp!
This was adequate camping grub, let me tell you. And tho I cannot promise I will never set foot inside a White Castle again, let this be an example of what can be procured in the woods or at home. Should you have a mind to, one half pound of ground beef, and a couple of dollar buns patron to the pit. Amen.
Yes sir, that is my idea of a slider! Great job!
May 9, 2017 at 5:49 pm
Oh it was tasty , John in Ecuador. Will do this one up again sometime.
Thanks mate! And hey to Mary!
May 9, 2017 at 10:30 pm
My ex-husband was from Massachusetts and kept bragging about White Castle. He kept telling me how good they were. We finally made it up there and one of the planned stops was White Castle. I ate one and was so underwhelmed, I refused to eat another.
We weren’t married long but that wasn’t the reason why.
May 9, 2017 at 6:03 pm
Hey well at least you gave it a try. Most people won’t even do that. I reckon WC is a love or hate kind of thing. Like Neil Diamond or something.
Thanks for the story!
May 9, 2017 at 10:26 pm
I’ll have to admit I love white castle burgers. They were a special treat when I was a child and I thought they tasted so good. I haven’t had one since then but often think how good it would be to have one again. Have to admit your little slider looks much more delicious,
May 9, 2017 at 7:58 pm
There are a few of you out there. Stalwarts of Club WC, who are not ashamed to admit it. And for that you have my admiration. I dunno if I love them, but once a year or so, they do hit the spot I must say.
You should make a pilgrimage to the castle someday, and relive some childhood!
May 9, 2017 at 10:24 pm
I’ve never wandered at my meat from below, whether looking for ticks or for any other reason. Perhaps I should try that some time. Thanks for the kind words and promotion. The burgers look tasty, the location is described delightfully (as always), and the post is a treat. So, tell me, when did you marry your bride for the second time (he wondered upon reading the first line of your post)?
May 9, 2017 at 9:03 pm
Thanks Todd. Yeah that first line is one of those lines that seemed right at the time, but after going back and reading it , kinda doesn’t make sense. But I liked how it sounded I guess. But yeah, no, I just married my bride once.
May 9, 2017 at 10:18 pm
Hahaha! I have no idea what a WCS is but if the top photo is anytihing to go by – looks very underwhelming. Says I, having just taken the lazy route tonight with Fush ‘n chups’ the sort of meal that your memory desires on account of childhood experience but once again with the first after burp you wonder why, why, yet again why?
However your take on the plain burger in a bun is clearly a superior product and looks way better n the Boy Scouts fundraiser in the supermarket carpark ‘sausage in a slice of bread’.
May 10, 2017 at 5:27 am
That was a brilliant reply , graemeu! You summed it up too. The WSC is indeed something you’re supposed to eat, and for a moment, yuo even look forward to eating. Then you eat it and wonder quietly to yourself, why? The disturbing part may be that after a year or so, you forget when you did and proceed to do it again, only to, as you said, wonder why. It’s one of those quirks in the human condition, I guess.
Fush n chups!!! mmmmm! I think…Maybe not. Whats a fush and chup?
May 10, 2017 at 10:48 am
Sorry, I forget that our down under patois isn’t widely known. It comes from a parody of our working class accent by a comedian “Lynn of Tawa”. It’s how the English hear us wnen we say ‘fish and chips’. In a restaurant that would be ‘a fillet of Akaroa Cod, deep fried in a tempura batter with french fries and salad’ but when you go to the fish shop, it’s any old cheap fish, left over from the day before, deep fried in a vat that has cooked a tonne of fish, sausages, pinapple rings, onion rings, oysters….wrapped in clean newsprint, although when I was a kid it was literally yesterdays news.
It’s quick, it’s hot, it smells good, usually tastes OK, fills you up but the instant you stop eating it leaves a greasy after taste that sticks in your throat to the next meal, and it’ll either bung you up or clean you out.
Otherwise known as ‘greasies’ I tried to find you a real instance but I had to settle for these below
Lynn of Tawa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZe4O7Ct8mo but I couldn’t find one with her doing the fush n chups.
What the brits think? http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/cartoon/40131/fush-chups
and just because I think it’s a hoot
ghost chips: https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/legend-ghost-chips
May 10, 2017 at 3:33 pm
Pingback: Backcountry Sliders: Camping Grub Proper | My Meals are on Wheels