Each week I meet with my girlfriends and lately we have been doing dinners at home, showing off our cooking skills from our own homes. We have had a Mexican, Catalan and Madrid dinners so far and this past Friday was my turn. American food...what is it? We are such thieves - pizza from Italy, tacos from Mexico, egg rolls from China and more. So, I did what any American would do in this situation, I made burgers and fries, which both boast names that show how stolen they are.
The word hamburger comes from the people who immigrated to the USA from Hamburg, Germany. And French fries are called so because they describe the manner in which they are cooked - fried like the French do it. However, these words are now synonymous with the USA, thanks to McDonald's.
As many have you have probably seen the documentary Super Size Me, some of the following facts might ring a bell.
- McDonald's feeds more than 46 million people per day - more than the entire population of Spain.
- McDonald's Happy Meals distribute more toys than Toys R Us.
- French fries are the most eaten 'vegetable' in America.
With these facts and having the documentary in mind, it helps you realize why foreigners have the idea that Americans eat fast food all the time and are all overweight. While the movie states that every day 1 in every 4 Americans stops at a fast food joint, I know a lot of people who are quite the opposite, nowadays me included. So when I decided to make an American burger/fries night, I didn't want it to be disgustinly greasy or anything and bought only the best.
While I haven't eaten at McDonald's for who knows how long, I did venture into one this past week to prepare for my All-American dinner. And I will admit to my own guilt...I got some fries, and I will say they were delicious. Crispy and crunchy with a lot of salt, I know they are horrible for you, but they are also quite tasty. I'm pretty sure they have already made my butt a bit bigger. Regardless, in McDonald's I got hooked up with a box for chicken nuggets, a bag for fries and 5 hambuger paper wrappers - all in plan to make my dinner memorable.
I didn't want to just make burgers and fries, I wanted people to get the 'American' feeling I guess, so whipped up a little burger order card that my friends had to fill out so I could make thier burgers personalized. Then each part of the meal was served with Mickey D's paraphernilia. First was a small starter salad and the girls could take some breaded chicken from the chicken nuggests box to add to it. Next were the fries spilling out of the little bag, and last but not least were the burgers, all wrapped up and served with thier tickets. My friends loved the little details and although I don't really enjoy cooking, everything turned out tasty. I guess it's in my blood - as an American I have to be able to make a decent cheeseburger, don't I?
While I didn't dabble in American desserts, we did do soemthing quite American afterwards - cookie decorating. The girls loved it and had a fun time decorating the little gingerbread men, mittens and other shapes, which none of them had done before. With Christmas tunes in the background and the tree lit, it could have really been mistaken for an American house, minus the fact that we were speaking in Spanish, but I give myself a little pat on the back for having a REAL American dinner!