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Thawing Hamburger

There is one thing I have never taught my body how to do, and that is to figure out at 6 a.m. what it wants to eat at 6 p.m.

I suppose there are some people who roll out of bed and can hardly wait for the day to go by to get at those cabbage rolls, but I'm not one of them.

I am always surprised when it is time to eat and there is nothing on my plate.

When my children were younger, I figured out there were two kinds of mothers: those who dragged out of a warm bed and put nutritious chili in a wide-mouth thermos, and those who stuck a stick of gum and a holy picture in a sack with instructions to "Trade up!"

When 43 percent of the women in this country went out into the marketplace to work, planning ahead for meals became a real challenge and hamburger became our national bird.

There's something about hamburger that's so...ground. It's like an old friend. I am never defeated by frozen hamburger like I am by a package of chops that are welded together or spareribs that wrap around a piece of frozen fat that is held captive until spring.

I never met a frozen turkey that was not capable of sinking the Titantic.

But hamburger is conquerable even at 6:30 when the big game starts at 7:30 and it's frozen like a rock. I know all of you have tried traditional ways to defrost hamburger, but have you considered some of the following new ones?

1. Tuck frozen hamburger under your armpit while setting the table.

2. Balance meat under your shower cap as you run through the hot water.

3. Put it in your dishwasher and run it through the dry cycle.

4. Have the children put it on top of the television when they first arrive home and begin playing video games.

5. Put it under the rear tire of your car and back up.

There are some people who put hamburger out on the countertop or sink before they go to work in the mornings. I don't know any of them personally.

From: Forever, Erma (March 9, 1982 Column)