I've heard it a thousand times.

"Well done? That ruins a steak!"

OK, then I guess I like my steak ruined. In fact, I link it a touch or two past well done.  The good news is, you don't have to eat it. I do. And I love it.

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Seriously, I generally will tell the server to let the cook know he or she can go a tab past well done and it'll be fine. Pink? No thank you.

So how did I fall into this awful pit of really well done meats? Not just steak but hamburgers, hot dogs, you name it. It probably comes from a time long ago when I was a kid.

You see, back on the farm in 'those days', Mom didn't ask us how we liked something cooked. And since my Dad liked his food, uh, well done, the rest of us did, too. The meats and even the eggs. There wasn't an over easy egg on the kitchen table. There were fried eggs...and fried hard.

Some folks like that steak rare. Some medium, others medium rare. One of the memories I have from my childhood is being at a place called the Spot Cafe in Edgerton (it's long, long gone). There was a fella that will remain nameless who liked his steak rare. I mean really rare. I can still see him slice into it, blood running out, and he dipping his piece into the blood and down the hatch it'd go.

A nightmare I can't shake.

I have family members who delight in dipping their toast in soft egg yokes when sitting next to me in a restaurant. Yeah, fun for all.

But back to that steak. You love that pink, I love that brown and maybe a touch darker. You enjoy yours, I'll enjoy mine.

Even if it's ruined.

Randy's Minnesota Memories

Randy McDaniel grew up on a small farm near Leota, Minnesota during the classic baby-boomer years of the 1960s and 1970s. These are his stories of growing up in the idyllic world of southwest Minnesota.