Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Blogging A-Z Challenge (2018) – Antoinette Truglio Martin – H is for Hamburger

This is the second post of author Antoinette Truglio Martin who began blogging in 2018.. I am going to share four posts from her archives that were part of her A-Z challenge last year.  Since my downfall is and has always been food….I enjoyed browsing Antoinette’s challenge. Now who does not like a hamburger….

“Welcome to my Blogging A-Z April 2018 Challenge. My theme is Food Stories Remembered because there is always a story when food is involved. I consider myself a good home cook with a great appetite for hearty food. I have witnessed the creation of favorite recipes in friends’ kitchens and have learned from the best—my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. Recipes may be included. I am remaining uncommitted on this because when I cook, I seldom measure. If you try any of my recipes, you are cooking at your own risk. Grab a glass of wine. Hope you’re hungry!”

Blogging A-Z Challenge (2018) – Antoinette Truglio Martin – H is for Hamburger


I was a Burger King girl. It was my first minimum wage, pay taxes, contributed to Social Security job. At the time the “Have It Your Way” campaigned feigned that the burgers were custom grilled. The special orders dictated how the hamburger was dressed— hold the pickles, hold the lettuce… It wasn’t supposed to upset the assembly line, but now and then someone wanted saltless fries—a nuisance. The worst request was seedless buns. Two bottom bun halves had to be used for one hamburger. No one ever special ordered a hamburger with seeded bottom buns.

The Burger King I worked at was in Bohemia on Sunrise Highway in the Hills shopping center. It was too far to walk or bicycle to so Mom had to drive me. I usually got a ride home from a fellow crew worker or, when I was 17, my boyfriend. He would order two whoppers extra everything before I punched out. Each burger weighed more than a pound.

The most memorable part of working at Burger King was the uniform. The orange and yellow polyester tunic coordinated with the elastic waistband orange pants. The heavy, oily meat fumes could not wash out. It became my perfume every time I put on that uniform. The worse accessory was the hat—the orange and yellow bubble hat. No one looked good in that hat!

I worked at Burger King until I was 18. Waitressing proved to be more lucrative and did not require a garish uniform. I did come away from my Burger King experience with excellent customer service skills (the managers always put the girls with pretty smiles at the register), learned to make change, and developed multi-tasking abilities.

I must admit that I do, occasionally, indulge in a BK hamburger. I think it is to satisfy some primal craving. When I open the wrapper, I am immediately brought back to the smiles at the register and that silly hat.

©Antoinette Truglio Martin 2018

About Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer

Antoinette Martin believed herself to be a healthy and sturdy woman—that is, until she received a Stage 1 breast cancer diagnosis. Cancer is scary enough for the brave, but for a wimp like Martin, it was downright terrifying. Martin had to swallow waves of nausea at the thought of her body being poisoned, and frequently fainted during blood draws and infusions. To add to her terror, cancer suddenly seemed to be all around her. In the months following her diagnosis, a colleague succumbed to cancer, and five of her friends were also diagnosed.

Though tempted, Martin knew she could not hide in bed for ten months. She had a devoted husband, daughters, and a tribe of friends and relations. Along with work responsibilities, there were graduations, anniversaries, and roller derby bouts to attend, not to mention a house to sell and a summer of beach-bumming to enjoy. In order to harness support without scaring herself or anyone else, she journaled her experiences and began to e-mail the people who loved her: the people she called My Everyone. She kept them informed and reminded all to ‘hug everyone you know’ at every opportunity. Reading the responses became her calming strategy. Ultimately, with the help of her community, Martin found the courage within herself to face cancer with perseverance and humor.

One of the reviews for the book

I had the good fortune to read parts of this wonderful memoir when I was in the same MFA program with Annette at Stony Brook. Returning to the completed manuscript holds extra joy as I read not only the remarkable journey of surviving breast cancer, but I also smiled with pride in seeing this book in print. Annette’s gregarious, kind, soul shows through on every page as she puts the “e” in epistolary writing, using emails with her “everyone” to chart the path and show the importance on our loved ones on such complicated trajectories. While I haven’t lived through a cancer diagnosis, I have been living with HIV for nearly half my life and I so appreciate the raw, throbbing honesty coupled with the (in my opinion) essential gallows humor needed to survive the unimaginable. I very much enjoyed this memoir and recommend it for anyone who wants a closer look at the strength of a woman forging forward into the unknown of disease, armed with her everyone, humor and determination to prevail. Brava!!

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Antoinette on Goodreads:

About Antoinette Truglio Martin

Antoinette Truglio Martin is a speech therapist and special education teacher by training but really wants to be a writer when she grows up. She has been collecting, writing, and fashioning stories forever. Over the years Antoinette had been a regular columnist in local periodicals and had several essays featured in newsletters and literary reviews. Her children’s picture book, Famous Seaweed Soup was published in 1993 (Albert Whitman Co.). Antoinette’s memoir, Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer (She Writes Press 2017), chronicles her first year battling breast cancer as a wimpy patient. She proudly holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Stony Brook/Southampton University (2016).

Connect to Antoinette.

Facebook author page:

My thanks to Antoinette for allowing me to share her posts from the archives and I hope you will head over to enjoy further. Thanks Sally.

22 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Blogging A-Z Challenge (2018) – Antoinette Truglio Martin – H is for Hamburger

  1. I can relate to Antoinette’s BK experience as I was a “Friendly’s” waitress all through high school. Our uniform wasn’t as horrendous (lol) but it was still kind of dorky. Ha ha. Lovely getting to know another author, Sally. Congrats to Antoinette on her courage and her book. A wonderful review too. 🙂

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  2. A wonderful read. It was always my dream working at a Burger King, but otherwise I thought after this i would have seen so much burgers, and will never love to eat one. Lol The old style BK restaurants were famous, and it was funny to read about a restaurant named Bohemia because here we are not far aways from the real Bohemian Forest. 😉 Thank you for the wonderful review too. Best wishes, Michael

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  3. This was a fun and nostalgic read from Antoinette. I was never a fan of Burger King, McDonald’s was the burger joint of choice back in the old days. as I can safely say I haven’t eaten McDonald’s in a quarter of a century! But here in Toronto, McDonalds was a great first job for many kids still in school, with a good education on people skills as Antoinette mentioned. I was glad I didn’t have to work there because I probably would have become a big fat blob as I was addicted to their fries and chocolate milkshakes back in the day, LOL. Instead, I started working part time at my uncle’s pharmacy when I was 14 – the good old days! ❤

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  4. I had plenty of jobs like this growing up, Antoinette. I used them as extra motivation when I went back to college on the second go-round. To this day, I don’t go back to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). After you see the chicken resting on racks with grease drops falling off them like a waterfall, it does make one’s appetite suffer.

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