My daughter’s new love, hamburgers

Last spring, while Denise and I were out of town at a soccer tournament, Dave took our other two daughters out for a hamburger at Burgz. He had heard rave reviews about it and decided to treat the girls to a hamburger. Ever since then, Delaney has had a fascination with hamburgers. Over Christmas break while in Florida every time we went out to eat, guess what she had…a hamburger. Sometimes these burgers were bigger than she was, but she managed to eat them anyway. For Christmas, she received a gift card to Barnes and Noble and you can guess what she bought with her gift card…yes, a cookbook on how to make hamburgers. Since making hamburgers was on my “bucket list” for the girls before she even bought the cookbook, you can imagine my delight.
A few days ago we set out to make hamburgers for dinner. These were not your traditional hamburgers, for though they are made with hamburger they are shaped like a brat. Delaney added some spices and chopped onions to the hamburger meat and then mixed it up by hand. (Yes, there was a few faces made upon the initial plunge of hands into the hamburger meat, but once the shock of “this is gross” wore off she did a great job.) She formed the meat into a brat shape-and-thickness hamburger, then she learned how to turn on the grill and grill them with the utmost care. They were challenging to grill, as we tried to keep them from falling apart. There was condiment preparations that took place as well. We had sliced tomatoes, lettuce, hand-sliced pickles, ketchup, mustard, cheese, and mayonnaise.
The verdict from her family was two thumbs up! We are all looking forward to her next hamburger creation. We have included the recipe below in case you are interested.

Spiced Mediterranean Burgers
2 pounds ground beef
½ onion, peeled, finely grated
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the barbecue or broiler
2. Place the burger ingredients in a large bowl, blend the mixture with your hands, taking care not to overwork it.
3. Form the mixture into 8 long oval shapes, about 1 inch thick.
4. Chargrill, broil, or fry the burgers for about 5 minutes on each side or longer according to your taste
5. Split the rolls or pita breads without cutting them through.
Recipe from: Paul Gaylor. Burgers. (New York: Castle Books, 2010), p 34.

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