Monday, July 20, 2009

A Taste of Home

Tonight I BBQ'd hamburgers on a charcoal grill. Can't say how many years since I last did that. We got a gas BBQ in about '89 so I guess maybe 20 years. Made the burgers myself from scratch and memory. LEAN ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, Washdishyear sauce and ketchup. Put on the grill frozen, 5 minutes a side. Heaven. Served with raw onions, tomatoes, cheese slices and something like French Dressing for a burger sauce. Even found a package of pure white Harry's American Sandwich bread which had to serve as buns. 53% preservatives and cost about 4 times as much as the good stuff in the stores but tasted wonderful. Much as I love Tanya's cooking, sometimes I get lonesome for a taste of something familiar.

The kids' mom used to make the best home made hamburgers in the universe. She would make up about 10 kg at a time and freeze them with Saran wrap to separate. Chiseling them apart was a trick but supper could be served in 15 minutes flat from a standing start once we got a gas BBQ and didn't have to wait for the charcoal to heat.

She always put onions in the mix. Usually chopped up more or less fine. But one day we had two families coming for supper who informed us they DIDN'T eat anything with onions in it. So Ella pureed the onions in the blender. Said guests pronounced them the best burgers they had ever eaten and devoured them all.


  1. Man, oh, man. I wish I had a bbq, and an ability to cook outdoors without damaging things. Some bbq burgers would be sooo good right now.

    Love you.

  2. I never could understand making hamburgers with breadcrumbs, eggs & ketchup. Add the onions and you've basically got meatloaf.....

    On the OTHER hand, put some nicely cooked down onions on them and you've got Nirvana!

  3. I still like to make hamburgers from scratch. Just like pancakes, they taste better that way. It's the only two things I ever really learned from Mom in the kitchen.

  4. I remember the story of Auntie Ella pureeing onions for hamburgers every time I finely chop an onion... which is often.

  5. Ky - see if you can find a cheap charcoal BBQ. If your landlord will let you. A bag of briquets, a bottle of starter fluid, a box of matches and you are set.
    Dana - thanks for the meatloaf recipe. I never knew. And I only use ketchub because I had no BBQ sauce.
    May-B - agree about taste.
    RTA - life without onions is just wrong, isn't it?