a “foodie” makes a burger – #simplicity

IMG_2995First, a confession. I have fallen way behind on my foodie initiative, my, “One new push-the-envelope dinner each week” gift to Rebekah. Granted, I have followed through every time she’s picked out a recipe – I just have to be more proactive in the planning.

But I do have a foodie-post to share today, because we enjoyed two dining experiences this week that reminded me how a simple meal can be just as rewarding. The first is my own, and the second involved eating out.

CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE: Friday evening, after yet another day of soaking rain, I concocted a twist on the classic American burger that could well be the best hamburger I’ve ever prepared.

IMG_2998First, it’s important to use a good quality ground beef. I go for 93%, and work in a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce for each burger, plus a dash of “Bologna aromatic herbal salt.” I use a ridged iron skillet, so the meat will drain while cooking (plus it gives the burger those really cool grill lines!).

Meanwhile, I have caramelized a tablespoon of onion and sautéed some mushrooms. Now this is the cool part: I’ve often had trouble with mushrooms sliding off the burger, so this time I placed the mushrooms and onions on just before adding the cheese (Muenster). The cheese then melted down to hold things in place beautifully.

Served on a warm potato-roll, with tomatoes and lettuce, and a side of sweet-potato fries, along with a good local beverage, Friday’s burger platter was arguably my best ever.

IMG_2949PIZZA PIZZA! Then, earlier in the week, Rebekah and went out for date-night at Crabtree Valley Mall. We enjoyed dinner at Tomato Pie, and I was pleased with the authenticity of their pizza. Those three trips to Italy have made it hard for me to see Italian-American food the same way any more, so it was refreshing to experience something so autentico delizioso.

(Tomato Pie’s cappuccino, however, fell way short of the mark. It turned out to be one shot of espresso plus hot water in a tall mug – essentially a caffè americano topped with frothed milk.)

SIMPLE GIFTS: My point this morning is that something doesn’t have to be complex to be special; it just has to be good. But isn’t that the art of living well?

IMG_1498It all comes down to the essential value of gathering whatever resources are at our disposal, being creative with what we have, doing our very best, being our very best, celebrating the gift of the occasion with people we love, and enjoying this life in a spirit of gratitude.

This kind of goodness is something we can accomplish every single day – DEREK 

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