Monday, January 25, 2010
Filling them with Love: Barbecued Hamburgers
I remember once reading about the value of family meals. Someone once said, and I paraphrase as best I can recall, "When you gather around your family table, you aren't just filling your family with food. You are filling them with love."
That is why I preserved the tradition of the family meal.
So, too, I believe, there is more to cooking than just the meal preparation. When you cook, particularly with others, you aren't just making food, you are making memories. Since doing this blog, I have been grateful for recipes and memories shared in return by friends and relatives. Thank for joining me on this journey and sharing yourselves with me. I look forward to more fellowship.
Some of my favorite times when my children were younger were when I pushed a chair up to the counter, tied an apron around their waist (laughing as they tried not to step on it) and gave them ingredients to add to the mix.
They were expert egg breakers by age 6 and they loved tossing the shells to the sink after all the egg was drained out of them. They would help hold the mixer, all the while asking, "We can lick the beaters after we are done, right? You'll leave lots of stuff on them, won't you Mom?"
When they got older, they helped some- although not as enthusiastically! Many times, they perched on a stool nearby and visited with me while I cooked. Those were memorable times as well, when the conversation flowed, and they confided in me about hopes and fears. I remember stopping a few times during my stirring to wipe tears or give a hug. The other day, while I was making the recipe I am about to share, 24 year old daughter Emily was perched atop a stool talking to me while I cooked. It was a treasure, having her there, and we launched into one of our favorite topics-relationships. Even though she is an accountant and I am a teacher, we become Dr. Phil and Oprah as we take on all the challenges inherent to human friendships and romances. Emily did make an observation the other day while I was cooking, "You don't really measure things all that carefully, do you Mom?" Actually, exactness is not one of my most outstanding characteristics. In anything.
Sometimes, I cook alone now. That is when I listen and reflect. Most often, I reflect on experiences shared in kitchens in other houses, other towns, other states. There is something wonderful about cooking alongside cherished ones and sharing the experience. I consider myself richly blessed for the memories of cooking with grandma, mom, daughters, and friends.
Here is the recipe I made. It might be perfect for those Super Bowl watchers!
2 pounds hamburger (I used half ground venison from son-in-law to be Chris)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
Fry onion and hamburger and venision until well done. Add other ingredients and simmer.
Fill some whole wheat buns with love and this barbecued meat mix!
This is adapted from a recipe submitted by Mrs. Norman Loux to the Mennonite Community Cookbook (1950).
Yours in memory making,