So it’s been home improvement 24-7 around here, or so it would seem if you read my blog. Which, clearly you do. (Sucker.)
Anyway, that’s not really the case. Truth be told, I’m completely worn out from the construction. Week over week of wiring and hanging drywall and all that business really takes its toll. So, Memorial Day weekend couldn’t come too soon. My employer gives its people Friday and Monday off, so a four-day weekend sandwiched by two four-day weeks is just what the doctor ordered.
As if to prove my point, when the wife and kid shoved off at 9-ish on Friday morning for Emily’s class trip to a local farm, I had every intention of heading downstairs to sand and spackle. I just needed, say, a quick 30 minute nap. You know, just a little shut-eye to compensate for the early rise on a non-work day.
When I woke up at 12:30, I saw that I had missed two calls and slept through half of the brick-by-brick dismantling of my neighbor’s patio. It was the thud of bricks being tossed into a pickup truck that woke me up. “What the f**k is all that noise this early in the morning,” I remember thinking, not realizing it was only a valid thought somewhere in the Far East.
The rest of the weekend has been like that. Oh, sure, I’ve made progress on the room. Only a few tape joints need any more care and feeding (had the tape come up in a few spots, dammit), and my ceiling holes are all patched and spackled. My goal of primer by Monday is firmly within reach. Any mention of the previous goal of completion by Mothers’ Day, by the way, gets you a kick in the teeth.
So, what I really want to say today is that with the onset of Memorial Day and the Unofficial Start of Summer ©, it’s all about the grill. I’ve already done a burger night and some chicken this year, and I’m making a firm commitment to improving my burger recipe and getting it down on paper.
Speaking of burgers, for all you foodies out there, the Minimalist column in the NY Times served up a [nice piece on the trusty burger], validating some of my own thoughts while also advising against what I think makes mine a good burger. I’m keeping an open mind, however, and I’m going to give his ideas a shot.
So what’s in my burger? Glad you asked! As of Summer 2007…
> *The Nickburger*
> * 2 lbs. ground beef, 80% lean
> * 1/3 c. Worcestershire sauce
> * 2 tbsp. Colman’s powdered mustard, prepared
> * 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
> * 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped coarse
> * salt and pepper
> Mix all but salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl by hand. Divide into 8 oz. portions and
> press into shape with a burger press. Grill over medium heat, turning once. Season with salt
> and pepper at each turn. Serve on toasted buns. Makes 8 burgers.
Nothing fancy, nothing crazy. Prior to acquiring a [Pampered Chef chopper], it was garlic powder and dried onion flakes. Yeah, I know, but I have not the time for all the slicing and dicing. The chopper makes it all go so fast now. Also, I used to add more spices to the mix – cumin and chili powder, mostly. I’ve moved away from that too – I like the spicy and all, but not for the everyday burger.
So, here’s hoping you’re having (or had) a good Memorial Day weekend, and that you weren’t one of the suckas who sat on the Garden State Parking Lot trying to get to the shore. (If you were, here’s a hint: the back roads are clear, and free of your fellow bennies.)
: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/23/dining/23mini.html?ex=1337659200&en=e37a7d513414d03f&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink “For the Love of a Good Burger”
: http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_products/catalog/product.jsp?productId=240&categoryCode=CE “Yeah, I know, its cookware sold at parties. But this thing fucking rocks!”