Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Eat Out and Stay In: Burgers and Fries

A golden light spilled over a green lawn, song birds trilled from the Alders, and the summer breeze felt sweet to my face. It was paradise in heronsuburbia. A Great Blue Heron stood paralyzed at the grassy banks of the pond, as if a token statue and reminder of the virtue of patience. And a soft, curl of smoke wisps off the coals maturing in the pit.  Another evening at the old kettle grill, patented hither, virtue of the slower ways. For one must go out of his way, from time to time, to kindle some coals, and re-acquaint if you will, from what this mighty globe spins so swiftly about.  Like the heron, yonder, the Cottonwood leaves rustling in the breeze, and the two, sizable hamburgers about to land on the grill.  Nothing quite so fine as the prefect hamburger. And you don’t need to go to a greasy spoon to get one. Let me tell you about them, if you’ve got time, and how they went this night, patron to the pit.

The age-old hamburger is but a stalwart staple on the grilling front. Chances are, if you have a grill, and use it, you’ve made a hamburger or two in your day. I once looked up who invented the hamburger, and I found no less than a half-dozen people making the claim to be that guy.  So I gave up, figuring what is lost in the meat-grinder of history is aptly made up for in tummy-filling goodness. Because at the end of the day, good is good, and hamburgers, regardless of who invented them, are pretty dang good.

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There are a hundred and one different ways in which to cook a burger, but in our humble opinion, the best means are procured simply, and over the open flame.  We started out with two lovingly formed patties, 80-20 as it were,  and seasoned them with another offering from the local BBQ giant, Famous Dave Anderson, and his famous steak and burger seasoning. We also employed the secret weapon to handsome hamburgers -the thumb-sized depression right smack in the middle of the patty. If you’ve ever found your hamburgers to be curling up by the end of the cook, resembling for all the world, the contours of a potato chip, try pressing your thumb or knuckle into the patties, making a little divot there, before they hit the grill. This, along with steering clear of the leaner grinds, go a long ways towards a handsome, shapely patty worthy of your next BBQ.

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Grill your burgers as you will. You know how to do that. Direct heat for a bit, if you like a little crunch and crust to your beef, or, leave it in-direct the entire cook. It is art, and it is up to you. When a good pool of blood has formed in your depression, flip thy meat with gladness, for you are nearing the end. A master burger flipper, oddly enough, need only flip his burger one time, if he has done it right. It is difficult, however, to resist flipping our meats, so fret not if you do. At the end of the day, it is our high privilege to pamper them. To let them know that we love them. Tho if you ever spy a brother pressing down on his hamburger patty, igniting flames that which reach for the heavens, snatch his spatula from him at once, for he knows not what he is doing. For any one who compresses a hamburger fairly sizzling, also drains it of its inherent juices which make it worthy.  Naughty naughty!  There is little room for such folly about a prosperous pit.

Near the end of the cook, we rolled around a couple of corn cobs, and toasted up the buns of course. We all would do well to take the extra moments, and toast our buns. It gives your end game that winning edge. Anyways, whilst I finished up things on the grill, my beloved bride plied her craft in the kitchen, contributing to the All-American feast. She sliced up two large potatoes, into long, narrow shafts, and rinsing them in ice water, and then lowered them into some hot peanut oil for a few minutes, procuring some darn attractive, and equally tasty, home-made french fries. As my fellow patron would say, “Bam!”

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After plating up my vittles, I bid a fare well to the lonely Heron, still standing stoically in the pond. You are a hearty bird, as birds go, and more patient than a hundred men I know. For me however, it is time for supper, and my bride she awaits. I brought the burgers and corn indoors, sided it with those wonderful home made french fries, and we settled into our booth, courtesy of the home diner. There upon, and with guiltless abandon, we feasted. In the wake of grilling deeds well-done, we consumed thy plunder. And it was good. Those burger joints don’t have anything on a good pit. Nor those who aspire to use them. Amen.

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Good old burgers and fries. As good as any greasy spoon,  or diner, that’s for sure. And way more fun, patron to the pit.

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21 responses

  1. Wow, just wow!

    September 11, 2013 at 10:14 am

  2. debbeedoodles

    Oh, I’m sure it was way better than any greasy spoon, or diner.

    September 11, 2013 at 10:26 am

    • It was up there. Just getting to play at the pit was half the fun, even if no goats showed up, followed by black bears. Dang.

      September 11, 2013 at 10:28 am

      • debbeedoodles

        How boring… 🙂

        September 11, 2013 at 10:35 am

  3. Wow, looks great!! Nothing like a grilled burger and the fixin’s too of course.

    September 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    • Yeah, you can never go wrong it seems, with an all-American stand-by.

      September 11, 2013 at 3:13 pm

  4. chefmo73

    i like he way you write. Its very lyrical. Thanks for sharing

    September 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm

  5. Mary here, Yum on the burgers :). I look forward ( as does John) to your new blogs. You really need to gather all your posts and put them in a book. Besides being a master of the pit you are an awesome writer !

    September 12, 2013 at 8:36 am

    • Aw, thanks Mary. Really appreciate that. And oh yes, it’s definitely a goal to have a book out. That would be pretty cool. It’s just that we’re rookies when it comes to making books, and so we’re still learning how such a thing is done. The second book should go easier. Just like a pancake!

      Thanks Mary! And don’t forget to buy your husband a new smoker for Christmas!

      September 12, 2013 at 10:17 am

  6. Liz

    Loving how tall that burger stands! What a feast. I’ve seen a fair amount of pretentious food at job-related events and I will ALWAYS go for the real food–like your burgers, fries, etc–over foam of this and emulsion of that.

    Also want to thank you for spreading the word about the dangers of pressing down on the patty. My brother and father–two grown men with professional careers–STILL do this, even though I’ve told them it’s wrong. My brother noted that you’ll get burger juice sprayed in your face with the first bite if you don’t press them down. !!!!!!! And they don’t listen to me because I’m family. I thinkst (piggy-backing on “whilst”–do you like?) I should show them your post 🙂

    September 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    • I thinkst your men havn’t had a juicy burger adequate in their lives. A burger proper, lets face it, runs down your arm when your trying to eat it.

      Thinkst…. That’s not a word is it? But I like it! And I like your comments. As always a ray of reason in this manly blog.

      Thanks Liz. Good luck converting your men into anti-patty depressors. You can do it!

      September 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm

  7. As ever, great work, eloquently expressed. You can go a long way before you beat a good burger.

    September 13, 2013 at 6:14 am

    • Thanks Adam.Agreed, I enjoy a good, simple burger just as much as brisket some days. They are time-tested, man-approved glories of ground beef. And easy to do.

      September 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

  8. Definitely one of those ‘what would I want for a last meal’ meals. Well done those Maestros of mincemeat, Burghers of the buns, Philosophers of the Pit another winner.
    Laurie.

    September 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    • Thank you kindly, oh Keeper of the Kangaroos!

      September 13, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      • Now one of them would go well on your grill.

        September 13, 2013 at 10:27 pm

  9. Ahhhhh the righteous Burger. Amen again, Sir … *drooling*

    September 16, 2013 at 8:22 am

  10. Oh my. These burgers look scrumptious. We do the thumb-depression trick, too, and the burgers come out so much better. You’ve given me a meat craving now. We’re gonna have to grill out tonight.

    September 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm

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