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Last night, I made not one but two hamburgers for my son. You might be saying “so what, who hasn’t” (my husband even said that).

……but I haven’t.

I have made a roast turkey, baked a ham, created fancy and simple pasta dishes, grilled prosciutto wrapped shrimp and baked endless muffins, cookies, cakes, even a chocolate matzoh treat for a friend’s Seder dinner but never a hamburger.

Dinner is “difficult’ in our house, to say the least.  Though there are only three of us, we are rarely all at home at the same time to have a family dinner. Truth be told, however, even if we were all home at 7:00 with any regularity, we would not be having your classic family dinners.  I am not big on making dinner, indifferent at best.  I have an incredible fear of making sure that all the parts of dinner are ready at the same time (protein, grain, vegetable).  I am just as happy have cheese and crackers or a sandwich for dinner (probably left over from my single days).  My husband actually likes to cook but since he doesn’t set foot in the house until at least 7:00, cooking dinner is out for him, too.  We try to come up with plans to improve the situation (pasta Tuesdays, hearty salads, etc, etc) but we always crap out after a few weeks.  So we cobble together chicken nuggets, pasta, and takeout sushi and Chinese.  It has gotten to the point where my son will whine “Do we have to eat at the table?” when I start putting out the silverware.   In the hopes to have my son realize that food comes in more shapes than “dinosaur”, I had to forge ahead.  So making a hamburger is actually a big deal.

As always, I turned to my trusted cooking adviser, Fannie Farmer to rustle up a burger for my kid. I have to say, it turned out pretty well.

Here is the recipe:*

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 lbs medium lean ground beef

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used canola)

Salt and pepper the meat and mix with a light hand. Shape into four patties about 1/4 inch thck. melt the butter and oil in a skillet until bubbling, then add the hamburgers. Fry 2-3 minutes on ieach side for rare; 4-5 minutes each side for medium; 6 minutes each side for well done. Pour pan dripping over and serve.

For my son, I used a light hand with the pepper and nixed the pan drippings.  He proclaimed them good but could be better (and then ate one and a half burgers – high praise for an 11-year-old)




* Cunningham, Marion. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 13th Edition. Bantam Books, 1990. p. 231