Thursday, 16 August 2007

The Heartbeat of a Village

We walked down to the village the other morning, just to get some eggs. I only wanted a few, and it was such a lovely morning that a walk just seemed in order. Jess didn't mind one little bit. There used to be a small shop in the village where you could get the loveliest of organic ingredients . . . beautiful crusty loaves of fresh organic bread, tubs of salty olives, tasty meats and cheeses. I loved to go in and browse the counters. Alas, it didn't stay open for long. I guess there wasn't enough of a custom to make it worth the owner's while.

That is a sad thing. It seems that the larger supermarkets are swallowing up all the little shops of the countryside, and when we lose them, I fear we will lose the heartbeat of our village life. I try to support the small shops whenever I possibly can. Our local butcher, carries some sundries such as eggs, milk and some fruit and veg, but there is no bread now to be found anywhere in the village . . .

While I was in his shop picking up eggs, he was just putting together these lovely looking beef burgers. I just had to have a few, and while I was at it, I picked up some bananas. There were only three left, and they looked lonely in the bin, just enough for a delicious banoffee pie . . . I thought to myself. In the meantime, Todd was waiting outside with Jess, and panicking when he heard the butcher say the price, thinking they were an awfully expensive half dozen eggs! He was relieved to find I had gotten more than just eggs! (he should have known better, silly man! )

On our way back home I noticed the rosehips are ripening and the birds have already started their autumnal feasting on them, even though there are still a few errant blooms putting out the last of their season's hurrah. I just had to hurry home and grab my camera, the temptation to catch it all in the eye of my lens was just too great. The conkers on the chestnut tree are beginning to make the branches droop, they will soon begin to fall and the berries are ripening on the mountain ash at the edge of our garden. With the cooler nights and the chilly mornings ... autumn can only be just around the corner, peering in at us already . . .

Back at the cottage I decided to make a delicious supper for us with the beef burgers. This was something my children always enjoyed and even now we enjoy on our own, although the calories are such that it is a rare and welcome treat. I cook often for the missionairies from our church and they love them too.

*Easy Cheesy Topped Burgers*
Serves 4 to 6

Delicious open faced burgers topped with full on cheese flavour! Cheese, Bacon, Onion . . . What’s not to like about these! You know you shouldn’t . . . but you will anyways. . . go ahead, enjoy!

2 ½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
8 slices cooked smoked streaky bacon, crumbled
1 cup chopped spring onions
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 TBS tomato catsup
3 tsp hot pepper sauce (Optional)
12 minced beef patties (3 pounds)
Bread or hamburger buns, if desired

Heat gas or charcoal grill, or oven grill. In a small bowl mix all ingredients except for the beef patties.

When the grill is heated, place frozen patties on the grill. Cover grill, and cook over medium heat 4 to 8 minutes, turning once, until the patties are nicely browned and cooked through.

Carefully top each patty with about some of the cheese mixture. Cook, covered, for 4 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted. Serve on toasted bread.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. What could be better than that!!! Cooking can be about using all the wonderful fresh produce we have this time of year. Riends and family can be equally impressed by simplicity as by gourmet.


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