RECIPE. Jul 26, 2011

Savoring Each Bite Garden Burger

My mother recently offered to buy me a Vita-mIx. No occasion or special event. She had just purchased one for herself and after making me my tenth smoothie in one week she kindly asked if I wanted my own. At first I jumped at the chance. I couldn’t wait. I was so excited. At the time I was also making my own baby food in puree form so it sounded wonderful. It was also great timing because my own blender/food processor had just blew a gasket one day while making pureed carrots and now I was unable to make my own baby food. Unfortunately, the deal my mom got was going to take a few months to return and in the meantime she gave me her old blender so I could continue being a hippy mom. After some reflection, I got back to her and turned down the offer.

I have also had friends ask why I don’t have a fancy Kitchen Aid mixer due to all the baking/cooking I do. Or at least a Cuisinart food processor for god’s sake. I guess at the end of the day my answer is I like to keep things simple. While these tools may make the task of baking or cooking easier or quicker, that is not necessarily a goal of mine. In fact, the thing I LIKE about cooking or baking is the time and energy it takes to put together something delicious to eat.

Let me be clear. I’m not saying I never use appliances. The microwave and I are best friends, as well as the toaster and oven. We often have late night keggers where we get all hopped up on too much yeast and love and sing loudly. Not really, but it would be awfully fun. As I mentioned, I also have a blender. On certain days, I am grateful for a can of soup as dinner. A few days ago, however, that was not my mood at all. I wanted to chop and toast and feel food between my fingers. I had been salivating over some veggie burgers posted on my favorite site. The recipe was time intensive but made enough that they could be frozen for quick dinners later. It sounded like the perfect task.

She recommended using a food processor at several junctures in the directions and while my blender makes an excellent substitute I refrained for three reasons. 1) I was not in the mood to use machines to help me cook, 2) My son was sleeping upstairs and the blender is very loud, and 3) The only time I have to cook, uninterrupted, is when he is sleeping. I had made my own black beans the day before and put them in the fridge. I was out of bread crumbs so I made my own, as mentioned on the side bar. I grated the carrots with my hand and cheese grater.

There are just those days that I want to savor each moment. I want silence and connection with the food I am cooking. It’s a very serious form of meditation and relaxation and I don’t want some machine bleeping or blaring or whizzing to interrupt my zen. So this post is a toast to savoring time. Savoring moments. Savoring each slice, grate, chop or churn you do by hand. It’s a salute, a tribute to silence while cooking. Savoring each bite as it passes your lips.

Preheat oven to 350F (if baking). In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in 1/2 tbsp oil. Mix your flax egg together in a small bowl and set aside for at least 10 mins while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Place all ingredients (except spices and salt) into a large mixing bowl and stir very well. Now, add seasonings and salt to taste. With slightly wet hands, shape dough into patties. Pack dough tightly as this will help it stick together. I made 8 medium patties.

Cooking methods: You can fry the burgers in a bit of oil on a skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side. If baking in the oven, bake for 30-36 mins (15-18 minutes on each side) at 350F, until golden and crisp. For the BBQ, pre-bake the burgers for about 15 minutes in oven before placing on a pre-heated grill until golden and crisp on each side.