Just for fun, I often ask people, “What’s your favorite meal?” It’s a conversation starter or a way to get to know someone better. We’re often identified by or known for the things we like best. As in, “I’m a chocoholic” or “I don’t drink coffee to wake up. I wake up to drink coffee.” I am no longer surprised to discover many people answer, “Burgers” or “Burgers and fries” because it’s happened so many times. (Pizza comes in a fast and close second.) You have to wonder why and I have. I think it’s because we are 1. a going-out-to-eat country and burgers are — in case you hadn’t noticed — everywhere in the fast food world. They’re even on top-shelf restaurant menus because you never know when someone goes out to a swank spot if they’ll still crave a big ol’ cheeseburger with ketchup and onions. In other words, we can eat these warm, tender sandwiches (hardly any chewing involved) out of hand–like small children– easily and quickly, maybe even cheaply. and 2. Burgers are synonymous with months of outdoor cooking, whether just for dinner or at parties, picnics, and celebrations. I like a good home-grilled burger a time or two in the summer but rarely order one out the rest of the year. Always watching my red meat intake and the calories associated with a restaurant burger are typically above my lunch limit. But give me a veggie burger of any sort or a fish burger anywhere at all and I’m a happy, happy puppy. Lent seems to give me the excuse to figure out a new fish or even seafood burger every year and this time, with crab calling my name from the fridge after making crab pizza last week, there was little question about what I was making.Continue reading
Looking for St. Patrick’s Day Ideas? Just plug “St. Patrick’s Day” into the search window and find my favorites including Irish Soda Bread with Potato Soup, Salmon on Colcannon, Colcannon Soup, Traditional Kerry Apple Cake, and more.
Chili has to be among the most favorite and iconic American meals. Yet when I check that out, I find regular old, B-flat chili — the kind many of our mothers made and we still make year-round — doesn’t come up on the list. Green chile is there and so are flat enchiladas and fajitas. But I truly don’t know anyone, from nearly non-cooks to chefs–who doesn’t have some sort of a pot of chili in their regular repertoire. There are simply now many, many sorts of chili because it soothes the soul and makes us feel rich, full, and as if there’s just plenty eat around here. A good way to feel.