I woke up this morning to a chill in the air. A chill I haven’t felt since winter released its icy grip on my skin, and allowed the warm sunshine of spring to wrap me up in its blanket of happiness. This chill can only mean one thing. Fall is on its way, and there is nothing I can do about it. well, almost nothing. You see, there is one part of summer that everyone loves, and that love runs no deeper than it does with me. I’m talking about BBQ season. The smell of the grill, the steaks and burgers calling out to everyone within a 2 block radius . It’s one of the most recognisable signs of summer. But with summer winding down, most people begin covering up their BBQ for the season. Well not this guy !
I refuse to let mother nature dictate when I can and can not immerse myself in the joys of cooking with fire. Raining ? As my mother always said, “you’re not made of sugar , you won’t melt”. So a little heads up for old Jack Frost. In the middle of a snowstorm, I shovel my driveway in shorts and a smile. If you think a dip in temperature, or even a deck full of snow is going to keep me away from my beloved meat grilling machine, you have underestimated this particular gentleman.
I still recall a particular winter storm, when my oldest son was still an innocent baby, and completely dependent his mother and I for all the necessities of life. We had no power, no heat, and thus no way of eating anything but granola bars, chips, and other various snack food. What to do, what to do. Why, BBQ of course. Picture me, on my deck, knee-deep in snow, with the unmistakable smell of hamburgers and BBQ sauce wafting through the snow filled air towards the homes of all the neighbors who had already packed away their seasonal cookware. Yes, I am that guy.
And there is nothing I like more than the good old, tried tested and true barbecued hamburger. Don’t get me wrong, I will put just about anything edible on the grill ( just ask my wife about grilled egg salad sandwiches ). But for me, the burger is where it’s at. And I have a new favorite, a newcomer to my cooking arsenal courtesy of my lovely wife. Maple Leaf ground turkey burgers. I have to admit, I was more than a little skeptical at first. Turkey for me has always been a bird reserved for holiday meals, and even then I have always found it to be not much more than a terribly dry version of it’s far juicier relative the good old chicken. So much in fact that when we invite the family over for Thanksgiving, without fail I make sure that a nice picnic ham finds its way onto the table , right beside the turkey that everyone else is drooling over.
So when my wife brought home a package of ground turkey( when I’m sure Ihad mentioned ground beef for the shopping list), I was at a loss. How was I going to turn this dry monstrosity into a burger worthy of my grill ? Was BBQ night in jeopardy of failure ?
Well, I can assure you, without any reservations at all, that the folks at Maple Leaf clearly have more experience than me when it comes to turkey! I had decided to simply substitute ground turkey in place of my missing ground beef, into my burger recipe. I had my fingers crossed, though inside my head were visions of a trip to the store in search of something to appease my family after this whole experiment went down in flames (perhaps literally).
Within minutes of placing the burgers on the grill and sitting down in my favorite deck chair, my nostrils alerted me that something fantastic was taking place inside the confines of my BBQ. So I opened the lid to see what in the world was going on in there. Surely there must be some mistake. But no! There could be no mistaking that smell. Perfection was taking place before my eyes, and my nose.
I quickly got all the condiments ready, rounded up my wife and 2 boys, and once more crossed my fingers. If these babies tasted half as good as they smelled, then Dad would retain his title as king of the grill ! And to my amazement, they were BETTER than they smelled! A hands down winner. So I have to give credit where credit is due. Maple Leaf, I’m sorry I ever doubted you. It’s nice to know when a company has your back ! And to my wife, thank you for knowing that you, and Maple Leaf, know more about turkey than I do. So I’m sorry I doubted you as well. And to my children, the boys who will someday grow into men and become barbecue masters like their dad….. The whole thing was my idea, stop listening to your mothers crazy stories about me not knowing something about Barbecuing. Can you imagine…
Dad’s Turkey Burgers
- 1lb Maple Leaf Lean Ground Turkey
- 1/4 C Breadcrumbs soaked in 3tbsp milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 egg
Mix it together and form four pattys. Put it on a hot grill and cook through. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure that your burgers are finished. Top with cheese and all your favorite condiments…then sink your teeth into pure deliciousness.