I have fond memories of visiting both of my grandparents when I was a little girl. I have a lot of good memories. When I see and hear about grandparents that choose not to be involved with their grandchildren it makes me sad. They are really missing out.
One of the things I remember about the visits to my grandparent's houses were their gardens. There was nothing I wanted to do more than hang around my grandfather's heels while they tended their gardens. I loved finding frogs and putting them in my front overalls pocket (Yes, I was a total tomboy). I would disappear into the backyard while dinner was being prepared and stuff myself full of raspberries. Dinners were simple, a meat and some veggies from the garden. Maybe some cookies for dessert or a walk to get some ice cream.
Now that I am grown up and cooking for a family of my own I can look back and see that neither of my grandmothers were adventurous with their cooking. But they were good at what they did. Those staple foods I always ate when I went to their homes are still strong in my memory and I find myself referencing them a lot. Especially in the summers.
One of the things I always ate at my grandmother Frederick's house was her cole slaw. It was just what you wanted cole slaw to be; crisp, creamy, and sweet. It was one of the first family recipes I made on my own for my family. Cole slaw is an easy recipe to play with too. So when I was inside trying to forget the fact that zucchini was over-running my garden I decided to yield and try something new with that old family favorite. You can see where this is going now can't you?
Zucchini Cole Slaw
Ingredients for dressing:
- 2 Tbs. of miracle whip
- 1 tsp. of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. of yellow mustard
- 2 Tbs. of milk
- Put all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk to combine. It will look a little curdled, but it will smooth out. You want it to have the consistency of thick cream. If it is too thick add a little more milk to thin it out.
Ingredients for Slaw:
- 2 cups of zucchini; shredded
- 1 carrot; shredded
- 1 medium bulb of fennel; shredded
- 2 Tbs. raisins
- 1/4 cup of pineapple; diced (fresh is best but canned works fine)
- Combine all of the vegetables and fruit into a bowl. Add the dressing. Fold everything together.
- Place in refrigerator until ready to serve. It is good right away if you're in a pinch but it's better after an hour of sitting in the refrigerator.
When it comes to eating zucchini raw, my general rule of thumb is "no thanks", but I really like this slaw a lot. It is everything my grandmother's was with the same dressing but with a new group of vegetables to join the party. Slaw is good for the summer. Bring it to a picnic or a backyard barbecue and you can be sure it will disappear. But maybe you might want to try it in something else.
This past weekend I was perusing some recipes I had saved in my favorites folder and I decided to try this hamburger recipe I had bookmarked. It was called The New Englandah Burgah, made up by Chef Jason. You can get the recipe here. It absolutely represents New England with the maple syrup in the burger (Yes, IN the burger), grilled apples, bacon and cheese. Yum. You should make it, you really should. It got me thinking what my regional burger would be. Slap dab in the middle of Pennsylvania, surrounded by farms, with the Amish not very far away., what would our burger look like? We talked it over while devouring our New Englandah Burgah's and came up with:
The Pennsylvania Dutch Burger
- 1 lb. of ground beef
- 1/4 of a small sweet onion; chopped finely
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper; freshly ground
- 4 slices of bacon
- 4 slices of Swiss cheese
- Zucchini slaw
- Mustard ( I used a homemade mustard but you can use whatever your favorite is)
- 4 Pretzel rolls; halved and with a part of the insides picked out to make room for the burger and toppings. (If you don't want to make these, or can't get them anywhere, you could...in a pinch... hand your head in sorrow and use a potato roll. But, it won't be as good, and you will be missing out. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'. I used the recipe on STRESSCAKE by Kathy. You can get the recipe here. It's worth the trouble. OK, I'll let it go now.)
- Get your grill going. Get it going hot, you are going to be making some burgers here.
- In a medium bowl mix the ground beef, onion, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 4 patties and set aside. Note: If you make a well in the center of your burger when you are forming the patty it will grill up to be a nice flat burger instead of a poofy hockey puck.
- Cook the bacon until crisp in a skillet. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel lined plate.
- Grill your burgers to your preference. I grill 4 minutes on the first side, then I flip the burgers and cook them on the second side for 3 minutes. Once the burgers have cooked for the 3 minutes I put the bacon and then the cheese on top of the burger. I let them cook for an additional minute until the cheese is melted. Remove the burgers from the grill.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you how good this burger is. You just need to make it to find out. I think the picture speaks for itself.