The reality of being a parent really struck home this week. R woke up last Thursday covered in Chicken Pox and our plans for the week were chucked out of the window. We have been in self-imposed quarantine ever since. My planned Birthday meal was cancelled and both Z and I had to re-arrange work as we had to keep him out of nursery.
Every cloud has a silver lining and ours has been more meals as a family. In a normal week R has his meals at nursery and we eat our tea after R has had his bath and gone to bed. This week we've been making sure dinner was on the table by the time the worker of the day got home. We have even given R his first taste of Chinese food with a Chicken and Oyster Sauce stir-fry with noodles.
Tonight though, we are back to normal routine. I don't finish work until six o'clock on Friday so R had cottage pie before I got home. Once he was nicely tucked up in bed we cracked on with our take-away style meal of cheese burger and chips.
Even before the horse meat scandal broke we tended to make our burgers from scratch. I have heard of people adding breadcrumbs, egg and even tomato ketchup to the meat as seasonings or binding agents for their burgers. All we ever add is finely chopped and fried onion, salt and pepper. By the time the mince and onions are mixed by hand I find the burgers hold their shape pretty well. I fried the burgers for a couple of minutes on each side before letting them rest while I got on with some garnishes.
People smother their burgers with all sorts of toppings. A recent take-away menu that fell through our letter box had fifteen different beefburger options*. I'm not going to tell you how to top your burger but I went with Jarlsberg, dijon mustard, tomato ketchup and some crunchy gem lettuce leaves.
There is only one thing that I will change the next time I make burgers. I own, and have never used, a mincer. I am determined to dust it off and start experimenting with different cuts of meat to make the best burger. I have even seen ox heart burgers on display in butchers' shops and having recently tried pig heart I'd love to give that a try.
*there was no pulled pork on offer although I'm sure it won't be long before it appears on the standard take-away menus alongside doner kebab meat.