Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tradition: National, Local, Family

The cool thing about tradition, I've been thinking as I read through endless Thanksgiving-themed magazines, is that it embodies the connection between repetition, endurance, and change. I mean, hamburgers are an American tradition because all over America, we eat hamburgers, but also integral to that is that each region, each family, makes them and eats them in a slightly different way. I'll have to ask my Literary Criticism students if this means that there is an ideal Type of a hamburger that every humburger crafstwoman is striving to repeat, but here the question is much more one of aesthetics: was Renees hamburger recipe so perfect that you can never try another, or was it so exciting to have a new hamburger-tasting experience that you want more new flavors? If it's the latter, read on:

In my house,I'm not in charge of the grill. And it took years for me to be allowed to even have anything to do with the prep for what reaches the grill. But with kids and parents and life to take care of, the job had to be shared. And so I learned Blanca's amazing hamburger recipe.

Blanca's Hamburgers
serves 2-4
1 lb ground beef
1 package onion soup mix
1 red onion, diced small
1/8 cup soy sauce

Mix ingredients well by hand. Form patties. If possible, set aside in the refigerator 1-8 hours. Cook on a hot grill or broil on high, about 7 minutes per side.

It's getting pretty cold to grill outside, so when you do you want to come in to a nice warm house and a nice warm dessert. What more perfect to ensure both of these, and what more seasonal, than baked apples.

Baked Apples
1 large apple per person, any variety (some varieties will hold their shape better, others will mush more; all will taste fantastic).
Slice off the bottom of the apple to create a little disk. Reach in with a paring knife and scoop out the core, all the way to the top and including the stem. Set the cored apple back on top of the bottom disk in a baking pan. Fill the cavity you just created by coring the apple, from the hole at the top, with brown sugar. Repeat with each apple. When all of the apples are filled, pour about 1/4 cup apple cider around bottom of apples, cover with tin foil, and bake at 350 for about an hour.