Burgers, The Neighborly Thing To Do.

Burgers, The Neighborly Thing To Do.

IMG_0006I’ve been reminiscing a lot lately, which I suppose happens when you’ve been around enough years to have things worth reminiscing about. Casual thoughts, I might add, of the so-called good ol days creep into my brain whilst sitting around in an idle state, you know, generally pitside with a pleasurable libation in hand. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Back in the day, as is the phrase, a person knew their neighbors as more than those people over there, head nod included. We were all extended family, and we treated each other that way as well. Now I suppose in a pinch, I could still count on my neighbors, as they could me, but that familiarity and regular interaction just isn’t there these days. Not for many of us anyway. I realize that there are still some communities and close-knit neighborhoods where neighbors are still very familiar with, care about, and see each other regularly. I’m glad that is the case, but for the rest of us, what with our busy lifestyles, around the clock work schedules, and prescheduled after hours activities,IMG_2694 there remains little or no time given to neighborly interaction other than the occasional wave, smile, and customary “Hey, how’s it goin”.  Neighbors used to be second families, with kids coming and going, evenings spent talking over the fence, gossiping about the other neighbors, and catching up on each others life happenings. I think that’s why I enjoy the local farmers markets like I do. Everyone gathers for a common cause, helping each other out, sometimes helping them make a living by purchasing their product. Moods are generally jovial and welcoming, with that old IMG_2617neighborly feel. The situation is one of relaxed comfort, fueled with smiles and morning greetings. I think about this stuff because I like the throwback attitude, that of slowing life down a bit, taking your time, enjoying the moment, and caring enough about others to try to make their day better too. When thinking these types of thoughts, I want to grill up something that takes me back to the old way of looking at things, just hanging out, talking about stuff, and filling the belly in the meantime. To me, nothing complements this type of thought better than a good burger. Simple, easy, unpretentious , and satisfying. Yep, that’s it, so with that in mind, and the mouth-watering beginning, let’s get after it.

A good burger should have bacon. And because this griller prefers that crunch of bacon in every little nibble and bite, we’re going with the bacon weave, which, after crisped, can be cut into appropriate squares to fit the size of any burger. It’s also tempting to just leave it as is for use as a bacon tray. You’re thinkin’ about it now aren’t ya?

Bacon Weave

Just weave the slices together and throw it on the grill. I used Grillmats to make this easier, but foil or even an old cookie sheet or cast iron grill pan would work as well.

The meat for our burgers was found in our shopping section, otherwise known as the fridge. Ground bison. Perfect. Less fat, less flareups, easier grilling. With a quick mix that included chopped sweet red peppers and onions, the patties are formed and left to rest, all the while awaiting the sear.

Bison burgers

Sizzling like a moth caught in a neon blue bug zapper, my bison burgers were singing one of my favorite songs. A few minutes on each side, barely enough time for any serious pitside lollygagging, and they’re moved away from the direct heat to keep warm while a couple of side components are grilled.

Resting Bison

Throwing corn on the grill is always a good choice.  More finger type food, with little or no advance prep work, yet resulting in enhanced flavor. And avocados, grilled to go on top of that juicy burger, are simply brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with seasoned. Put em flesh side down, high heat, for couple minutes and you’ve got a buttery smooth burger topping that, dare I say, could, if needed, replace the cheese. Gasp! I know, I know. I couldn’t convince myself either, so there will be cheese on this backyard burger. Glory!

grill mix

So grabbing all these components, and adding in a bit of sautéed pattypan squash, and well, you’ve got yourself a meal folks. A quite neighborly one at that. Because you  see, as quality neighbors who are friends as well do in the waning moments of a hard-worked day, should you venture out and shoot me a wink, nod or wave, or perhaps peak my interest with some over the fence conversation, it may be worth your while to hang around for a spell and talk a bit about the days happenings or the latest neighborhood gossip. Unexpectedly, you just may be asked to share in a neighborly meal of burgers and such. You know, backyard food. Sharing food. Getting to know each other food. Neighborly food…


Grilled bison burger with bacon weave, beer cheese spread, grilled avocado, tomato and onions on a grill toasted bun.  Sides of grilled corn and sautéed pattypan squash.

Life Is Better Wood Fired