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I’ll have a cheeseburger with a side of memories, please.

For most of us Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, the start of grilling season and provides that much needed three day weekend for tackling projects around the home.  It’s a time of back yard barbecues, dinner parties and any other social gathering we can find an excuse to hold outside in nice warm weather. (O.K. it’s already hot here, but we’re still outside anyway..)

Our family spent Memorial Day alone at home.  This isn’t because we weren’t invited anywhere, but because there were things that needed to be finished in our new house.  This doesn’t mean we didn’t whip out some good food on Monday though! What would Memorial Day Weekend be without a little grilling time?

The burger pictured above is simple.  It’s a recipe I’ve made in many variations before.  There is nothing new or exciting about the way it was made or the ingredients chosen.  It’s just summer’s basic comfort food and it is something I don’t feel a need to play with much, at least not the first time I grill up some burgers for the year. (Of course, I’ll get more adventurous as the season rolls on…)

I'll have a cheeseburger with a side of memories, please.
Yield: 8 burgers

I'll have a cheeseburger with a side of memories, please.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 lbs ground chuck
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp. onion flakes (or dried onions, depending on the brand)
  • 4 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce. (Approximate, I used a couple really good splashes.)
  • 10 grinds fresh black pepper
  • 2 good pinches kosher or coarse sea salt
  • Enough Queso Fresco or other cheese of your choice to cover patties
  • Additional ingredients:
  • Whatever you like. I prefer sliced red onion, a little iceberg or romaine lettuce and a few slices of tomato.


  1. Mix all ingredients except cheese together by hand in a large bowl. Shape into patties of desired shape for the buns you will be using. (I shoot for roughly 1/3 lb patties, but go with what you like.) Place finished patties on a plate separated with parchment paper or wax paper and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  2. Cook patties over hot coals or in a very shot skillet with 2 tbsp vegetable oil for 4 minutes per side. (If cooking on a grill or grill pan, turn patties 30 degrees every 2 minutes to get pretty grill marks.) After flipping, place cheese of your choice (if desired) on each patty.
  3. Toast buns if desired.
  4. Place completed patty on bottom of bun. Add additional ingredients and serve hot.
  5. (You may note that I didn’t mention condiments such as mayo, ketchup or mustard. That’s because I don’t find them necessary on a good hamburger. A good burger is juicy enough without any gilding of the Lilly, and these were no exception.)

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 408Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 349mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 36g

What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:

I would have made the buns that Rachel at Coconut and Lime whipped up for the weekend.  Unfortunately I’d already bought the buns I was using!

Links to other recipes like this:

Final Thoughts:

(Note: this is personal, and emotional, but I felt it needed to be said.)

Memorial day is about much more than the food and friends that we have.  It’s about those who have given the ultimate price to ensure freedom for all Americans.  (I assume that other countries have their own days for this, but if not, you’re free to use ours as far as I’m concerned.)

I had a very short military career, but there are three people that I make a point to remember today.  Good friends who had just started their careers in the Navy.  Those careers, and lives, were cut short on April 19, 1989 when Turret Two on the U.S. Battleship Iowa (BB-61) exploded, killing 47 of America’s Finest.  I knew all three of these men well.

Since that time I have seen many more good men and women go forward to serve their part and never come home.  some have been military, some civil servants and others just unlucky passersby in a larger conflict, but all deserve to be remembered.  That is what this day is for.

You have not been forgotten.

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