This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer in Montreal. Indeed it is that time of year again when we locals are inundated by a fusion of Good Old Boys from the US in their regalia from various racing teams and exceptionally well-heeled European Jet-Setters. Yep, it’s Grand Prix weekend in Montreal.
There was a time when I followed Formula One fairly closely, but I’ve lost touch with the rapidly changing technology. Now I’m just glad they come here and deposit millions and millions of dollars in city hotels, restaurants and stores.
But if F1 means summer then summer means BBQs and, for me, BBQs mean hamburgers. Period. I enjoy a good hamburger, a simple yet perfect combination of protein and starch, that, when properly adorned with lettuce, mayonnaise, mustard and pickles, is a grand backyard or patio culinary experience.
As an apartment dweller, one without a balcony, I am BBQ challenged. But over the course of a summer many BBQ enabled family members and friends take pity on me and invite me over for a charcoal fueled meal. No doubt meaning well, these hosts go to great lengths to create wonderful repasts. No mere hamburgers for these folks, that would be beneath them. They pore over recipes for fish, chicken, veggies and steak concoctions, but the lowly burger only gets consideration for weekday, family dinners. God forbid a hamburger should be served to a BBQ guest, even if that’s all said guest wants!
And what makes a hamburger great? This: ground beef, bread crumbs, BBQ sauce, an egg, Worchestershire sauce, Tobasco sauce and, most importantly, Montreal Steak Spice. Smoosh it all together by hand, form balls, smaller than tennis but bigger than ping-pong. Then just before placing them on the heated BBQ flatten them. Plunk the buns on as well and, when all is done beyond the fear of E. coli, place meat on bun, dress as above, and flatten to allow for easy, non-messy consumption.
Now. don’t even get me started on hotdogs vs. various wursts …