This weekend just gone we had some friends over, nominally for a barbecue. I say that as we had invited them for a barbecue, with optimism in the weather that is a very British characteristic. This is the same optimism which sees some men wearing shorts from April through to October, irrespective of how hot it is, "because it's summer".
We got up on Saturday morning, the sun was shining, the sky was blue. The sun dance we did the night before seemed to have paid off. So, off to the supermarket, to buy up all the meat and charcoal around. All going well so far.
I probably don't really need to tell you what happens in the rest of the story, as I am sure you can guess that it did indeed start to pour with rain. Right after I had marinaded all the meat, made some burgers, and plenty of salads, the heavens opened. The food was looking good... classy retro potato salad and coleslaw. Chicken. Sausages. Beef burgers. So, out i went with my umbrella to the garden, and lit the fire. And then held the umbrella over the grill to keep it dry. I managed to get the cooking done, and all the guests stayed inside nice and dry.
So what about these grandmothers burgers? Well these are made using a tip gleaned from Drew over at How to Cook Like Your Grandmother. I read his stuff quite regularly and there are often some good tips there. Like this burger trick. There was a bit of confusion with US and UK Smarties there, the ones they call Smarties in the states are more like Refreshers that we have here. Anyway the point is that if you make concave burgers the end up a flatter shape when cooked, instead of how they normally end up which is eat in the middle and thinner round the edges. So thanks Drew, your trick does work.
The picture above shows the barbecue in the rain, with the umbrella poking into the top of the photo. What is cooking on the barbecue now is those special concave burgers. The picture was taken on my phone so its not too easy to make out, but it did work well at getting the burgers to stay nice and flat once cooked!