Growing up, the culinary duties in our house fell mostly to my mother, but certain dishes were Dad’s domain, including anything on the grill.
Between Memorial Day and Labor day, the grill was filled with burgers, hot dogs and an occasional steak — a splurge on an journalist’s budget with a passel of kids.
He had it pretty easy whenever he did cook.
Mom prepped all the ingredients, prepared all the side dishes, set the table and cleaned up afterward, too. (What was she thinking?)
I still can see him standing at the grill, long handled spatula in hand, flipping burgers while we kids vied for his attention.
To keep us occupied, he created timed races for us. We’d take off from the patio and run as fast as we could to the back fence and back.
He counted the seconds and then declared one of us victorious, usually one of my long-legged older brothers, or my quick-as-a-rabbit younger brother. I was more like a turtle, and my sister, her nose in a book, couldn’t be bothered with silly races — or sweat.
I loved those long, lazy, summer Sundays in West Texas. The sounds and smells flash back to me anytime I’m standing over the grill, flipping burgers.
So this Father’s Day, even though I can’t be in Texas with Dad, I’ll fire up our grill and throw on a couple burgers to toast the man who made our summers so sweet and memorable.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.
Steve’s BBQ Burgers
Steve is my baby brother, who’s not a baby anymore. Now at family gatherings, he’s the guy behind the grill, and Dad is all too happy to turn the tongs over to him, especially when these burgers are on the menu.
Nice and smoky, thanks to the liquid smoke and barbecue sauce, they taste even better if you prepare them for the grill earlier in the day. Take them out of the fridge to take the chill off while you heat up the grill.
2 pounds ground beef (not extra lean)
2/3 cup bbq sauce (divided)
1/4 cup liquid smoke
3 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning (divided)
1. Heat the grill to medium (350°F).
2. Crumble the beef into a large bowl and pour about 1/3 cup of bbq sauce and the liquid smoke over the beef.
3. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of lemon pepper seasoning. Mix by hand until thoroughly combined.
4. Form into 6 equal patties either by hand or in a form. Make an indention with your thumb on both sides of each patty (helps keep it from puffing up during cooking.)
5. Brush both sides of each patty with the remaining bbq sauce and then sprinkle both sides with the remaining lemon pepper seasoning.
6. Grill until medium (140-145°F), about 15 minutes, flipping only once, about half way through.