Monday, February 6, 2017

Dad's Veggie Burgers.....lovingly remembered

In our family, our mother was the primary cook. However on weekends, our father would often take over the kitchen to create one of his specialties.
My father, Harry, was a very talented man. He grew up in a small area called Pass Creek, approximately 15 minutes north of Castlegar. His father, Nick, had a Stucco business that he ran with all three sons, Peter, Harry & John. When I was in my late teens, on one of his stucco jobs my father got his hand caught in the blades of the cement mixer and it damaged his hand, crippling his dominant right hand forever. After many months of surgeries and healing he realized that he could not successfully return to the Stucco trade.  Having only a Grade 8 education, he went back to school to get his GED, knowing that without it he would not be able to get a satisfactory job. He had a family of 4 young children and my Mom to support. It was fun watching our father do homework at the kitchen table for a change!
Upon completion of his certificate, he decided to open a restaurant featuring vegetarian Doukhobor food, near the local Doukhobor Museum. Mom was an amazing cook and Dad cooked delicious breakfasts and loved socializing too. So thus Doukhobor Village Restaurant was born. Situated in a small building near the Doukhobor Village Museum just outside of Castlegar across from the Castlegar airport, they began the next stage of their lives. Everyone in the family worked and helped in the restaurant. My sisters, my brother, my aunts and cousins. We baked bread, made borscht,  pyrohi, vareniki nalesniki and Mom's famous fruit and cream pies and much more. Even our boyfriends had their turn waiting on tables! People came from all over Canada and some even flew in just for the borscht ( bought by the gallon and flown out on their planes). They served tour buses full of guests, they had wedding receptions, engagement dinners and many birthday celebrations in their banquet room....those of my sister and I was one of them. Dad was always thinking, creating and keeping things interesting with the food they were serving. This Veggie Burger was one of those creations. A friend of the family Verna recently sent me an email asking if I remember Dad's Veggie Burger as she was craving a taste of his patty. Sadly I did not, but I put the question to my sisters Holly and Wendy. Thankfully Holly remembered...the ingredients at least. So today was the day to create...and recreate Dad's delicious Veggie Burger. I Think Dad would be proud of these, once I tasted the burger I created today the memories came flooding back.

Dad's Veggie Burgers made at the Doukhobor Village Restaurant

Dad's Veggie Burger

The ingredients you will need.

The vegetables are shredded and ready.

Eggs and seasoning are ready.

All the ingredients are mixed together, ready for shaping into patties.

Dad's Veggie Burgers frying in some vegetable oil.

They smell soo good, they look even tastier.

Served up on a bun with your favorite toppings.

Dad's Veggie Burger

1 large carrot, peeled and grated (1 rounded cup)
2 medium beets, peeled and grated (11/2 cups)
12 Mushrooms, grated or chopped fine (21/4 cups)
1 large onion or 11/2 medium onion, chopped fine
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
3 large cloves garlic, minced or grated
11/4 cups flour, whole wheat or white
3 cups kidney beans, mashed
3 eggs, beaten
11/4 cups bread crumbs
1 tsp. seasoning salt 
2 tsp. granulated garlic
11/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated ( optional)
In a large bowl beat eggs, seasoning salt, granulated garlic, salt, pepper
Stir in grated beets,  carrots, Mushrooms, onions, celery, garlic and mashed beans.
Stir in the bread crumbs and flour ( Parmesan Cheese, if using)
Shape into patties ( your choice of size)
Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan, add your patties and cook until nicely browned for approximately 2-5 min per side. Serve in a bun with your favourite dressings and toppings.

'Let Miracles sneak into your life today while your back is turned.
and Joy seep into your being when you are not looking and overtake you.'
Veronica Hay

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