When any sort of special occasion rolls around, the way we always want to celebrate is with food. So when Jeff and I started talking about what we wanted to eat for the Fourth of July, we decided to make burgers. While that may not sound too exciting to you, we hardly ever make burgers around here (due to the fact that we don’t eat grains and a burger really does requires a bun) so it was very exciting for us. The pictures of our burgers might not look that appetizing, but they were so delicious.
The first thing we wondered about was the bun. I’d seen “paleo burgers” with portabello mushroom buns and that sounded great to me. That’s just what we did. (They had been in the fridge and started getting wrinkly, otherwise they would have looked much more appetizing in the picture. They still tasted delicious.) We had not purchased portabello mushrooms before because they are spendy, so buying them made the occasion feel all the more special. (We found them at Natural Grocers, by the way.)
For the burger part, we used ground lamb from Long’s Meat Market. A great company and they carry grass-fed lamb more affordably than anywhere we’ve seen. We also got pork belly from there to add to our burgers (aka bacon without all the additives.) And while we were dreaming big, we added avocados, sauteed onions, sauteed button mushrooms, horseradish mustard (not on Bracken’s, too spicy), and lettuce from the garden. Since we couldn’t add much else to the burgers because they were getting quite tall, we had our pickles on the side. On the side we also had some pineapple, something Jeff wanted that we hardly ever buy. And our very favorite chips. Sweet Potato Chips by Jackson’s Honest Chips, made with coconut oil!
It was quite the feast. I planned on making the meal with Jeff, but he ended up making the entire thing while I was working upstairs and having it ready for Bracken and I when we came down after Bracken’s late nap (making it possible for him to stay up late to watch fireworks later.) We were too full for our dessert of watermelon (we didn’t even finish our dinner), so we enjoyed our watermelon the next day. Bracken got his own “watermelon bowl”, which he thought was great. Then he started forgoing the fork and just biting straight into it, though I think he realized the fork was pretty helpful after all. Watermelon is another thing we hardly ever buy from the store, we usually just wait until we see them at the farmer’s market each year, but they’re not ready around here yet. Jeff loves watermelon and was thrilled to add that to our feast. I decided to experiment and blend up some watermelon and pour it into popsicle molds. I thought watermelon popsicles sounded pretty good. They were, though I think we all prefer fresh watermelon to the popsicles. I told Jeff it would be a great thing to do if you had a lot of watermelon and you couldn’t eat it all up fast enough, to preserve some. He said he couldn’t ever imagine having more watermelon than he could eat. Ha!
The town nearest to us didn’t have fireworks this year and we were disappointed. We decided to go to Florence on the coast to watch them. Jeff said many of the times he’s been to the fireworks there, it’s been too overcast to see them. We went anyway, knowing that would be a possibility. When we got there, it was so crowded that it was challenging to find a place to sit. Bracken loved being near the water and seeing all the boats. One looked like a pirate ship to us and when it got dark, you could see it all decorated in lights. Some friends met us there, which was really fun. Though it did turn out to be overcast and we could hardly see the fireworks (and Jeff joked “oh, that sounded like a good one”), we still had a good time. I know fireworks can be a bit intense and overwhelming for small children, so I’ve been surprised by how much Bracken loves them and has for the past two summers as well. He’s quite disappointed that they only happen once a year. I tell him that just gives us something to look forward to. His reaction made me laugh, acting like that was such a mom thing to say!