Ember Days, Minnesota and Burgers

Show us, O Lord, the light of Your kindness

Today is the first of three Ember Days of Spring or the Lenten Season. These are days of old, no longer held in the same high regard as before. They were observed as days of fasting and abstinence. The Ember Days of Spring are movable; as they are observed on the first Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following Ash Wednesday.

We’ve already talked about Ash Wednesday and all the crazy math it takes to calculate the lunar cycles for Easter, then work backwards. Math has never been my strong point. Which is why I am eternally grateful for the internet and our annual Parish Calendar. The point of Ember Days is to stop and give thanks to God for the Blessings of this earth four times a year, with the changing seasons. In the spring, we are reminded to give thanks for the bees, who create the wax that make the candles that are used in Baptism. Okay, so the Baptism Candles are no longer made with bees wax, but you get the idea.

Ember Days are not just about giving thanks, but also to ask God to bless His children. In the days of old, when we were more closely tied to the land, to the seasons and to “Blessings” from above in the form of rain, good weather, and a good harvest, Ember Days held a far greater importance in peoples lives. While most of us in the modern world rarely think about the impact of weather on our daily bread, we are still connected in many ways to the land.

Generally speaking, while we don’t fast or abstain while observing Ember Days in our Old-School home, we do acknowledge the importants of prayer, giving thanks and asking that God bless all His creation. Doing so strengthens our faith and brings us closer to our Lord.

Today is also National Minnesota Day. I really do enjoy the National State Days. America might not be perfect – no country is – but we should be proud to call ourselves Americans. Pride in community is an important thing – it helps to make a place evey better. When you love your country, you want it to suceed, you want to lift it up to its full potential. I love this country. I want only the best for America, and all her people. Not just whites or blacks or browns, but everyone.

So here’s to Minnesota, the 32nd state to join the Union. The Land of 10,000 Lakes, and the northern most point of the lower 48. And do you know what they like to eat in Minnesota? Cheese burgers! But not just any cheese burgers. These have the cheese on the inside. Yum!

Juicy Lucy
1-1/2 lbs Ground Sirloin
6 slices American Cheese
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh Black Pepper
Cooking Spray
4 Hamburger Buns

Cut each cheese slice evenly into 4 squares, arrange in 4 stacks of 6 slices each, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground sirloin, garlic, Worcestershire Sauce, salt and pepper. Roll up your sleeves and mix together by hand without over-working the meat. Divide beef into 8 portions, form into 8 thin patties. With your thumb, press an indented well in the center of 4 patties. Place one stack of sliced cheese into each well. Encase the cheese with the remaining 4 patties, forming by hand to create 4 burgers. Make sure the edges are fully sealed. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375-degrees. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Spray burgers themselves with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Pan sear for 3 minutes per side. Place skillet in the oven to finish, about 6 minutes.

Let burgers rest for 3 minutes for the juices to settle and the cheese to set. Split hamburger buns, add condiments as desired. Serve and enjoy.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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