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Hamburger Queen

We are celebrating our golden wedding anniversary and I will always remember how I had to wait until we were wed on June 17, 1956, before my wife, known in Castroville, Tx, as the Hamburger Queen, revealed the secrets for her famous burgers that folks in these parts couldn't get enough of, and it's the basic burger ingredients, but she explained that it's all in knowing how to build the perfect burger. It's like she's a kitchen architect and engineer all rolled into one. Actually, she got me hooked on her burgers in 1953 when she worked at Leon's drive-in in Castroville and I couldn't get enough of them. Next thing, we were dating and the rest is history as we celebrate fifty years of wedded bliss and excellent burgers.


For three Hamburger Queen burgers:
1 lb. ground chuck formed into three one-third-pound hamburger patties.
3 deluxe size hamburger buns, toasted.
3 slices of onion
3 slices Big Boy or comparable tomato
3 portions of Romaine lettuce broadleaf
3 portions sliced hamburger dill pickles
3 heaping teaspoons yellow mustard
3 heaping teaspoons mayonnaise
*optional 3 slices cheese, either American or a fine pepper jack.


Now, for the building process secret that the Hamburger Queen revealed to me fifty years ago and I continue to enjoy them (in fact, we had them today): On the toasted bun bottoms, spread heaping one teaspoon of mustard. Add 4 or 5 hamburger dill pickle mini slices atop the mustard. Place generous slice of raw onion (The Texas 1015 Bermuda is favored). Next, position the cooked hamburger patty (from the griddle or the grill) on the bottom bun atop the onion, pickles, and mustard, allowing juice dripping from the meat patty to soak into the aforementioned three items and bottom bun. Atop the meat patty, place two generous tomato slices. Next, select leaf of lettuce and top it over the tomato slices. And, finally, comes the top bun slathered with mayonnaise. Before putting the mayo on the top bun, she sometimes lets the top bun rest atop the sizzling meat patty and then adds the mayo and puts the top bun on top of the burger. And voila!!! *If you option to add cheese, it should go atop the meat patty beneath the tomato and lettuce.


The Hamburger Queen, Barbara Jo, my wife of 50 years, explained that when you build the hamburger to these proportions you will get the a salad-like flavor from the top portion of the burger complemented by the spicy meat portion on the bottom of the bun. It sounds somewhat complicated but once you've tried it,you won't prepare your burger any other way. By the by, wife Bobbi learned the secret from her Dad and Mom who operated a small cafe at the Medina Lake Dam in the Texas Hill Country during the 1940s.