I’ve been trying to find out more about the Farm Journal magazine. It still exists as a digital publication, but I think the print version—with the section called ‘Farm Wife’—is long gone. What a pity. There is a bit of information online about a section called Anna’s Country Kitchen—Anna Atkinson being the wife of the man who started the magazine.
In the late 1950s, the magazine started publishing a series of homey cookbooks, featuring recipes collected ‘by Farm Journal editors from prize-winning farm cooks’. Lots of recipes won blue ribbons at state fairs or were handed down from grandmothers and great-grandmothers.
I have five or six Farm Journal cookbooks—covering pies, casseroles, cookies, cooking for company and more—and will be sharing dishes from all of them over time. They provide a glimpse of farm life 50 years ago. I especially like the fact that the recipes rarely use convenience foods.
Today’s page-32 offering is from a menu for a graduation day buffet.
Stuffed big burger
2 lb. ground chuck
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tblsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tblsp. prepared mustard
4 slices pasteurized process American cheese
1/4 c. sweet pickle relish
big burger buns
Toppings: lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, ketchup
Combine ground chuck, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix lightly, but well. Divide mixture in half and place each half on a sheet of waxed paper. Shape each half into a 9-inch patty.
Spread one patty with mustard; top with cheese and relish. Place second patty on top; pinch patties together to seal well. Cover and refrigerate.
Brush top and sides of patty with oil. Grill patty, oiled side down, 4 inches from red coals (high heat). Cook 20 to 25 minutes on each side or to desired doneness, brushing with oil once more before turning.
Split big burger bun and place patty on bottom half. Garnish with desired toppings. Add top half of big burger bun. Cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges with a serrated wife.
How it played out
I made several changes to this recipe—mostly out of necessity. For starters, I used extra lean ground mince (hamburger). You can’t buy processed American cheese in Australia, so I substituted mild cheddar. Finally, I was sure there was some sweet pickle relish in the fridge, but I’ll be darned if I could find it. So I had to use some sliced spiced gherkins.
The recipe for the big burger bun started on page 32, but it called for a package of hot roll mix—an item that has never been available in Australia, so I popped down to the local bakery and bought some nice bread rolls.
Used Petra’s wonderful mayonnaise recipe (actually it’s mine) and plenty of rocket leaves. Yummo!
Nice burger and fun idea. Nobody went hungry! The cooking time is way too long. I gave it less than 30 minutes in total, and it was still too well done. I think I’ll stick to individual burgers in future.