JULY 23, 2012–MUSHROOM SWISS SLIDERS WITH FRY SAUCE
I know. Yesterday I served burgers for Sunday Dinner, and today, I am grilling up more burgers. I guess I am still a little lonely. Or lazy. Hamburgers are just so easy in the summer. And I am tired. So is Scout.
Today was the Swimming Championship. This meant that we had to drive across town at 7:30 am., so Scout could warm up in the pool at 8:00 a.m. To leave by 7:30, we had to be up by 6:00 a.m.. And 6:00 is way too early to be up.
This was our first Swimming Championship, so we didn’t know exactly what to expect. We knew there would lots of kids and several heats, but I didn’t realize how many kids, how many heats, and how intense the heat would be.
There were thousands of kids. And all of them in team swim suits, swim caps, and googles. All of the kids were also about the same age, which means everyone looked alike.
Everyone was yelling into a megaphone. Kids grouped to the “Marshalling Area” when the mega phone man announced their event.
Then they walked single file to chairs in rows under canopies.
Each chair corresponded to their swim lane so numbers (written on arms and legs with Sharpies) were checked and double checked by their coaches.
Then the lines marched up to the entrance door. At the entrance door, number and lanes were rechecked.
The lines then entered and sat on a row of concrete benches. As the benches emptied, the next group would slide down until they took their place on the starting blocks. From the time Scout was called on the megaphone until the time she actually swam was about 45 minutes.
The pool was indoors which felt like a sauna, and the parking lot outside where everyone camped felt like the Sahara. I would try to guess the time Scout would swim, and then make the trek into the Sauna pool. Usually we were too early, and had to sweat it out for 15 – 20 minutes. Once I was too late and missed her entirely.
Everyone was camped under tents except for us–we hadn’t brought a canopy. By 11:00, I was getting worried about Little Man. He had on sunscreen, and I had brought plenty of water, but he was getting really pink and puffy.
All around us there were tents and extra snacks and towels and cold water, but I didn’t know anyone, and a wave of loneliness swept over me. Sometimes it the easiest to feel lonely in a big crowd.
I took another look at Little Man and then headed to the mini-van and turned on the air conditioning to cool off. Then I saw the gas dial–OH NO I didn’t have any to spare. We weren’t anywhere near a gas station, so I needed to conserve. We turned off the car, and headed back to the heat, and the loneliness, and the crowd, and the yelling megaphone, and 1,000 kids in team suits and swim caps.
It was about this time that I decided that Eloise was not going to compete in the Swim Championship the following day. It was just too much for a 5-year-old. She had just learned to swim 8 weeks prior, and the heat, the crowd, the sauna pool, the Sahara parking lot, all combined into a big, “NO !” Besides, it meant that we could leave one day earlier for our week vacation in Canada. Eloise would have a week of swimming at the cottage WITH FRIENDS, instead of a sea of strangers. Now I just had to find the energy to finish the laundry, pack suitcases, close up the house, and clean out the car.
By 1:00 we were finished. And exhausted. We headed home to air conditioning, cold water, and a late lunch.
After lunch we all took naps. I hadn’t swum a lap, but I had carried a two-year-old up and down three flight of stairs too many times to count. ( Please notice that I managed to use, “to”, “two”, and “too” all in the same sentence.) The crowd was too big. The sun too intense. And Eloise and Little Man too little to just leave outside while I made the many treks back and forth. So we all trekked together.
We were all hungry from our trekking and swimming. We all wanted a quick meal, but nothing too big–it was just too hot. Ree Drummond’s MUSHROOM SWISS SLIDERS WITH SPICY FRY SAUCE (pg. 100) seemed perfect–fast, filling, and the right portion size. Start by sauteing up some mushrooms and onions. Let me here add that this recipe is not a low-fat recipe (are any of Pioneer Woman’s recipes?), but this day we certainly earned every deliciously fried calorie.
Using the same pan as the mushrooms and onions, make up some mini-patties and cook them.
Spoon the mushrooms and onions back onto the mini-burgers.
Now I realize that these sliders are called mushroom SWISS sliders, but I was out of Swiss Cheese, and the kiddos don’t “do” swiss on hamburgers (or any other sandwich), so we laid down some cheddar slabs.
. . .And let them melt over the mountain of deliciously fried onions and mushrooms.
Now if you can do two things at the same time. . .
I can. I just burn one of them.
I can do three things at the same time. I just burn one, and accidentally hang up the phone on the other.
In fact, I can do four things at the same time. I just spank the phone, hang up the diaper, flip over the coffee, and add sugar to the burger.
. . .If you can do two things at the same time, make up some Fry Sauce. Mix some mayo, some ketchup, and some Tabasco sauce. Spread this thickly over your Mushroom Swiss Slider bun. Add some Sweet Lime Pickles, and you have a perfectly, diner-delicious, Mushroom (Cheddar) Slider.
Enjoy responsibly. If a food coma should over take you please pass your keys to the designated driver. Woman who are pregnant should avoid eating these as they are addicting. If you suffer from a heart condition, please check with you physician before consuming eight. Children under the age of 21 may peel up the cheddar and take off the mushrooms and onions.
Your General Surgeon,
P.S. This photo has nothing to do with the topic of this post, but I included it because they are beauties and deserve to be recognized.