This is perhaps my favorite time of the year, other than during hunting season, because everything here in the Southeast is pretty much at full-bore throttle going wide open.
School is out so the kids are playing, swimming, biking, fishing, getting muddy in creeks, staying up late and sleeping in, having fun and being kids. I’ve already bought pink lemonade from a sweet little neighbor girl on a corner — and always pay at least double for kids’ lemonade, because it’s good karma. Our son is like a ghost around the house; in for a while, out, staying with his friends. Life’s good.
Outdoors, the woods are like a jungle. Our deer hunting land is thick. I’ve done some work clearing shooting lanes from one of my ground blinds and checked my Stealth game cameras. Deer are hitting the mineral spot pretty well like fat boys on a pizza buffet.
But one of the best things I like about summer is all the fresh food. Oh. My. Gosh. Gardens are growing well. Corn is starting to tassle, tomatoes are ripening, squash is squashing and it’s all good. Farmer’s markets overflow with the bounty. I’ve heard more about blackberry and blueberry bushes being loaded down and have seen several of the former just packed with the succulent treats.
Summer’s a super time for guacamole, too. Avocados are readily available in stores; they’re 10 for $10 here, which is nice. Avocados are tasty, healthy and can liven up a party with chips or add super flavor to your venison burgers or beef burgers.
If you haven’t tried a little avocado or guacamole on a burger, don’t stick your nose up in the air. It’s good. It’s not a hipster deal, either. Like we told our kids when they were little, at least try something instead of just outright “No! Yucky! Not doing it!” and being that way. Give it a try.
Our local favorite Mexican restaurant has a super dish with their handmade pico de gallo mixed with diced avocado. They stir it all together but not into a paste or mush. It’s still chunky and has outstanding flavor. They serve it with grilled shrimp, but you could make it and eat with chips, burgers or whatever. It’s super.
Buena Vista “Fanny’s Special”
Avocado, diced into 1/2-inch chunks
Tomato, seeded and diced
Onion, finely diced (use a sweet white onion)
Seed the tomatoes. Dice tomatoes and onion, chop cilantro leaves (remove the tough stems) and chunk the avocado. Add to bowl, stirring gently. Squeeze juice from a fresh lime and chill.
I like to add a pinch of sea salt to my guacamole, too, because it enhances the flavor. Not a lot, though. Just a pinch. The acidity of the lime also helps. When it’s all together it’s some good stuff!
Try out the guac with this fantastic burger from Weston and see more super recipes on the Weston blog, too!
3 lbs. venison
1 lb. bacon
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cube the venison into 1-inch pieces, then grind with a Realtree Outfitters Meat Grinder by Weston. We used the #8 Electric Meat Grinder & Sausage Stuffer (33-0201-RT). The meat texture for burgers should be fine, so grind it through once with the coarse grinding plate, once with the medium, and finally, once with the fine grinding plate.
Meanwhile, bake bacon strips for 10 minutes, crumble, and add to the ground venison. The bacon should still be somewhat raw so that it cooks fully once the burger is grilled. Mix together all of the ingredients in a Weston Meat Lug or use a Weston Meat Mixer if you’re making this recipe in bulk. Put the mixture into a gallon sized Weston Vacuum Sealer Bag and seal with a Weston Vacuum Sealer. Refrigerate and let marinate for at least 6 hours.
Once marinated, open the package and press the meat mixture into burger patties with a Realtree Outfitters Burger Press by Weston. This is a large recipe, so we used Weston Patty Paper to keep the extra patties separated during freezer storage. Grill to your preferred temperature.
Serve with your favorite burger condiments! We recommend arugula mayo (fresh chopped arugula mixed into mayo) on fresh whole wheat buns.