Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burgers

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Happy day after day after Mother's Day! I hope you all feel celebrated and honored. I'm sad to report it was a downright snowstorm here in Steamboat on Sunday. Ah, such is life in the mountains. It's okay. My hopes of sitting out in the sun all afternoon with a crisp sauvignon blanc was replaced by a cozy early breakfast with my family, followed by a planter pot full of herbs since we are renting and I don't currently have a garden of my own, and a bouquet that was made more special since my kids picked out different random flowers and had the florist make an arrangement out of it. Jeremiah picked the bluebell looking ones and pink rose. Isabella picked sunflowers and tulips.

I was also presented with a giant handmade poster from Isabella that said "Happy Mother's Day, We I love you" with stickers all over that said "Happy Birthday!" and two balloons that said "Happy Birthday Princess!" because, you know, it's the sentiment that really matters, not what you are actually saying. Everyone know that.

We took my mom out to lunch on Friday to celebrate with her. Kaylee and I had just gotten back from a run up Spring Creek in preparation for our 5k coming up. My lungs bled, I'm pretty sure, so to document the moment we snapped a selfie. Don't let the smile deceive you. My lungs are BLEEDING.

Then we came back to the house and rehydrated with a green juice.

In other mother related news, mine has started experimenting with actually styling her hair. My mom has never changed her hair style. Ever. Also, she never blow dry's or puts any product in (except for special occasions) Here, I'll prove it.




even 1971, for goodness sake (on the right)

Same length, same bangs. I can tell you this-she curled her hair in the 1981 picture and used a blow dryer for the 2008 one ONLY because she knew she would be taking pictures. You get the idea though.

But she started to rethink her hair situation after she decided to buy a wig. She hoped it would look like real hair. My mom is crazy. I did the cry/laugh for 40 minutes as she told me the story of watching the home shopping channel where the hosts all wore the wigs raving about how real they looked. It should be noted that my mom might have a small home shopping addiction. At first she was skeptical. She could tell the host was wearing a wig. But she couldn't decide if it was because she knew she was wearing one since that's what they were selling. Perhaps if they weren't selling wigs she wouldn't have even noticed? Curiosity peaked she decided to watch some more. Then she ordered one.

When she came over she announced "I ordered a wig. Just to see what it would be like. Because I mean, if it looks real, what an easy way to do it. I could look good everyday."

My laugh/cry begins when I realize she isn't joking.

"Plus" she continues "If I ever got cancer and went through chemo...I'd have it" Please note, she says this seriously like it's actually a plus.

The tears start rolling and my cheeks already hurt.

She tells me her plan is to just wear it one day when Dave (my stepdad) gets home from work and just see his reaction. She wonders if she can get away with it looking real. She wonders if he'll just think it's her actual hair. Like, will he even notice? I assure her he will definitely notice. For the first time in forever her hair will be sleek, blown out, perfectly cut, poofy and shiny. My mom naturally has very wavy horse-like hair. Oh, he's going to notice. Who did she think she was going to fool? I beg her to take a picture of her in it when it arrives. This is just the best thing to happen all year. I've got to see it. I promise her I won't post it to Facebook or anything. But I don't promise I won't blog about it.

She says what finally got her to make the purchase was that she had been watching the home shopping channel for a while when she heard they were selling out of some of the styles. She knew she had better get on the phone and order the cut she wanted first. She knew she wouldn't get what she really wanted if she didn't hurry. My mom is the prime target audience for home shopping channels. "Wait" I say through tears "You mean to tell me you ordered a wig you didn't even really want just because they were selling out?" She looks at me like ummm, yes, are you even listening? That's exactly why. Also, she says the seller lady announced she planned to wear the wig to an upcoming wedding. Oh, my mom thought, dang, if she can wear it to a wedding it must look good! She is not very ashamed about this. It's awesome. She's slightly embarrassed though and expects it to not look very real. Although holding out hope, she believes she'll have to return it. But she just has to make sure first. Try it on. Take it for a spin. She imagines all sorts of scenarios. Like will she have to work out at the gym with it on? What if people know its a wig and they wonder why in the world she would wear a wig to the gym? Who wears a wig to the gym? But then if she doesn't wear the wig all the time, then someone who sees her real hair at the gym might see her later that day in the grocery store with her hair all done, slightly a different shade of brown and then they'd know for sure she's wearing a wig. If she was going to do it, she'd have t commit to wearing it pretty full time. If not, if people started to catch on, then they'd wonder...Laurie has a full head of hair, why is she wearing a wig? My mother lives in a very small town. She sees the same people over and over. I told her she could just decide to not care what people think. She assured me she doesn't normally, but having people wonder if she was wearing a wig or not was a little too weird. She couldn't have people thinking she was crazy, or worse, be the laughing stock. One doesn't usually wear a daily wig just for the hell of it.

"Only thing is, I wonder if I wear a wig, if my hair will start to fall out?"

You guys. At this point, I start to get maniacal. Why in the world would she think her hair might fall out?

"Well, you know, from covering it up from the sun and air all the time?"

My side is aching. I'm bent over. I'm gasping for breath between fits of laughter. This sounds like logic my dad would use (he has legitimate brain damage though). It reminds me of the period of time my dad would only use Garnier Frutctis shampoo because he believed the plant extracts from the fruit (Fructis, ya'll) would stimulate his hair to grow in thicker. Then, every day he would sit in the sun and pour Fiji water over his head like he was watering a garden or something. It had to be Fiji brand because it came from tropical waterfalls, you know, and had mysterious powers that other normal water didn't. Still I think it can't be coincidence that two adults in my life would think this way. Do people with hair issues fall into this line of thinking? Is there any legitimacy to this? I have no idea. I just know it sounds like lunacy. And I haven't laughed this hard in years. My mom is dying too. We can't even talk to each other for five minutes.

It was probably the best day ever.

A few days later the wig came. She tried in on in her bathroom and snapped a few selfies. She sent me one. Are you ready?

Let's compare, shall we?

fake (wig):


WILL DAVE NOTICE? Bwahahahahaha.

She never worked up the courage to wear it out. She said it took her 20 minutes just to get her real hair pinned up and secured and for the wig to get on her head right. It was then she had a lightbulb moment. If it takes 20 minutes to get this fake hair on my head and I'm doing it just so my hair can look styled, why wouldn't I just spend 20 minutes styling my own hair? Yeah I know, you probably asked this question to yourself way back when this whole story started, but we're slow processors in my family. SO this is how it came to be that my mother showed up at my doorstep the other day with her hair done. I decided to take pictures of the occasion. She was a willing model.

*We don't need to call attention to her highlight situation. Don't worry, she knows*

Should we get a pensive one? She asked. No mom, you look too cute for serious shots. You can't tell as well in the pics, but you guys...she styled her bangs TO THE SIDE. This is new. This is Laurie, unprecedented. And it all came about from some wig antics. I'm so glad my mother isn't boring.

Ah, crap. I did the thing where I wrote about something else instead of food on the food blog again. This happens a lot. I think this fall when Olivia starts school and I gain a bit more free time I'll start another blog for this sort of thing. Hey, at least I'm writing.

I am genuinely excited to talk to you about these turkey burgers. Rumor has it Oprah asked for this recipe after interviewing Donald Trump at  Mar-a-Lago in Florida. She says they were the best turkey burgers she had even eaten. I have to agree.  It's the combination of the burger with the special sauce that makes it great. Topped with a melty slice of sharp cheddar cheese, these are heaven. Just make sure to prepare in advance. After you shape the meat into patties, they'll need to sit in the fridge to firm up enough to be grilled which takes a few hours. I just make these around lunchtime and place the patties on a baking sheet lined with foil and stick it into the fridge until dinner time. It works great. The secret ingredient in these burgers is mango chutney. Although I left it out when my sister was visiting because she was on a no added sugar diet and she didn't seem to mind. I mixed it into our patties though because I really do think it makes them special.

Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burgers
adapted from Bread and Wine, by Shauna Niequist
makes 12 burgers

1/4 cup scallions
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
Olive oil
4 pounds ground turkey breast
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons Tabasco
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1/4 cup mango chutney

Special Sauce:
1/2 cup mango chutney
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup
2 dashes Tabasco, or to taste

(optional: melt a thick piece of sharp cheddar over the burgers. Serve in buns with the special sauce, avocado, tomato, and lettuce)

Saute scallions, celery, and apples in olive oil until tender. Let cool.

While the mixture is cooling, make special sauce. Mix chutney, mayonnaise, ketchup, and tabasco. Adjust for heat and then refrigerate until serving time.

Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into 12 burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or longer if needed.

Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill set to medium-high heat. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is throughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes.


  1. Dave keeps looking at me wondering why I'm trying to hold in my uncontrollable laughter. Lol. I did show him the pic of me in the wig and asked what he thought.
    He said with a funny face it doesn't look like you. You r nose looks fat. Lol

  2. I usually make chicken burgers but never a turkey. I guess this will be delicious.