Winter 2010, Kevin was second cook on the farm and made damn good, vegan burger patties. I ate a lot of them. They were dense and flavorful. I could run into the cook shack between shows, palm a couple and head back out, into the wintery dark.
One afternoon I was leaning against the island while Kevin and Illona were kneading bread and asked how he makes the burgers. He just shrugged that it was easy. I pressed further. He said the basic recipe is a bag of dried mixed beans, flax and chia seeds, masa flour, random leftover vegetables and cumin but what makes them, is dried sumac.
During the closing night cabaret, Kevin and Illona summed up the six weeks they’d been cooking for the company by giving out awards like: Heartiest Appetite, Aesthetic Plater, Most Hot Sauce Consumed. Being the only vegan, I was a shoe in for their: Most Complacent Vegetarian award. I turned to Zach and asked if complacent was used in the right context, or a back handed compliment? He assured me they meant well but were kind of using the word wrong.They handed me a left over ziploc bag full of bean burger mix. I was utterly delighted.
I figured I could recreate it but it still eludes me. My guess is his were fried rather than baked, like I choose to do. I dried the patty out too much in the oven. I have no patience for standing over a cast iron pan flipping burgers. Either way these turned out pretty good, super cheap, compact protein, fiber bombs.