The Defining Burger


Dillon and Miranda, in every sense of the definition, are meant for each other.  Both have pet iguanas named Cuddles, a mutual love of complementary colours– her red, him green, and both are fans of the now-defunct Kansas City Scouts Hockey Club.

Dillon asks Miranda to his place for their first date– he’ll make his special, pretty-much famous homemade burgers.  He loves to cook, she loves to eat.  How convenient!

Everything’s going swimmingly.  The iguanas are asleep in the corner, compliments fly back and forth, there’s smiling and laughing, and then,  Miranda sinks her teeth into her burger.

She chews three times and then, convulsively, spits out her partly chewed lump of burger and bun.  It lands in Dillon’s lap.  It was an accident.  Her aim isn’t that good.

A look of confusion comes over Dillon, but Miranda wears a look of abject horror.  “What the hell is that?” she says, her voice sounding more gag than question.  “I thought this was supposed to be a burger!”

“It’s a non-meat alternative burger,” Dillon says in an apologetic mumble.  “I call them Dillon’s Pretty-Much Famous Yam Burgers.”

Miranda throws her napkin on her plate and rises abruptly out of her seat. 

“The words Yam and Burger do not belong within the covers of the same cookbook! A burger contains beef!  Does your garden contain a herd of yams?  I think not!  When you say Burger, the Beef part is an unspoken assumption!  This monstrosity on my plate is definitely not a burger!”

Their fledgling relationship has not merely hit a bump in the road– it has gone over a steep precipice and burst into flames upon impact with a dry riverbed.  Yes.  It is over.

And so, Dillon resolves to learn from this catastrophic misstep in romantic relations.  He still enjoys his Pretty-Much Famous Yam Burgers, but elects to make a slight alteration to his recipe.

Dillon’s Pretty-Much Famous Yam Not-Really-Burgers

(Adapted and possibly even slightly mutilated from a recipe in Made With Love by Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie)

For this recipe, you will want:

1 large yam or a sweet potato

1 cup of quinoa

1/2 cup of white flour

2 tablespoons of dried cilantro or 1/2 cup fresh

2 green onions

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic crushed

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon olive oil

How Dillon Makes Them:

1.  Dillon peels the yams, cuts them in small cubes, then stir fries them until they’re soft.  He puts them in a large bowl and mashes them with a potato masher or a robust fork.  When he’s frustrated with life, he’ll just use his bare hands.

2.   Dillon cooks the quinoa according to the directions on the package, then throws it in with the yams.

3.   He adds the rest of the ingredients, then gets his hands in there and mixes the mixture until it is well mixed.  Dillon uses a 1/2 cup measure and they come out about the right size. 

4.  Dillon microwaves them for 45 seconds to firm them up before frying.  He fries them in a pan at medium high heat until they are nice and crunchy.  Dillon likes to see a little bit of black charcoalish stuff on them.  He claims it gives them added personality.

5.   He places them in his bun of choice. 

6.  He’ll tell you that these don’t need much in the way of condiments.  Lettuce and tomatoes are always good, and his Great-Aunt Minnie’s plum or pear chutney also works well.

7.  Serve with caution.  Emphasize the non-burger aspect of the name.  Maybe even call them Yam Cakes on a Bun.  Assess your guest.  Use your judgement.

8.  Do not be discouraged by an unfavourable reaction.  This means it was not meant to be.


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