Cooking Therapy - Poblano Lime Burger
"You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit: It's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward" - Rocky Balboa
While that quote is from a movie I watched growing up, and not some philosopher, there was always something about that quote that resonated with me. Not because I was a boxer, and not just because of the Hollywood drama of the movie. But because of the words. They are words that can apply to every one of us at some point in our lives, because we all get hit by life in one way or another, and we need some tools to help up get through the situation to come out on the other side.
If you've read the Our Story piece on the Junior And The Kid website, you would have read that I worked in law enforcement for 12 years. It was something I had always wanted to do as a kid, and worked my tail off to achieve my goal. However, the world of law enforcement is not an easy one and presents many challenges. The things that an officer sees and experiences over a career can really impact and affect some of us, and I was one of them. Some may say that's weak of me to say, but I think it's the opposite, and it would be amazing if more people, not just in law enforcement, realize it's ok to say 'I'm not ok", and get the support needed.
After continuing to have my symptoms get progressively worse, I knew I had to figure out what was happening to me. In May of 2016, I was diagnosed as having Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and walked away from the world of law enforcement. There's a left hook to the chin from life.
My journey through PTSD has had it's ups and downs. A year ago, I couldn't go to certain areas of the city as it would trigger me way too much. I had a hard time sleeping (and still do at times), and other effects. While that was life hitting me pretty hard, one thing I always said was that there was no way I was going to let it keep me down, or win, and there was no way I was going to feel bad for myself or let anyone else for that matter.
What does all this have to do with a food blog? I always had 2 main outlets in life to help me through any tough situation, rough day at work, or an event which would cause me to be triggered. Food and music. And no, not sitting with a tub of Ben & Jerry's and a bag of chips kind of food, but cooking. This was something I started after a few years on the job, where after a long shift or tough events, I would come home, crank up a great playlist, and spend time making dinner. Not rushing. Making a great meal, and focusing on nothing but the chopping, the stirring, the tastes. Then sitting down, and eating whatever I created. Usually by this time, I had brought myself back down, and could enjoy the rest of my day, and enjoy whatever food I had made. When I noticed how therapeutic and helpful cooking was, it was something that I incorporated into my routine, and continue to do so today.
Things have been going really well for me in the last year, and I have noticed progress through getting the support needed as well as arming myself with tools and strategies for those bad days. However the other day, after getting groceries, I was waiting at the light and all of a sudden, a collision right in front of me. A van had hit a car who was turning. This was the first accident I had witnessed since being on the road. While I wanted to leave, I stayed, and helped everyone involved until police arrived and took over. To say I was triggered by the "accident smells" and the incident is very true. When I got back into my truck to head home, I was absolutely shaken. I spoke to a friend on my way home, and once I got back, armed with groceries, i made the burger and fries in this post's picture. A few deep breaths, turned on the music, and I started with dinner. Focusing on slicing the potatoes.... roasting the poblanos... cooking the burgers, and putting it all together. I felt myself get back to a place where I felt calm and comfortable, and to be honest was pretty proud of myself and my burger I had made. Oh, and of course there was bacon, and bacon makes everything better!
This post isn't in any way a poor Kid write-up. I wanted to share my story with you, in hopes that maybe some of you who are reading this can identify with a struggle you're going through, or maybe you'll encounter one in the future, and can use cooking as your therapy. Take the time to take care of yourself, and make the best out of any tough situation. Lean on a friend, rock out to a throwback playlist, and make yourself something great to eat. And if you need a hand, send me an email and I'll come cook with you.
- The Kid
Poblano Lime Burger
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 shallot (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
1.5 tbsp bbq sauce
1/2 poblano pepper (roasted)
zest of half of a lime
Extra old cheddar cheese
2-3 slices thick cut bacon
1. Mix egg, mustard, shallot, garlic, salt, pepper, bbq sauce, lime and poblano peppers in a bowl until combined.
2. Add ground beef, breaking it apart as you add it, and gently incorporate the mixed ingredients into the meat. (Don't work the meat too much or it will be tough)
3. Shape into approx 4 patties, making a small thumb print in the centre of each, and set aside
4. Oil BBQ grills and turn heat to medium.
5. Cook burgers until no longer pink inside. (Do not flip more than a couple times and do not press or cut the burgers. Cooking time should be about 6-8 minutes per side)
6. Top with cheese and cooked bacon in the last minutes of cooking, then place in a fresh bun, topped with your choosing of condiments. (I added some bbq sauce, red onion, and micro greens). Serve with fries or side of your choice.