Note: Contrary to recipe title, no possums were harmed in the making of these addictive burgers. There was, however, a cow involved.
During my formative years, I lived with my mom and dad, two brothers and sister in the middle of the city, on 10-20 acres of land. On that land were abundant apple trees, chickens, cranky old geese, mentally-challenged ducks, goats, pigs, Labradors (4 different ones, all named George), 2 Coonhounds purchased after my brother read the book Where the Red Fern Grows and lotsa cows. Our family kept these cows as a means of nourishment, so we literally had steak and apple pie most evenings for dinner. I know--pretty rough. There was, however, a downside for all this feasting: The cows were our beloved pets. They were! My siblings and I would claim them and name them. We were very clever, too, when it came to naming them. For instance: My sister's cow was named, One-Eye. Freckles, the mama, was named by my brother. I named my cow, Curly. One-Eye had, you guessed it, one eye. And yes, Freckles was rightly named as well. Curly had....well, you get the picture. So, when the big butcher van pulled up, Freckles would start baying loudly and frantically and all the cows would stampede towards the end of the pasture, and down the gully to escape the gun. Freckles, being the mama, had had experience watching her little ones go before her. Traumatic times these were, as we watched perched upon the white picket fence, wiping our tears with the back of our sleeves.
We don't eat much red meat nowadays. And it is not because of the harrowing details I mentioned above. We are aiming to be healthier by limiting our meat intake. For protein, we mostly eat beans, fish, and most adored: sushi. However, I still get a hankering for red meat now and again. This recipe was created as a way to boost the nutrition of the everyday all-American hamburger. The whole family loved it!
This recipe is dedicated to Freckles, beloved childhood cow, mama cow of 8. Final resting place: McDonald's. (true!)
1 lb. hamburger
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. ketchup
3/4 tsp. seasoning salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 C. crushed whole wheat crackers
1/3 C. minced mushrooms
1/4 C. pureed or grated zucchini
1/4 C. minced eggplant (I minced them and then added a touch of water and microwaved it for 2 minutes to soften)
1/4 C. diced roasted red peppers (you can roast yourself, but they also come already roasted in jar and taste really great)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Form into patties and fry in olive oil over medium/medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes each side or until middle is no longer pink. Serve atop whole wheat buns.