Welcome I was reminiscing yesterday about meeting my husband and thinking back to some of our earliest dates. We had some good ones for sure. One date, in particular, has stood out for the two of us over the years. I’m going to share that story today and a few valuable lessons learned from the experience. I also have a recipe for another great couple, The Classic American Cheeseburger and Oven Fries.
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Food For Thought Early in my dating relationship with my now-husband, we went on a “walking date.” I’ve always loved being active, especially when I was younger. I now know that this was a date that he agreed to, just because he wanted to spend time with me, not necessarily because it was a favorite activity. Anyway, we met after I got off work in the late afternoon at a popular walking and biking trail just outside our city. This is a LONG trail and I had walked sections of it on many occasions. This date happened to be in mid-fall, so we had nice cool temperatures and some changing leaves. Absolutely perfect weather to start off our walk. Well, with mid-fall also comes shorter daylight hours. We had been so busy talking and enjoying each other’s company that we didn’t realize how far we had walked until we noticed the sun setting.
We had walked nearly five miles in one direction! This is five miles away from our parked cars. This is five additional miles needed to complete the roundtrip. This is five miles I will have to walk with a person I’ve only known a couple of months in the dark. And dark it was, as this trail is unlit and follows a small river. The only light we had for our walk back was a full October moon. Of course now, with hindsight and the logic of a 40-year-old mom, I realize this was a poor decision on my part. This situation could have turned out very bad if I had been with the wrong person.
Nothing during my time with my guy ever made me second-guess his motives or my safety. As we walked back to the trailhead that night, I said to him, “It’s a good thing I trust you.” He knew exactly what I was saying. We’ve talked about that night on the trail many times, and he’s reprimanded me (kindly) for making such a dangerous choice, even though I was with him. I’ve assured him several times that I had never done something like that before, or since. And it’s true. Something about my husband, even back when we had first met, let me know, deep in my “gut” that he’s a good guy and completely trustworthy. It’s hard to explain, but I think when you’re in tune with the path God has you on, I guess literally in this case, you just know when a situation is going to be okay. I think I may have already known that I was going to marry this man. And I did trust him. I trusted him then and I still trust him, deeply, to this day.
So if it was so easy for me to declare my trust to this almost-stranger, who is a mere mortal man, why is it so hard for me to put my full trust in God? My Heavenly Father who intends me no harm and wants what is best for me (Psalm 121:7-8)? My God who has known me since before I was born and knew the plans for my life (Psalm 139:13)? My Heavenly Father that has given me His Word to protect me and love me and guide me (Isaiah 41:10)? I told my husband that I didn’t need to question my trust, I just knew I would be okay with him. THIS needs to be my first thought when it comes to my God’s protection over me and my life, every little thing, every little prayer, every big request. I should JUST KNOW that I can trust God (Proverbs 3:5). I should JUST KNOW I will be okay with God’s protection over every detail of my life (Proverbs 18:10). I should JUST BE STILL and KNOW (Psalm 46:10).
Lessons learned: Trust God first and foremost, every single day. The deep gut instincts and feelings we get are usually correct. And, definitely, don’t put yourself at risk by being on a dark remote trail with someone you’ve only know a few months. I’m glad my instincts were right and I’m still here to tell you the story, not everyone’s story ends so happily, unfortunately.
Today’s Scripture Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”
Today’s Recipe My husband and I have shared many dates that included burgers and fries, and there is nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with recreating this “other” perfect couple at home on any given weeknight. This Classic American Cheeseburger and Oven Fries is better than most any take-out or drive-thru, since you can control the quality of your ingredients, it’s made fresh to order, and cheaper on the wallet, too.
Classic American Cheeseburger and Oven Fries (leftover burgers can be stored in airtight containers or wrapped tightly with plastic wrap)
For the Fries (approximately 4 servings)
- 5-6 small russet potatoes (or 3 large)
- 2 TBS olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the Burgers (makes 8 burgers)
- 2 lbs 80/20 ground beef (the fat content adds the richness that makes these burgers have that classic flavor)
- salt and pepper
- 8 hamburger buns
- 8 slices American cheese
- Sliced raw onion, lettuce leaves, and tomato slices
- Condiments of choice: mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise
Start the fries first. Set oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wash the potatoes and dry with paper towel. Cut each potato in half, then cut each half into 6-8 wedges, depending on how big around the potato. Toss the potato wedges with the olive oil and spread evenly on prepared pan. Sprinkle wedges with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and crispy on the edges.
For the burgers, begin by heating a griddle or grill pan. I use this Presto 22 Inch Electric Griddle available from Amazon. Take ground beef and form into eight equal patties and place on hot griddle. Lightly salt and pepper the tops of the burgers and leave them alone for 5-6 minutes; this will give a nice crust to the burgers. Carefully flip burgers and allow to cook another 4-7 minutes, depending on the desired doneness you want with your burger (4 minutes will give a medium-rare burger and 7 minutes will give a medium-well to well-done burger.) When burgers are cooked, turn off heat and place a slice of American cheese on top of each burger. Allow the burgers to sit and let the cheese melt from the residual heat. Remove burgers to paper towel-lined tray to remove excess grease.
Serve cheese burgers on buns with desired toppings and condiments. Serve oven fries alongside the burgers.