Charles and Pauletta have become some of our closest friends and “adopted grandparents” to our sons, spending spring in their home state of Virginia, summer/fall here in Turner and traveling the country enjoying their retirement wherever they can find good bird hunting the rest of the year.

Here on the Montana-Saskatchewan border, springtime seems to arrive a little later than it does in places south of us, which goes without saying.  Nonetheless, we’ve had a fairly open winter this year, and springtime seems to be coming earlier than normal.  I even spotted a few blades of green grass peeking out yesterday, not to mention thousands of gophers!  While an early spring, unfortunately, doesn’t alleviate our long-term drought (in this region, snow is an essential thing), the good news is it’s already BURGER season!

When buying a whole beef, one thing you’ll soon discover is that hamburger is never in short supply.  It’s an unchangeable fact that the whole creature cannot be cut into steaks, like how a pork can’t be all bacon. You will find that about 35-45% of your packaged meat will arrive in the form of hamburgers.  The reason for this is so that nothing goes to waste.  After all the best cuts are made, there’s still plenty of high-quality meat that is trimmed and ground into burgers, and you can choose how lean you’d like that to be when it’s being processed.

You can bet this ranch wife has collected a treasure trove of wonderful hamburger recipes over the years, but some of my favorites are the ones that I’ve gathered from close friends and neighbors while enjoying meals and conversation over a sunset drink with those same folks – may be out in a harvest field, a branding pen, or just in the backyard.  This particular recipe comes from one of our dearest friends who God unexpectedly brought to our doorstep all the way from Cleveland, Virginia 15 years ago.  May you enjoy this meal as much as we do!

“Bloody Mary Burgers”

Recipe by PaulaCourse: Main


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 lb. premium ground chuck

  • 2-3 tsp. tabasco

  • 4-6 shakes Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 tsp. horseradish

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1 tsp. celery salt

  • 4 inner celery stalks with leafy tops (the really tender ones from the celery heart)

  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 4 hamburger buns


  • In a large bowl, gently combine ground burger, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, egg, horseradish, shallot, and celery salt. Divide into four sections, form into patties, and reserve.
  • Finely dice celery stalks and place in a small bowl.  Add lemon juice and oil.  Toss and reserve.
  • Grill burger patties to the desired degree of doneness. Toast buns. Assemble burgers, topping each patty with a tablespoon of chopped celery.