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Easter Monday & Big Grilled Burgers

April 25, 2011

Papa  JW

Because Easter moves around the calendar according to the full moon, Easter Monday always changes dates. DH’s Dad passed away on an Easter Monday in March; I don’t remember the date, I just remember that it was Easter Monday.

Papa s Retirement Party

DH’s Dad was a World War 2/Korean War veteran. He survived as an infantryman in Patton’s 3rd Army, 76th Infantry, trudging through the snow across Europe until he had frostbit feet. He was a mine sweeper who loved bazookas & tanks on which he could catch a ride.

Papa left Mississippi as a 19-year-old, did basic training in Michigan, was shipped to England & was deposited in Europe for the siege of Bastogne. (page 475 of link) He was one of the guys who fought all day, marched all night in the snow Christmas Eve 1944 to relieve the men holding out against the Germans. After 3 years at war in Europe, Papa returned home preparing to deploy to the Pacific when the war ended.

He attended Mississippi State University although his hometown, New Albany, was closer to the University of Mississippi, the road wasn’t paved & didn’t offer much car traffic for him to thumb a ride. So he went to State. He played semi-pro baseball as a left-handed pitcher to earn some extra bucks & graduated with a degree in business with a focus in accounting, got a job in Memphis, met a young, independent, redheaded nurse & married her.

Uncle Sam called. While at State Papa was a member of the Air Force ROTC; when the unpleasantness began in Korea he was called back to active duty, was stationed at a small base in a non-existent town in central Florida surrounded by orange groves & swamps. After serving as base personnel & recreation officer (ran the officer’s club & turned down continued requests to transfer to the OSS, which later became the CIA), Major Papa, his wife & their infant daughter mustered out of the Air Force. With no jobs in the Orlando, Florida area (hey, it was 1953 – who knew that Mickey Mouse would overrun the orange trees & clear out the snakes) they returned to Memphis where he lived until his death in 1997.

Papa always had a twinkle in his eye, was a prankster, & loved to give our little boys noisemaking toys. He is still sorely missed.


Big Grilled Burgers

Papa loved to cook hamburgers on the grill for the family. I know when I get to Heaven, he will have the burgers ready to eat!


  • 1 pound ground Chuck
  • 8 jumbo Sesame Seed Buns
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 4 slices White Cheddar Cheese
  • Sea Salt


  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Sweet Relish (or my homemade sweet pickles, chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Water


  1. In a small container, combine the mayo, relish, ketchup, & water; Set aside. This is your Big Burger sauce.
  2. Form the beef into eight equal sized, round patties about
    4″ in diameter on waxed paper. They will be thin.
  3. Remove the top half of four of the eight buns; save for some future use.
  4. Toast the the buns until golden. The 4 extra bottoms are the middle bun, or “club”.
  5. Grill beef patties, salting liberally.
  6. Cook for two minutes, turn, add another dash of salt. Cook for two minutes more.
  7. While the beef is cooking, dress the buns as follows:

  8. Put sauce on the toasted bottom, the other half on the
    middle, adding 1/8 cup of lettuce to each. The slice of cheese goes
    on top of the lettuce on the true bottom bun.
  9. Remove beef patties, drain excess fat.
  10. Put one patty on each dressed bun, stack the center (non-cheese) patty/bun on top of the bottom (cheesed) patty/bun.
  11. Finish by placing the toasted crowns on top. Now you have a BIG Burger!

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