You know what it’s like when you have been lazing around the house all day on a Saturday and you are supposed to be going out in the evening but can’t be bothered?  Such it was the other day when I was due to go to Gary’s barbecue at the allotments.  I was going on my own, and I wasn’t sure if there would be anyone there I knew.  I didn’t know how to get there, and the location was vague.  I had to give myself a real pep talking to get myself out of the door.  But I’m sooooooooo glad I did.IMG_7801

It was a bit of a mission to find the allotments.  I followed a sign near an alleyway that reminded me of The Exorcist, and then various signs in the wood. 


I wouldn’t fancy walking down here after dark, but I could hear the shrieks and laughs of lots of kids playing in the woods so I knew there were people around.  I found a little gate in the woods..


I pulled a string that rang a bell.  It was a lovely sound.  But nothing happened.  I waited.  I pulled the string again.  Nothing.  And again, and again and again.  I thought, “I’m going to try ringing this bell one more time and if nobody comes to the gate, I’m off”.  So I rang it one more time and behold!  A very nice man arrived, invisibly chatting away to me behind the gate, and let me in.


The allotments were brilliant – as all allotments are, I have come to realise in the last couple of years.  Everyone was so welcoming and friendly.  The tables were HEAVING with food and drink


including lots of things made with allotment produce, fresh and beautiful salad stuff and “condiments of the season”…


and I was just so happy to be there. 

Gary’s plot was fab, I loved this bit of folk art:

Odile and Jane from the Muswell Hill and District Horticultural Society were there and we chatted about all kinds of things.  My burgers went down a treat. 


They were a bit tricky to cook on a barbecue but absolutely delicious – the recipe right at the bottom of this rambling post!  They were so, so tasty!


I loved the allotments carsey!






Of course, I had a mini fantasy about having my own allotment…


But this is NEVER going to happen, due to aforementioned laziness.  But I did learn a big lesson from all this.  Don’t listen to the voice in your head that tries to make you stay IN, when you should be going OUT!


William’s burgers are DELICIOUS, whether you have them cooked on a barbecue by a nice man you have never met before:


or you cook them yourself, at home, in a frying pan:


I froze half the mixture and they were just as good from frozen.  This might just be my go-to burger recipe from now on…  Sorry Dean Martin!


They are quite a soft texture so treat them gently when you cook them and don’t turn them too often.  When you take your first bite, you may think the soy sauce flavour is too strong, but trust me, you get used to it and then your tastebuds will love it!

Mighty fine burger-age!  As Bill himself says: “Don’t think I”m just adding an exotic name to dress up this old favourite.  Soy sauce is the deal.  Try it!

Bill Holden’s Hong Kong Burger

2 pounds / 900g ground round / beef mince

1 cup cornflakes

1 large tomato, diced

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

soy sauce for marinade

Mix ingredients except soy sauce together.  Form into patties.  Marinate in soy sauce 20 minutes.

Barbecue or broil… as you like it.


Thanks Bill!  Oh, and thanks Paul Newman too, I used Newman’s Own BBQ Sauce… 49526011_0_640x640









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