We enjoyed entertaining some much-missed company from Texas over the Labor Day weekend. What better dinner for a casual get-together than grilling delicious burgers with hearty buns and homegrown sides? This allowed us to spend more time visiting and less time stressing over a complicated spread.

Dinner was a team effort. Our burgers, made with locally raised beef and pork, were juicy and flavorful and nicely supported by bread baked just a couple days before. While my dear husband battled the fire-breathing dragon of a barbecue pit outside, I busied myself inside making green bean fries. I chose to try these instead of the traditional potato variety because I’m also making an effort to lose a pound or two. Of course, they are no substitute for hot, greasy French fries, but they were crispy and green and I didn’t feel so bad after snacking on them all evening.

Dinner was great and I have to believe that is in part because it was so fresh. I really do make an effort to buy locally grown or raised food and ingredients. This week, just about the whole meal was raised right around here. We used locally-ground beef and pork and served our burgers on freshly baked whole wheat buns made with organically grown whole wheat flour, rolled oats and local raw honey.

Both my husband and I had a lovely visit that evening, happy to share our local bounty with friends.