Sons describe their father in terms of sports. He is at every game, he taught them how to shot the ball, he is the strongest man they know...obviously way stronger then all the other Dads. Me, I didn't do sports with my Dad. Sure he came to my games, and suffered though all my dance recitals but we didn't practice together; we cooked together. And my Dad is the best cook I know...way better then all the other Dads.
Cheeseburgers It's that awkward weather, a time between when I want to run around in shorts and Dad still yells that it is to cold outside. It is very frustrating. I am walking around in shorts just waiting for him to say something. Instead he says, "Were having cheeseburgers for dinner. I'm gonna throw them on the grill" and with that I know I'm home free. Cheeseburgers on the grill means it's pretty much officially summer, screw whatever the calendar says. I don't even mind when sometimes I stand out in the rain holding an umbrella so he can grill. When its that first perfect warm day, my Dad does cheeseburgers. I almost run upstairs to put on my fourth of July shorts, the ones that match perfectly with American cheese and mac salad.
Corn on the Cob Flannels, bathing suit shorts and vodkas with diet blueberry juice. Dads typical outfit while cooking upstate. Relaxed and drinking, enjoying the sun and the few weeks he doesn't have to worry about me (what kind of trouble can I get into when everyone around the lake knows who he is?) Snatching the corn off the the fireplace, I quickly drag them over to the table. We fight for the biggest one (he gets it) and digs in, even though it's always still just a little too hot. We try to both chew and open our mouths wide at the same time to cool the kernels. Glancing at each other he always mumbles, "I made enough for seconds."
Lasagna The only part about Christmas that I like and Dad knows it, even though he thinks I'm an ass for not liking Christmas. We spend all Christmas eve preparing it, and by we I mean me. Kind of. Dad sits at the table and supervises, telling me exactly what need to be done from his seat. "Stop! your putting to much sauce", he yells over from his seat. I shout back asking how he can even tell. "I just can, don't question me." He laughs. He lets me eat all the extra "scraps" as I call them, noodles and chunks of meatballs that just didn't make the cut into the lasagna. He even lets me steal some cheese even though we always run out. I'll give him a bite. Only one though. He didn't make it one year. He made ham instead. I didn't eat it and he didn't do that again.
Pasta with butter I always knew when Dad wasn't home because dinner would be pasta with butter, the only thing Mom would make besides soup of course. He would be gone for days at a time and I would come home to pasta with butter. It might be why he started to teach me to cook in the first place. So that I could make dinner when he was working.
I wanted to be a chef. I would run around the house and pretend our kitchen was the food network and that Dad was Emeril. He even use to do the "BAM" when adding salt to anything. After I found out he thought Emeril was annoying I thought he was too. Then Dad broke the news to me that being a chef meant never having a day off, working weekends and having to wear pants all summer long. He told me that he just likes to cook for fun, and now so do I.