Dear Ol’ Dad


mineola

By Gini Rainey

This is that day in June that is set aside to honor the paternal influence in our lives.  While I honestly feel we should honor and respect our parents every day of the year, it really is nice to set aside a special time to show them our love.  Whether you’ve had a good or not so good relationship with your father, it sure doesn’t hurt to take the time to reflect on that relationship, and if your dad is still living you have the time to improve that bond.  If your dad is no longer with you, take a few moments – or even longer – to sort out your feelings and
remember the good times and try to move past the not so good ones.

My father died when I was eleven, and while the time together was painfully short, I am blessed with so many good thoughts of him that my sister says I’ve made a saint out of him.  When I remember my dad, I think about an incredibly musically gifted guy, who tended to do some pretty goofy things that would make me laugh.  Maybe that was his job – to help me find the humor in life and living – because I try to find humor in just about everything.

My Dad owned a tavern in Moorhead, Minnesota, and while he might not have been around the house a whole lot in the evenings and on Sundays, he made up for it in so many ways.  He love to fish, and on his days off in the summer, we would load up the old ’49 Ford and head to a lake where he could wet his line, his whistle, and spend time with his girls – my mom, my sister, and me.  Dad was a gagster, and he was always looking for a way to make people laugh, while embarrassing my mother along the way.  He loved to sit at the piano, play a little boogie woogie or jazz and fill the house up with music.  There wasn’t an instrument he couldn’t play. He was kind, gentle, and loving and took care of his family the best he knew how.  Even though we didn’t have much money, we never went without.  And yes, I probably have made a saint out of him, but what a blessing it is to reflect on the good and forget the bad.

Another thing that Dad loved to do was crank up the old barbeque grill and cook outside.  Although he didn’t explore much more than hot dogs and hamburgers, there was nothing
better than sitting out in the back yard and watching dad flip those patties.  So, in honor of my Dad, I am taking a look at the Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Barbecue Recipes, and while the art of BBQ has advanced considerably since Dad was around, this book can give you the low-down on some good, old fashioned outdoor cooking.  What is it about dads and BBQing?  As I write this, my husband is smacking down some ground chuck into patties that he will flip on the grill later today!

Part of a series created by Better Homes and Gardens Books and published in 1977, this skinny little book has a bunch of great grilling and smoking recipes.  Complete with a chart of grilling temperatures and times, if you’ve not tried outdoor grilling, this book would definitely be an asset to your collection if you are looking for the basics.  It covers everything from beef, ham, pork, poultry, fish and seafood to recipes for sides to go along with your meat.  If you like to marinade your meat before grilling, there are several recipes that will make you a star in the backyard!  If your standard fair for the grill has been hamburgers and hotdogs, you might want to branch out and try your luck with a Lemon-Marinated Chuck Roast, an Onion-Stuffed Steak, or a Steak and Shrimp Kabob Dinner.  I’m telling you, why heat up your kitchen this summer when you can get dad to fire up the grill!

One of my favorite recipes happens to be Chicken Teriyaki.  It’s delicious and easy – win – win!  Start out with 4 skinless chicken breast halves and cut in half again, then put them in a 9×12 glass pan.  Then mix together ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup soy sauce (I use Kikkoman because it isn’t as salty as other brands), and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and pour it over the chicken breasts.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, turning the breasts every half hour or so.  Reserve the marinade and then grill them over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, basting frequently with the reserved marinade.  Served with grilled corn on the cob and summer squash, you’ve got one heck of good summer time meal that’s incredibly easy and yummy.  Oh, and by the way, if you still can, invite your dad over to enjoy it with you.  You won’t regret it.

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