Although it has been around for more than a century, Fathers’ Day is still a bit of a neglected holiday. There must be at least a handful of reasons, probably more, to celebrate and thank your dad on Father’s Day. After all, didn’t he …
… teach you to ride a bike … or ski or play ice hockey. To this very day, you can still remember that moment of triumph when he let go of your bike. He crossed his fingers, shouted encouragement and off you went, pedaling your heart out. Same goes for all the days you raced down a snowy hill or sped across the ice. And with summer coming, let’s hope he taught you how to grill a steak, eat a lobster and make a perfect martini!
Chances are good, he taught you the value of a dollar and hard work. You resisted but he insisted that you work for your pocket money by mowing the lawn or washing the family car. That work ethic helped you figure out how to do more with less and achieve great things.
He made pancakes for you on Saturday mornings. As he flipped the flapjacks, he listened to the ups and downs of your week. He might have been so bold as to offer a bit of advice. Some of it was probably useful even if you weren’t so sure at the time. You now know one thing for certain; his heart was definitely in the right place even if he knew nothing about a teenage girl’s angst.
Whether it was your bicycle or the lawn mower, when something broke, he fixed it and let you help. Even if it did mean that the job took twice as long. Thanks to Dad, you can change a spark plug and the oil in your car, choose the proper screw driver and hold a hammer correctly. Ten parts or one hundred, you are undaunted by those dreaded words – some assembly required.
He tucked you in and read you stories, opening your imagination to adventures and faraway lands. When dreams got too adventurous or something scary went bump in the night, he dried your tears and gave you a big hug before helping you back to bed.
T-ball, soccer, football, track or tennis, drenching rain, freezing snow or driving winds could not keep him off the sidelinesof your games and meets. He was an avid fan at the school play, ballet recital, art show and band performance. Then and now, he is nothing if not a proud poppa.
He made you laugh. With him, at him, it didn’t matter. Sometimes he was funny by accident; other times by design. He’s done it all; tickle monster, zorbit master, riddler and storyteller. He was man enough to be silly and cool enough to deadpan. His jokes were long and his stories longer. You’ve heard them all; not once, not twice but several times.
No matter the cause, horrible haircut, chicken pox or a long, dull afternoon, he cheered you up. At least for a short time, he made you forget that you looked ridiculous, itched all over or were bored to death. Maybe he taught you to play poker or introduced you to crossword puzzles. Perhaps he took you for a ride in a convertible in a futile attempt to blow out that frizzy perm. It didn’t work but the ice cream at the end of the road was delicious.
If your dad is still with you, celebrate Father’s Day by spending some time with him. If not, honor his memory by sharing special stories about him with his grandchildren or great grandchildren.
Happy Father’s Day and bon appétit!
Grilled Rib Eye with Compound Butter
He taught me how to grill the perfect steak and then top it with a pat of butter. But the fancy compound butter? I learned that in France and brought it back to him. Enjoy!
2 – 2 1/2 pounds rib-eye steak
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
In advance: make the compound butter (recipe follows)
Preheat the grill to high heat.
Drizzle the steak with a little olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper.
Grill the steak, about 2-3 minutes per side for rare and 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare.
Transfer the rib-eye to a cutting board, top with a thin slice of compound butter and let the butter melt and the steak rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice and serve.
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cognac
1-2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
About 1/2 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
About 1/2 tablespoon thyme, minced
About 1/2 tablespoon rosemary, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened
Put the olive oil, cognac, garlic, herbs and spices in the bowl of a small food processor* and process until well combined.
Add the butter and continue processing until the butter, herbs and olive oil are fully incorporated.
Spoon the butter onto parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll it into a log. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
A little goes a long way. Wrap and store extra compound butter in the freezer.
* If you do not have a small food processor, this recipe is a good excuse to buy one. Otherwise, an electric mixer will work in a pinch.
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How will you celebrate Father’s Day? Feel free to share. Let’s get a conversation going.
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2013