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Dad's approach to Dinner... your stories

Inspired by alkapal's thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/553823, about the odd food creations brought to us by our mom's. I wanted to devote a little space to the oddities of Dad's cooking/creative appoaches to cooking. While my Mom had a few doozies, abundance of jello salads and pickle juice pork chops, My Dad was the real winner for stange approaches to cooking and eating.

My mother often worked nights so my dad was left to come up with dinner on many occasions. What he lacked in culinary experinence he made up for in flare.The highlights:
-Mash Parties: Mash potatos with some random veggies and ground beef, eaten while watching "Mash" the T.V. show (this one became so popular that Mom even started to whip this one out
)-Hot Dog Pic-nic: Go find a stick outside, then spear & cook your own hot dog in the fire place, while sitting on a checked table cloth on the floor.
-Flower salads: We would go on a long walk and pick edible flowers, pansies, ferns and the like, then toss them in the salad.
-Olives Pickles and Cheese: This was probably the most common. Juice was poured in wine glasses and we ate olives pickles and cheese along with toasted white bread. This while my father would try to teach us his version of fractured french. Cheese always consisted of the heavily processed varities and sometimes sliced tomatoes with Mrs. Dash lemon pepper were thrown into the mix. (I've recently witnessed my sister pulling this one out on her kids)

What are your stories and recipes?

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  1. The only cooking he ever did was on the grill....for special occasions the adults got sirloin steak and the kids got what he called 'tube steak' (hotdogs). The only time I ever remember him cooking anything was about three years ago. Mom was getting out of the hospital after a knee replacement and he was grilling steaks and wanted to make potato salad. He called to ask me: Do you cook the onion before adding to the potatoes? How much this, how much that? I told him to go to Cosco but he made it and Mom said it was real oniony and he used a 5 lb bag of potatoes and 12 eggs. They had plenty of leftovers and I'm sure they ate it all being frugal. Dad's been gone almost a year now... : (

    RW

    1 Reply
    1. re: riverwood

      RW,
      what a sweet memory of your father, sorry to hear of your loss.

    2. I just wanted to say, poached, that your dad sounds like he was a lot of fun. What wonderful memories to have.

      My dad's cooking repertoire consisted of grilling, reheating tuna casserole, and making scrambled eggs and beans on toast.

      1. my dad didn't cook. at all. in fact, my parents divorce when i was a kid, and he often forgot to feed me and him. i ended up cooking for him as a teenager and young adult. i did always find it interesting that he'd put butter and peanut butter on a bagel...

        6 Replies
        1. re: Emme

          My Dad doesn't cook either -- not even the traditionally male art of grilling. He can make a sandwich, heat-up leftovers my Mom leaves him, or open a can and heat its contents. That's about it. I don't think I've ever, in almost 50 years, seen him actually cook something, even toast. Fortunately, unlike some non-cooking men of his generation, he doesn't demand that someone else cook three meals a day for him. He'll quite happily eat cold sandwiches and cereal and heat stuff up if no one can or will cook for him.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            i've seen my father open cans when i was younger, but now if his wife isn't home to cook for him, he goes out. always. or he doesn't eat. really.

            1. re: Emme

              emme, my dad is exactly the same way - if it's more involved than toasting a bagel or opening a container of yogurt, it's not happening. so if one of us isn't around to feed him, he'll either snack on something out of the cupboard, or skip the meal entirely.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                if my father didn't have a wife now, i seriously doubt whether there would be anything in his fridge or cupboard. maybe a box of cookies he purchased off chance. he also goes the whole day without eating, if he doesn't grab a bagel in the morning, gets really crabby, and emerges better after a big dinner meal, which at a restaurant likely includes the basket of bread, and some fish or chicken dish...

            2. re: Ruth Lafler

              Nope, he doesn't cook. But he makes very elaborate bowls of cereal.

              1. re: jlafler

                heh :)

                the one "meal" my dad eats, without fail, every day: 1/2 container of nonfat Greek yogurt, topped with a handful of blueberries and a layer of honey-nut cheerios.

          2. My dad cooked only two dishes -- Beans on Toast... and Special Beans on Toast. The difference? For the special, he actually heated the tinned beans.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Channa

              hee hee -- sounds like my dad except he didn't cook anything at all

            2. My parents divorced when I was 2, so I only saw my father on wkends or vacations.

              His cooking ranged from the rather basic -- gouda on bread, or canned chicken noodle soup (one of my sister's faves) -- to cucumber salad with matjes added to it, or his 'hyper-tomato-sauce" with tomato paste, canned tomato, fresh tomato, and other tomato products I can't recall at this time.

              For train travels, he brought hard-boiled eggs (THE classic German train snack in the 70s) with those little resto packets of salt & pepper of which he had a large collection.

              He would almost inevitably have to finish my plate, and delighted in gnawing off the cartilage (still can't stand that sound) or eating the fat I had cut off.

              A health nut he was not, but he made it to 79.