It is said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I don’t know about that. I think the best way from a man’s heart is through the stomach. My stomach to be exact. My dad can cook, which is really too bad for him. He’s particularly good at breakfast. And bbq. And sandwich-making. And general midday snacking for that matter. Unfortunately, this means that his children have certain culinary expectations shall we say?
I remember waking up on many a weekend morning as an adorable doe-eyed grade-schooler demanding that my father make me an omelette for breakfast. I did this in a respectful manner, of course. I wasn’t crazy. But I was serious about my breakfast and a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios seemed unworthy of my time and attention.
No, instead I would eagerly await the patriarchal procession from bedroom, to bathroom, to front yard (to get the paper), through the living room – perhaps, to my horror, pausing to turn on the local country music station – then finally to the kitchen where the magic could commence.
First, a hot, soapy bath was prepared for the utensils, pots, and pans that would be deposited when their usefulness had been declared finit. Then the ingredients made their way from the refrigerator: eggs, milk, cheese, bacon, butter, a loaf of bread. Oh, I could hardly wait! The electric griddle, circa 1980s, was set on the stovetop, preheating to the appropriate temperature.
The bacon made its appearance on the griddle first. It takes the longest to cook. Then, the eggs and milk were mixed, in a loud and forceful fashion, with salt and pepper. The foamy, fluffy liquid was a representative prelude to its soon-to-be-solid state. Finally, the slices of bread were ceremoniously placed in the toaster, ready for their sacrifice. I stood at the doorway, looking expectantly at the bacon for I knew that once it was removed from the fire, the eggs could be placed in the yellow omelette pan flipper thingy, circa 1970s, and my fork was only moments from use!
Alas, finally the eggs were poured into the pan and not 5 minutes later emerged a vibrant yellow half-circle filled with cheese. It was magnificent! Sliding from pan to plate, accompanied by crisp bacon strips and barely-toasted (so says my mother) toast, my omelette was ready for consumption! I rushed into the kitchen, picked up my reward (for being so patient), and basked in the aromas of the good life!
…The rest is a blur, really…
I think there was an appreciative “Thanks, Dad!” bellowed from the living room, but I can’t be certain. What I do know is that my father’s heart speaks to his family through the countless meals he’s prepared over the years and we are all pleasantly plump the better for it. So on this Father’s Day, let us all raise a fork and say:
Now, pass the jam…