My Dad wasn’t known as a handy guy, although he thought he was pretty good. So he proudly made a workbench and constructed a tool shed from scratch with no plans other than the one he drew up in his mind. But his pride and joy were the large and sturdy picnic table and benches he made in the summer of ’62. He painted them brick red and they served as the centerpiece of our backyard and the hub of the family cookouts he loved to have. When we moved 30 miles upriver to our new “modern” house the table cooled its heels in the 2nd bay of our attached garage until the delicate new blades of spring-green grass could mature for a year. After that it found a home in the sparse shade of a grove of newly planted young trees.
My dad wasn’t much of a chef, but he loved to grill. One my most vivid memories is the image of him standing at his at his gas grill, spatula in hand, flipping burgers and his favorite food, beer-soaked bratwurst. I usually tried to score a burger since he had a tendency to scorch the sausage a little. Games of “Pepper” and “Catch” played out in the background while he confidently cooked the meat to his liking. Once done our large family dined alfresco at the red table with sides of sweet corn and sliced tomatoes from a nearby farm stand and my mom’s homemade potato salad.
I remember those cookouts every Father’s Day, and treat my own smaller family to some of those dishes throughout each summer along with lots of other great summer recipes from Easy Weekly Meals for Moms on the Go that help bring our family together while honoring those who have passed.
What is your dad’s favorite food? If you can’t enjoy it with him this year, make it as a tribute to him.
Image courtesy of africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net