Someone once observed that I tend to talk a lot about how my mom has influenced my views on food, and what about my dad? It's an excellent question, and as I mulled it over I realized that my dad has had a particularly important food influence upon me: he instilled in me a profound love of breakfast.
(Dad's famous mushroom and cheese scramble with tea, Acme bread and bacon, 2009)
My mom is often content with a bit of cereal or toast in the morning, but my dad prepares what often amounts to a multi-course meal. Orange juice, always. Tea, nursed lovingly for (now that he is retired) hours on end. Often a dish that includes an egg or two. Or, and I think this may be his greatest innovation, toast with hippie peanut butter with wheat germ mixed in. It is the most amazing breakfast...you won't be hungry for hours. And he is a dedicated preparer of the Sunday Morning Breakfast, a meal to which I always looked forward growing up and a tradition I have (semi-faithfully) maintained as an adult.
But his food philosophies are not confined to the morning hours, rather they apply throughout the day:
- a dinner is not complete without a salad
- parmesan cheese makes everything better
- white rice is repugnant but brown is sublime
- a day without hummus is not worth living
I can't say that I've wholeheartedly embraced all of these, but I do keep a hunk of parmesan in my fridge at all times and am rarely caught without a stash of brown rice...
While I'm on the topic of the men in my life and their food views, here are a few of my grandpa's gems as well. The man (also a dedicated and very talented breakfast maker/eater...he has absolutely perfected the fried ham/tomato/egg combo) still has brown hair at the age of 90-something so you'd do well to listen up:
- a martini a day keeps the doctor away
- Pinwheel cookies are a pantry staple
- do not fear bacon fat
- include an avocado in all dinner salads
- dinner plates should always be warmed prior to use
And Paul's contribution to my culinary evolution? His closely held belief that whatever the question, Indian food is always the answer.
So there you have it, my varied and wonderful Y chromosome food heritage.