Months ago, I planned a special post in honor of my Dad for Father’s Day. It involved a little retrospective about my dad when he was younger, and some special sandwiches he used to eat. But that post ended up being a horrifying culinary experience that I simply could not associate with the wonderful part of my life that is my Dad.
And so, when I saw that this week’s theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs, very appropriately, was Dining with Dad, it really struck a chord. My first instinct was, “what would I cook for my Dad?” but that thought was quickly eradicated by another.
One of my fondest memories of my Dad involves breakfast. Over countless weekends when my sister and I were growing up, Dad would make breakfast. Almost always pancakes or waffles, but sometimes a fried egg sandwich. To this day, I don’t know if he and Mom had some kind of agreement that since she cooked throughout the week, that was his turn to cook; whether he looked forward to spending this time with his family, or if my sister and I just drove him to distraction by whining for pancakes until we got our way.
I can still picture those mornings very clearly. Dad in his robe and us in our nightgowns. The same skillet and spatula, and the same plastic batter bowl and whisk. I can close my eyes and see him whisking up the batter, holding the bowl at an angle. Then using a butter knife to drop a little bit of oleo in the pan, spreading it across the whole surface with the spatula. And he only buttered the pan between every other batch of pancakes. Dad had pancakes down to a science. Knew exactly how much batter to pour into the pan and how long to let them cook before flipping them.
I have a lot of great memories of my Dad, but when I think of food and my Dad at the same time, this is what I remember.
In any case, this tradition stuck with me my whole life, though college and beyond, to the point that when I came home for a visit, I would request waffles. (Dad’s waffles were always my favorite) Then, when I had my son, and he finally reached the age where we could sit down and have a hot breakfast together, waffles were the first thing I made for him.
On that note (that of becoming a parent in my own right) even though my preference would be to have waffles (love those little crevices filled with butter and syrup), I can’t help but think of my Little Man. He does love patty-cakes (that’s ‘pancakes’ to those of you who can’t translate my 5 year-old’s vocabulary), and even more so if there are chocolate chips on them.
So, making this a three-generation breakfast, we are dining with Dad, and Grandpa, depending on which one of us you ask. If it were my Dad cooking, it would be a strict Bisquick mix, but since we are having breakfast a la Mark Bittman, I have used a recipe from his How To Cook Everything that was a real winner for me and my Little Man. Not to mention that he was very excited to be getting chocolate chip pattycakes for supper! I wasn't complaining, either. Sometimes its fun to have breakfast for supper. (Do you think its okay to have red wine with pancakes? Yeah, so do I...)
Here’s to you, Dad. Wish we could have had you here to enjoy them with us. I only hope Ty will have as many great memories of me as I will always have of you. We love you so much and we can't wait to see you in JulyChocolate Chip Pancakes
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups milk
2 tsp baking powder
1 TB sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 TB oil or belted butter
Warm butter in a skillet over medium heat. Mix all ingredients together (can still be a little lumpy) and pour batter into the pan.Sprinkle chocolate chips over each pancake.When the edges of the pancakes begin to bubble, flip them over. Cook until done and serve to one very happy little boy. (Okay, so I added that part on my own.)Here's to you, Dad.