Father’s Day food

I’m not going to get all mushy about Father’s Day here. It’s not really the place. Yes, I love my dad. Yes, I love my husband. Yes, my son and dog love their daddy. The dog, you say? Of course! We are “those people” who buy cards for each other on behalf of the dog. I know that if Spiro was allowed in Giant, had money and opposable thumbs, and could read a calendar, he would totally buy S a card. But since he can’t do all of those things, I help him out a bit.

I show my love with food. I love to cook and bake, and I hope that people know that they are loved when I serve them food. I will cook things I don’t eat if it’s something someone I love likes. I will spend hours in the kitchen to make a dish that will be eaten in less than 10 minutes. I will spend $12 on a variety of spices in order to make a single tablespoon of a particular spice blend. It was with food that I (on behalf of the boys) tried to express love and thankfulness on this Hallmark holiday.

Being vegan, I don’t eat eggs. My husband, on the other hand, loves them. I sucked it up and cracked open a few eggs and beat the tar out of them. I threw in some crab meat, some grated raw cheddar, a bit of Old Bay, salt and pepper, and cooked up what looked like a good omelet. He said it was good, and it looked good, so it must have been good! Since 8 oz of crab meat goes far beyond what one needs for a single omelet, I threw a bit more of it into a Bloody Mary and handed it to S. After this “breakfast of champions”, he headed out for a round of golf while Little Dude and I went to Home Depot. (Yep, you read that right. It is one of my favorite stores. So what?)

After buying some plants, paint and shelving units, we headed back home for snack time. I made a favorite of ours: rosemary popcorn. It is so delicious. I will have to blog about that separately some time. It is that good. We intended to snack on that while watching some episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix, but as soon as our butts hit the couch, Little Dude woke up. (Parents . . . you’ve noticed this amazing phenomenon, right? You can be working your butt off and the kiddo is sleeping. As soon as you sit down to rest, the kid wakes up! It doesn’t matter if they have been asleep for 30 minutes or 3 hours. It happens all the time.) We shared the popcorn with him, although he doesn’t seem to appreciate it quite as much as we do.

We then headed to the Hershey Gardens. We are both from the area, but have never been to the Gardens. On Fathers Day and Mothers Day, the fathers and mothers (respectively) get in free. Kids under 3 are free all of the time. They also have a AAA discount. SWEET! The three of us got in for just $9. It made this cheap mama smile. We were pleasantly surprised by the Gardens, and were amazed that it took us so long to visit them. Little Dude absolutely loved the Children’s Garden; we had to drag him out. Screaming. Awesome.

Little Dude loving his seat in the Butterfly House.
Little Dude loving his seat in the Butterfly House.

We got home a little after 6, and I knew that getting dinner on the table by 7 was going to be tough. We still had a lot to do, but I thought I could make it work. I had decided that I was going to make dinner out of what was in the house, and would not buy anything. First I convinced S to make a “beermosa”. He didn’t seem to fancy the idea, but I reasoned with him. What else were we going to do with the bottle of Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat we were given? (Neither of us are fans.) We mixed half a glass of OJ with half a glass of the beer. It was surprisingly good! We will keep this in mind for future brunches, for sure.

While he was sipping on the summer-y drink, I worked on dinner. Since we had the crab meat, I figured I’d mix it with some stuff (vegan mayo, dill weed, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, Old Bay, celery salt) and stuff it in a salmon fillet. I threw that in the oven and tried to figure out what to do with a big bunch of thick asparagus spears. I saw the half empty bottle of Leinenkugel and thought “TEMPURA!” I mixed half of a cup of flour with half of a cup of the beer, added some salt and ancho chili powder an called it a success. I threw the asparagus in the batter and then into the oil. It looked like it was working, but I had never really fried anything before, so my fingers were still crossed.

I figured we needed another veggie, so I sliced up some cucumber and topped it with sea salt and dill weed. We had that at a friend’s house the other week and S thought it was great. It was so simple and delicious!

I then decided that the tempura asparagus needed a dipping sauce, so I made a lemon aoili. It was really easy, and quite tasty. I put some of the aoili into some little tiny cordial glasses, and threw a spear of asparagus in each one. I plated the cucumber slices around the edge of the plate and then put his stuffed salmon in the middle.  I was quite impressed, but I had to wait to see if he thought it was any good.

Within minutes of the plate hitting the table, half of the food was gone. I told him I wanted him to take a picture, but obviously that moment was passed. The lack of a photo will have to serve as proof that it was good.

So . . . some of you might question why this vegan was cooking eggs, shellfish and fish. Yes, I love animals, and I personally don’t eat animal products. My husband, however, does. I don’t make him eat vegan food, but he chooses to do so on many occasions. He never makes veganism an issue in our house. Sure, he’ll say that it would be easier if I wasn’t vegan, but that’s about it. When it comes down to it, though, I love my husband more than I love a chicken, a crab and a salmon. If his favorite meals will make him happy a couple of days a year (his birthday, Fathers Day), I will cook them on occasion. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but like I said, I show my love through cooking. While I do violate my vegan “code”, if you will, I do take care to ensure that the animal products I do use are organic, grass fed, sustainably farmed, etc. At the end of the day, though, I value the humans in my life more than I value the animals. I know that many vegans will take issue with this, and that is fine. I don’t proclaim to be perfect; I never have.

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