Father’s Day

20 Jun

My dad lives a long ways away–Deming, New Mexico.  He and my mom are originally Midwesterners, but have fashioned themselves into true South Westerners–wearing turquoise, decorating with pottery, landscaping with cacti.  It’s been a very long time since I’ve been with my dad on this day.  It’s turned into a phone-call/send-a-tower-of-goodies-from-Harry-and-David sort of holiday.  BTW, the Harry and David thing is no small feat; my dad is diabetic and the folks at H and D LOVE to put sweets into their gifties!  Anyway, in lieu of actually being with Dad today, I want to share a favorite childhood memory.

I grew up in Iowa in the 60s.  Mom was a stay-at-home mom, typical of the time.  Dad worked as a printer for a company called Matt Parrott and Sons.  He started there in high school as an apprentice–they called them “printer’s devils”–and worked there until he retired.  He had a suede leather sort-of bomber-style jacket. (I can visualize it, but having a hard time describing it…)  Every day he’d come home at 4:30pm and my sister and I would go running to search the pockets of that jacket.  There was a candy vending machine at work, and every day he’d bring a candy bar for my sister and I.  Most often, it was a mallow cup–like Reeces cups, but instead of peanut butter, there was a flow-y marshmallow cream in the center….mmmm!  He didn’t make a lot of money, but brought us treats anyway.  I still love those mallow cups, and every now and then I find one, usually in a hardware or lumber store.  Go figure.

Mr. 15 made his dad breakfast this morning and now they’re off fishing with the neighbor and his son.  I’m sure they’re farting, scratching and telling wild stories–not exactly the Hallmark version of the day, but you know they’re all having exactly the day they want!  A bunch of manly men doing manly things.  Mr. 15 and I went shopping earlier this week.  He carefully selected cards for his dad and step-dad, as well as gifts he knew each would appreciate.  He went as far as to get a 12-pack of Coke for step-dad, even though Mr. 15 HATES Coke, and claims that it burns his eyes just to look at it!  He carried it out of the store himself–further sacrifice for the perfect gift!

I’m planning one of DH’s favorite meals to celebrate his part in Mr. 15’s life.  Chicken is marinating in tequila, lime, cilantro, garlic and jalepenos.  It will be grilled and shredded into soft chicken tacos with cilantro, lettuce, green onions and tomatillo salsa.  The cilantro, garlic, lettuce and green onions all come from this year’s garden; the tomatillo salsa from last year’s.  The mint is going crazy right now (as mint does) so, Mojitos will be a refreshing accompaniment to the tacos.  DH has been working all day in the heat and wind at the Greenhouse.  I think this dinner will be just the thing to relax him into the evening.

Here’s the Mojito recipe–they’re the best thing to do with that abundance of mint, IMHO, with or without the rum:

In an 8-10 oz. glass, combine 20 rinsed fresh mint leaves (each about 1 1/2 inches long) and 2 teaspoons of sugar.  With a wooden spoon (or muddler), pound mint leaves with sugar to coarsely crush.  Add 4-5 tablespoons light rum, 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice; mix well.  Fill glass with with ice cubes, and 4-6 tablespoons chilled soda water (I prefer using lime or lemon-lime soda).  Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.  Makes one serving, but easily multiplied up to a pitcher–which I highly recommend–you’ll want more than one!

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