Your father's specialities

#1

This is undoubtedly stereotypical, but when I was growing up in the 50s, most cooking in the families I knew was done by the moms. Some dads had specialities that they only made occasionally. My father never cooked, except for three minute eggs, and his mother’s dill pickles. But, when I was 11, my parents got divorced so my father had to come up with something to feed us when we stayed at his house. He had two dinners he made on a rotating basis. One was hot dogs and Kraft dinner (aka macaroni and cheese, but only the Deluxe version). The other was broiled flank steak with Worcestershire sauce and pepper, Rice-a-Roni, and canned green beans. We thought both dinners were great!
What did your father cook?

7 Likes

(John Hartley) #2

I’m also a child of the 50s. In truth, I really don’t recall Dad ever cooking anything. As you say, back in those days, Dad went to work and Mum cooked, etc.

2 Likes

#3

About the same here as a kid. There was a period when I was a young adult and I worked and still stayed home, dad cooked. My mom went abroad to visit family, I remember he bought some cooked meat from store and boiled some vegetables for several meals.

2 Likes

#4

About the same here. There was a time as a young adult when I started working, my mom went abroad to visit family, I remember my father, newly retired, cooked/ He bought home some cooked meat from store and cooked (boiled) some vegetables for several meals.

1 Like

(Jimmy ) #5

My Dad was a great cook. He took over the family kitchen for special occasion meals: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthdays. When he was a kid growing up he and his family lived in a predominantly Italian neighborhood back east. Swear he got his love for foods sharing meals cooked by his buddies’ Moms. Two of his masterful meals were Breaded Veal Cutlets, and Spaghetti served with a long-brewed red sauce. I inherited my love of the taste of great breads from him, for which I am eternally grateful.

When we kids were a bit older and living in the first house me parents were able to buy, he made himself into a griller. Bought himself a fancy-schmancy grill with a rotisserie attachment, and used his time grilling as a stress reliever. I can still picture him now, a Highball glass in his left hand, and appropriate bbq tool in his right hand. Me? I’m standing by his side, holding an empty platter waiting for the protein to come off the grill.

8 Likes

(saregama) #6

Oh jeez - my dad taught my mom how to cook :joy:

But our setup was very unusual, I recognize.

Mom was, however, the everyday cook - dad cooked on weekends or when there was a special ingredient.

His signature dish is probably a fluffy, fork-beaten 1-egg masala omelette - onion, green chilli, tomato, cilantro, meticulously minced.

11 Likes

(Chris) #7

I don’t recall my dad ever cooking. I grew up in the 70’s & mum did all the cooking. I do know that he did cook. My mum’s pregnancy with me had complications and she spent quite a bit of time in hospital before I was born. He had to cook for my two elder brothers and elder sister. He definitely cooked chips and he continually burnt them as my elder brothers never seemed to tire of telling me , blaming me for having to eat burnt chips.

8 Likes

(John Hartley) #8

Mrs H regularly tells me that her resiliance to indifferent food is due to being brought up on burnt food. I can well believe it as her mother is the most awful cook imaginable (although she does do a fair cheese & onion pie - once you get past the pastry that could double as a hockey puck…

5 Likes

#9

You guys are making me feel guilty for having parents who were accomplished cooks. :slight_smile:

4 Likes

#10

I “grew up” in Queens in the sixties and seventies.

I remember dad making sardine “salad” on saltines, and grits and farina. And growing tomatoes.

My mom loved food, cooked some, but worked days, school at night, and I cooked.

I did get to go to The Russian Tea Room, Mama Leoni’s, and Hawaii Kai ( pu-pu platters!), various street fares, and deli’s, so there’s that.

4 Likes

(Jan) #11

Porridge in the morning. Also baked chicken and rice with lots of black pepper and sometimes potatoes roasting in with the rice with its savoury juice from the chicken. Still a comfort food for me.

4 Likes

#12

I’m a child of the 60s, and Dad traveled a lot for business (freelance cameraman and director for mostly industrial films).

But when he was home, he sometimes cooked. Dad always did sukiyaki in the electric fry pan at the dinner table, and came up with a marinade for steak that I still make today, although less often than I used to.

And he created a satay sauce in the early 1970s after a trip to Indonesia and having had it several times while there. The chef at the hotel he stayed at gave him a general idea, but some ingredients were not available in northern NJ in the 70s, so he substituted with readily available ingredients. It’s still the satay sauce I make for grilling kebabs or I need a peanut sauce for udon noodles and veggies, or a cold Thai pasta salad I make for gatherings and a Christmas pot luck…I’m not allowed to bring anything else. :neutral_face::roll_eyes:

10 Likes

(D) #13

Chicken parm. His secret is putting lots of sugar in the sauce making it sweet.

2 Likes

(Andrea) #14

Another old-school dad. His contributions to feeding 5 kids were working hard as the main provider, gardening (with extra attention to the tomatoes), making wine, and cooking the bacon on Sunday mornings. The smell of tomato leaves will always remind me of Dad.

He’d talk about calf’s liver and onions being a favorite when he was single but I don’t think he ever cooked it for us.

3 Likes

(Andrea) #15

In a good way?

1 Like

#16

My Dad could cook 2 things and 2 things only.

Fried egg sandwich with tomato soup (from a can)

Or once a year for Christmas

Coddled eggs

3 Likes

(D) #17

Everyone loved it. A carpenter who was renovating a room ate six cutlets one time. My mother protested that they were eating too rich (in terms of fat and calories) and I think he’s retired from making it anymore.

4 Likes

#18

I’m a child of the 80s and although both of my parents worked full-time, my mother did the bulk of the cooking. My dad made pretty good chili, though, and manned the grill when we cooked out. He developed an interest in cooking once he retired, though, and took over cooking most meals for himself and my mom after he retired (while she was still working). They split cooking for the most part now, with my dad doing a lot of prep tasks while my mom works the stove.

4 Likes

(Robin) #19

Both my folks worked, but my Dad picked us up from school around 3:30 and he was always the main cook. Baked pork chops and potatoes, chili, square pizza, taco salad, sloppy joes. These are some of the things that come to mind. He’s still the main cook at their house.

6 Likes

#20

Similar to my dad - 6 kids. He only cooked two things, home fries and bacon on Sunday. I don’t know where he got his home fries recipe but they were fantastic, he soaked onions in white vinegar, then used a healthy dose of Worcestershire sauce and tabasco, cooked them with a lid on until the got soft then let them brown. They were great even at room temperatures.
On the rare occasions when my mom was out of town and he had to feed us he made bacon sandwiches - pile of bacon on toast with grape jelly. I was reminiscing with my sister about how much I liked these sandwiches and she had the opposite memory and said she hated them.

6 Likes