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Cooking With My Father

June 19, 2016 , , ,

Richard Arden Morse snoozing

Richard Arden Morse snoozing

My dad loved to smoke food outside on his Hasty Bake. He collected his hickory wood in Arkansas and cured it by soaking it in water in small pieces. He was serious about his ribs, but smoked lots of fish too because he was a fisherman. In fact, fishing and cooking were my dad’s only hobbies until he took up hot air ballooning with my mom in his 60’s.  We lived blocks from a famous golf club, and our town was golf obsessed, but my parents did not play the game.  They were dancers.  They like to have friends over to sing at the player piano.

He did not play competitive sports except when he was on a bolas criollas (bocce) team in Venezuela for a few years.  He never went hunting, owned no guns, and had very poor eyesight. He was obsessed with catching fish. Money was no object when fishing was involved.  Deep sea, tropical jungle, or lake..it made no difference to my dad.  He did not fly fish..that was not his thing.  He flew to South America and spent tons of money to go on jungle fishing trips with his friends. I did some fishing with him in my childhood, but not very much.  I took up fishing seriously later in life with a hand line in the Bahamas.  I never liked the rod and reel system.  I did not like the complication of it.  You can feel the fish on a hand line, but your choices are fewer. His parents both liked to fish, and there are written reports I have that his mother was an expert angler in her childhood in Kansas.

My father and his father

My father and his father

Dick on a family fishing grip

Dick on a family fishing grip

What I remember doing as a team sport with my father was brunch.  We made crepes Suzettes and broiled grapefruit from his Wolf in Chef’s Clothing cookbook. We had a small kitchen so there was just enough room for the two of us to make the crepes and the set them on fire in a chafing dish.  Our regular menu had nothing so exciting as flambé food.  I used to beg for that brunch, but it only came around on very rare occasions.  The other popular dish, for which my dad got credit but was actually concocted by my mom, was home-made ice cream.  We had the only ice cream freezer in my immediate neighborhood, so this memorable dish made my back yard a very popular place to be.  My friends and I would sit on the top of the freezer when it got harder to turn the handle. This usually happened during a barbecue while he was watching the smoker.

I have some very fond memories of cooking with my dad.  His repertoire was small, but each dish was very special.  Did you cook with your father in your childhood, gentle reader?

 

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comments

In my father’s entire 84 years, I can safely say that he never, ever cooked anything!

Liked by 1 person

Diane

June 20, 2016

My dad was once expected to do his own laundry because he was in Saudi Arabia, and there was no woman provided to do it…He blew his top and refused to wash his own clothing in a washing machine.

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Pamela Morse

June 20, 2016

This is such a great post. What a testament to your dad — about how you got into fishing. I love that you had flambeed crepes. The closest we got to that was in a restaurant….. and it was NOT for kids. However we did use a chafing dish for the tiny hotdogs in sweet/sour sauce! My dad was not a cook but my mom and both grandmothers were. That’s where I learned–with them

Liked by 1 person

Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

June 22, 2016

I totally remember the tiny hot dogs in the sweet sour sauce..and I LOVED them…very funny flashback, Stevie.

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Pamela Morse

June 22, 2016

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