(Assignment today was to write about a meal that reminded us of a special occasion, that takes us back to our childhood. So this isn’t part of one of my stories, it’s just me talking about bacon 🙂
When I was little, Dad would make breakfast on Sundays. It was his thing. He never cooked any other time because that’s not what men did, but on Sundays, the kitchen was his. It seems so ridiculous now because he’s such a better cook than Mom. She tries, but she never had a gift. Dad does and he did back then, but he’d been raised to think men didn’t cook, at least not regularly. Only for special occasions or if the woman’s sick. So Sunday became Dad’s special occasion every week, his excuse to be able to cook. He’d put on Bach and toss the bacon in first. He knew that’d get at least me up.
I’d roll out of bed and run downstairs, to get to the bacon before he put it all in the omelets. He’d tease me about it but always made an extra few slices for us to eat outside the omelets. Sometimes he’d make French toast with fruit and bacon on the side, or just bacon and eggs. Mostly it was omelets, which is why he wanted me up, so I would help chop the veggies. And there was always bacon.
After my parents got divorced, Dad had to cook for himself during the week. Needless to say, we started to get fed a lot better after that. Dad’s specialty is meat with wine sauces. He’s gone through everything from fish to lamb, but his favorite (and ours!) is still a good roast. The kind you marinate for three days before putting in the pot to slow cook for twelve hours. Holidays when we have people over means Dad’s roast, a thick red wine sauce with Portobello mushrooms, and now usually another dish or two by my sister because one roast can’t feed that many people.
My sister got the talent for cooking. I didn’t. I do love a good home cooked meal though. So now I’m the person who goes to work and comes home at 6, saying, “Honey, I’m home!” And my guy cooks for me. I’m a sucker for a guy who can cook and I blame my dad. Even being raised the way he was, with this idea that real men didn’t cook except for grilling or making something with bacon on the weekends, he still found reasons to do it, because that’s his art, his passion.
Even as a grown woman, every time I go home, one of the first things I say is, “What are you cooking for me, Daddy?” I say daddy to remind him I’m his little girl and he doesn’t get to see me often so he really should cook for me while he has the chance. And he always does. I still help chop things up and do the dishes.
And on the weekends I’m there, I make omelets, waking Dad up with the smells.
And there’s always extra bacon.