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Happy-Gourmand

A day for someone special

Father’s Day is upon us, so again I’m thinking of family and quality time.

My Dad has been gone for more than 10 years now, and my grandfathers are long gone too, but I still think of them as summer gears up. Summer is a time for the fatherly types in our lives.

There is something about grilled food, mowed grass and bottles of beer in the back yard that makes me think of those gruff voices and lots of good stories (even if many of them were tall tales.)

My Dad was my hero. I always knew he would be there for me, have my back; as long as I did my best, he would tell me. He could be a tough fellow to deal with as well (he told me as a teenager that I could live with him, I could live with anyone. He was right.)

He was demanding (“the grass is getting long," was all he’d say). He was generous (if my grades were good, I could have a day off school once a year to spend with him and my Mom, shopping and going out for lunch).

He could be really goofy (once in a while after Sunday breakfast we would parade around the house, marching to the music from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice like the magic brooms Mickey created in Fantasia). He also adored my Mom, which was a wonderful example to have as a young woman.

I had a magical childhood.

My younger brother had a much more complicated relationship with our father, but I know he has good memories too. We were fortunate to be a close family, and we shared many good times over the years.

Families today are often different than in the days when I was a kid. I imagine Father’s Day in many homes is not so much like the Norman Rockwell images we laughed at, but could still recognize.

But just because there isn’t a male figure at the grill, or your family doesn’t flip burgers or maybe doesn’t have a back yard – that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate some quality time and appreciate someone’s company. Those people in our lives who help us grow and learn deserve to know how important they are to us.

How about this: why don’t we work on recognizing the special people in our lives more often?

Instead of worrying about taking Mom for brunch in May and buying Dad a new barbecue tool in June, why not just pick one day a month (or even one day a week if you’re feeling energetic) and showing someone special how much you enjoy their company?

No gifts need be involved, the gesture of spending time and saying, “Thanks for sharing yourself” is the main objective.

Moms and Dads deserve to be put on a pedestal, at least once in a while. It’s hard work, being a parent. The same goes for other caregivers, like school teachers and nannies and babysitters and coaches.

Once we get older, our support network is still crucial to a happy life.

We need to take the time to stop and check that they hear us when we say, “thank you."

One of my favourite food memories with my Dad was his fried egg sandwiches. In today’s world such a simple thing is dressed up with stuff such as sliced avocado or kimchi. Go ahead and fill your boots, I say; add whatever strikes your fancy.

I still like it straight up, with grainy toast slathered in butter.

  • Take a small frying pan and heat on a small burner at medium high heat. Add a dob of butter or olive oil.
  • Carefully crack fresh eggs, one at a time into the hot pan (maximum two in a small pan, but it’s best if you do them singly to avoid any mess)
  • Season liberally with salt and pepper. Prepare your toast. (Fresh artisan bread or buns is a reasonable alternative, but I like the crispiness of toast.) Add mayonnaise if you like
  • As the edges start to crisp up and the egg goes opaque, prepare to flip it – either onto your toast if you like “sunny-side up” or in the pan if you like “over easy”
  • Moving with confidence, flip the egg in one quick move
  • Be sure to remove and delectable crispy bits left in the pan after the egg is cooked. They will be the best parts of your sandwich.

Serve this sandwich in the company of a special person, with plenty of napkins and your sleeves rolled up in case the egg drips.

If your companion laughs as you make a mess, remember to smile and log the memory.



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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