We are seeing a lot of ads in the newspaper for gas and charcoal grills, tools, electronics, and sporting goods, hoping that one of those items would make the perfect Father’s Day gift. Sunday can be made special with a great meal.
My father’s idea of his special day meant having all the grandchildren together for an early dinner at Liliuokalani Park. He would go down early and keep a spot on the lawn near the bamboo grove. Our meal would be barbecued on the little hibachi.
I see fathers of this generation now with a very important role in raising their children. In generations past, fathers were the bread winner and mothers were solely responsibility to raise the children. Today, when we are at the beach and watching young families with their children, we see fathers playing a major role in raising their children. It is really nice to see the shared responsibility.
So for the modern father, what would be the special meal to say thanks for being who you are and being there for me?
If you decide to grill Dad’s special meal on Sunday, here are some tips:
— A hibachi or a sportsmen-type grill that is portable works best as the grate sits close to the heat and cooks more evenly.
— If you are making hamburgers on the grill, select a blend of 80/20 lean-to-fat ratio for an ideal burger.
— When forming the hamburger, press your thumb in the center to form a crater. This ensures uniform cooking.
— Wait 10 minutes after your charcoal is hot (red and ashed over). This would allow your grates to heat up. If they are not hot enough, you may have problems with sticking.
— Do not press your hamburger while grilling. The juices will escape and you will end up with a dry burger.
— Flip the burger only once to ensure a nice sear mark.
— If cooking steaks, take them out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before grilling. Cooking them at room temperature ensures even cooking.
— Use your hand to test doneness of steaks. Press the section of your palm right below your thumb. That would be how a rare steak feels like when pressed. Right below your little finger feels the same as a medium steak and the middle of your palm feels like a well-done steak.
— If using wood to grill, do not use pine. It has resin that can change the flavors of your food.
One of my husband’s favorite condiment (great on fish, chicken, steak, and topping a hamburger) is chowchow. He cannot forget his mother’s chowchow and my sister-in-law Linda has looked for Mom Hazel’s recipe with no avail. There must have been an abundance of green tomatoes as fried green tomatoes and chowchow are staples from the South. So try this for your bumper crop of green tomatoes.
Makes 3 cups
Place in a large bowl:
4 pounds green tomatoes, cored, and finely chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
4 tablespoons kosher salt
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight. Next morning, transfer to colander and press to extract all liquid.
Transfer to a 6-quart pan and add:
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 -1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Cover, bring to boil, reduce to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally until vegetables are very soft, about 2 1/2 hours. Place in sterilized mason jars and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
The pressure is on: I have to get some green tomatoes to make some chowchow for Jim for Father’s Day now!
Father’s Day is celebrated worldwide. It’s Feb. 23 in Russia. In Italy and Switzerland, it’s on March 9. In South Korea, it’s held on May 8 and called Parents Day. In Germany, it is referred to as Ascension Day and is on May 17. We celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June as do 58 other countries. El Salvador and Guatemala celebrate Dad on June 17; and on the first day of summer, June 21, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, Jordon, Syria and Uganda; and on June 23, Nicaragua and Poland and my birthday. Thailand celebrates King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday as their celebration for dads. The last Father’s Day for the year is celebrated in Bulgaria on Dec. 26.
In the United States, Father’s Day is a relatively new celebration. Although President Calvin Coolidge supported it in 1924, it was not until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation to make Father’s Day the third Sunday in June, and President Richard Nixon signed it into law to permanently make Father’s Day the third Sunday in June in 1972.
Please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have a question. Bon appetit until next week.