My niece sent me an email with some rather vintage and VERY hilarious ads from a time when women wore aprons and heels and were perfectly coiffed while cooking and cleaning, and it made me wonder how the hell they did it. I am most comfortable cooking in a ragged t shirt that I don't have to worry about getting stains on (because it already looks like a Jackson Pollack painting), no bra, my disgusting but comfy fuzzy slippers, and hair pulled back with a bandanna to keep my hair outta my make-up free face. And I have really comfortable bar stools, a flat screen TV and a radio/cd player to keep me entertained while I sit at the island and do prep or look through cookbooks - if there was a couch in the kitchen I would only leave when nature called. I clean up after myself (well, most of the time), and the men do the dishes and are all great cooks in their own right, so I feel like I've done my job in moving things up the evolutionary scale...no monkeying around here (sorry)!
My dad did not cook much - there were a few things he would help with, chili and spaghetti being the most memorable - I never tire of teasing him about his "chiletti" and "spahili"....to me they always tasted about the same, you could only tell them apart from the beans in one, pasta in the other. And his hash browns were legendary....nothing has ever beat the memory of Sunday breakfast with those crispy and ever so slightly gummy potatoes. But if you want to make him truly happy, nothing will do it quite like a homemade blackberry pie...with vanilla ice cream. I would give you the recipe, but you're not going to make it....well, maybe if you beg. But here is MY fave (when I tasted this blackberry dropped to #2), and even your DOG could make this one - he/she will just need some help with the whipped cream can 'cause they got no thumbs....
The BEST Key Lime Pie
I've used key limes, regular limes, and the bottled key lime juice...they all work interchangeably.
16 graham crackers (the whole long thing..yeah, that's what SHE said)
3 T. sugar
1 cube (1/2 cup) butter (use it all, you're not making this for your health)
Preheat oven to 350. Crush crackers finely in food processor, blender or in a ziploc not quite closed with a rolling pin, mix in sugar and melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of 9" pie plate and bake at 350 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Put on rack to cool.
4 large or X large egg yolks
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
Beat egg yolks until thick and light yellow, add sweetened condensed milk and mix on low, adding half the lime juice until incorporated. Add remaining juice just until blended. Pour into pie shell and bake at 350 for 12 minutes to set the yolk (and make it safe to eat) - it will still be a little jiggly, but what is not so good for your upper arms is GREAT for this pie. Cool completely, refrigerate and serve with whipped cream. Go ahead and put a eensy lime wedge on it or some lime zest if you are going for schmancy...but be prepared to do the Heimlich because they might choke on it while wolfing it down.
Happy Father's Day, dad - get your pie bib on!