My parents were divorced when I was very young. After my dad moved out, my sister and I would spend most weekends with him and his roommate (a single college buddy with a grand piano) at their condo on the other side of town.
As far as I know, my dad was never much of a cook before splitting up from my mom. And I guess he wasn’t much of one afterward either. However, he did acquire some decent skills; bachelorhood will do that I guess. And Dad is a total gourmet in the sense that he knows and appreciates what’s good.
My dad is also not shy about sharing his opinions. Whether it was in his brown linoleum kitchen, around many campfires, or in the backseat of one of his overly cool vehicles (most likely the doorless Jeep or the Porsche; I believe the Ferrari didn’t have a backseat…um, mid-life crisis), I learned a lot of things worth knowing about food from my dad. Here are some nuggets of his culinary wisdom.
1) To cook freshly caught Brook trout, wrap the whole fish in tin foil with salt, butter, and onion slices and throw the bundle in the coals of a campfire. Put on some heavy deerskin gloves to pull the packets out of the fire. Eat the delicious steamy fish with your fingers.
2) Throw spaghetti at the wall to see if it’s done. I’m not certain this actually works, but it sure is fun.
3) There is a big difference between Brie and Camembert.
4) The very best picnic food is baby new potatoes that have been boiled then cooled and smeared with butter and salt.
5) A slab of cheese, hard sausage, and a few apple slices makes a perfectly acceptable supper.
6) If you’re going to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken, get the Original Recipe.
7) Escargot are not disgusting.
And last but definitely not least: Real Coca-Cola and real Oreos are better than RC and those light brown store-brand cookies. Get the real thing and treat it as a treat.