By Lil Knickelson
Father’s Day is Sunday, and I hope you take the opportunity to honor the “Dads” in your life. Celebrate what a difference your father, stepfather, grandfather, uncle, brother, husband, cousin, son, pastor or family friend has made in your life.
Invite him over to your place and surprise him with all of his favorite dishes. My late Dad wanted you to stop by his place and spend some quality time with him; talking, eating, watching sports on T.V., or playing cards. Whether you had a gift or not wasn’t important to him.
My Dad was a Southerner so his favorite Sunday breakfast always included some fried fish (whiting, porgy, Virginia spot or croaker), with grits, scrambled eggs and cheese and corn bread. Maybe some slab bacon with the rind on, on the side. A little orange juice and some coffee light with sugar and he was good to go until dinner. Restaurants in Harlem that serve Southern breakfasts are dwindling in number, but a Taste of Seafood, Sylvia’s, Charles’ Southern Cooking, Fisher of Men, and Amy Ruth’s all have these items on their respective menus.
We ate dinner early on Sunday, but if Mommy was late getting in from church he’d have a leftover piece of fish and corn bread to hold him over. My Dad would be switching channels in between the Mets and some other baseball game. That evening after dinner we might play some spades or bid whist. My Dad was one of the original trash talkers when playing cards and I loved to see him get so animated.
For dinner, we’d have Daddy’s favorites: barbeque ribs, potato salad and collard greens. For barbeque ribs, I want to recommend the Food Network’s Neely Family’s BBQ Pork Spare Ribs recipe at the web site below. They own several Neely’s BBQ in Tennessee (Memphis & Nashville) and share their recipes on their Down Home with the Neely’s cooking show.
Here is my late Mom’s recipe for potato salad for 6 servings:
- 5 medium Maine potatoes
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- ½ large onion, finely chopped
- 1 small green pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 hard boiled eggs, 2 chopped and 1 sliced
- 2 generous tablespoons sweet pickle relish, drained
- ½ cup Hellman’s brand mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Golden’s yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Paprika, for garnish
- kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Wash the potatoes but don’t peel them. Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough cold water to cover them. Salt the water until it is salty to taste. Heat to boiling, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until they are tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Drain them and cool.
Peel the potatoes with a butter knife. Chop the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (except the sliced egg) and mix well until blended. Taste to see if you have enough salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and place the sliced egg on top and sprinkle the salad with paprika, salt and pepper. Keep salad refrigerated or on ice.
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