Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Aren't You Glad I Didn't Make Chicken?!

This past Sunday I wanted to cook my Dad something special for fathers day.  He always jokes with me that every time they come to dinner I cook chicken.  He'll say - "I assume we are having chicken".  Then he'll add "if I eat any more chicken I'm going to start clucking..."  He always kids me like this, and I really like it.  I know he loves everything I cook (even chicken) but he likes to joke with me just for the fun of it. If you knew my father you would know just how funny he is. After being with him for five minutes you would be able to feel his warmth, humor, and sincerity.  Everyone tells me this. 

Anyhow, I decided to cook a pork roast with sweet potatoes and onions.  Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite veggies and they are SO good for you. My mom makes them all the time, not just in the fall. I grew up eating them all year long. Slow cooked in the oven, the skins caramelize and become sweet and melt in your mouth good.  This is what I wanted for father's day.  And not a feather in sight. 

I seasoned the roast, sweet potatoes, and onions with olive oil, Morton's Seasonings, garlic powder, pepper, and a few sprinkles of rosemary.   This is all you need. 

I cooked it at 325 degrees for 25 minutes a pound.  We had a 3 pound roast, so it cooked for an hour and 15 minutes.  I let the meat rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.  The thermometer read exactly 160 degrees, which was perfect. 

I served with broccoli (because we have to have our greens), and my homemade bruschetta. 

For desert I served chocolate chip cake with ice cream.  Dad loves chocolate, so this HAD to BE. 

(I'll post the recipe for this cake next week)

I've loved cooking since I was about 8 or 9 years old.  I have vivid memories of baking cakes in my Easy Bake Oven. I use the term bake loosely as all it involved was just "adding water".   My Dad ate all my cakes (baked with a light bulb in a plastic box that looked like an oven) and never complained. 

This is a picture of the first cookbook I ever owned.

It's called Pickle in the Middle and Other Easy Snacks.  I made every recipe in this book and my Dad tested them all.  This book in an antique in my world.  I don't really know how it's survived all these years, but it sits proudly with all the cookbooks in my kitchen. I don't know how MARTHA would feel about this, but I'm happy with it. Flipping through the dogeared pages, I don't really know how Dad stomached all these delicacies.  Especially this one - which I remember was my favorite. 

Sound yummy, doesn't it? Keep in mind that this was a "NO BAKE" cookbook so all the ingredients you see were rolled into balls and eaten raw. It wasn't until many years later that I found out about all the stomach pains that Dad endured after our weekly food fests.  He never let on because he didn't want to hurt my feelings.  That's just how he is.  

My father is also the most non-judgemental person in the world.  When he meets someone he sees what is on the inside, instead of what is on the outside.  This is a rare quality in a person these days.  I try so hard to be like him every day.  He learned from his father years ago, so luckily it's hereditary. 

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  Aren't you glad I didn't make chicken?! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day ~

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