How to Spit Watermelon Seeds and Other Indispensable Food Lessons From Dad

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Lime © Con Poulos
By F&W Editors Posted June 12, 2015

F&W editors have Dad to thank for some of their favorite food memories

If F&W editors are great at one thing, it's eating. But we have to give credit where it's due. F&W editors have Dad to thank for some of their favorite food memories:

My dad cooked everything—and I mean EVERYTHING—in one single cast-iron pan that he never washed, which horrified me when I was a kid. In retrospect, now I get it. He taught me to embrace the magic of a little bacon fat. —Chelsea Morse, Associate Editor

My father had a specialty that would be super trendy today—fried sourdough bread topped with marrow, sprinkled with Parmesan and lots of pepper and broiled until bubbling! —Tina Ujlaki, Executive Food Editor

My dad taught me to cook with lovage, a super interesting plant that can be used in soups as a broth flavoring but even better with pork chops. He would pan-fry the chops using the pan juices to make a sauce by adding lovage and cream. It has a very particular flavor with a lot of personality. And it's very easy to grow! I grow it in my upstate garden, and it comes back year after year. —Fredrika Stjärne, Creative Director

My dad's a cracker jack at making ice cream, and he's really put his stamp on peppermint ice cream. His secret is to buy those ginormous candy cane sticks when they're out at Christmastime and stash them away 'til summer ice cream season. They save you from unwrapping a trillion Starlight mints, and they turn the ice cream a pretty pale pink. Their flavor is better AND you get to smash them with a mallet, which is really the best part.

He also tried to teach me how to spit watermelon seeds really far by arching back and propelling them forward—should I ever find myself in such a contest. This lesson was lost on me. —Megan Krigbaum, Deputy Wine Editor

When making popcorn on the stove, my dad taught me never to let the pan be still—keep lifting and swirling it for maximum popcorn deliciousness. (Then put it in brown paper bags and smuggle it into the movie theater. Homemade is much better than the kind at the concession stand.) —Annie Quigley, Assistant to the Editor in Chief

My father believes that food is best when you eat what you killed or knew when alive, planted, grew or at least picked yourself. Also, leftover sparkling wine is great when making risotto. —Justine Sterling, Associate Digital Editor

When I was about 14, my dad created this super simple dish of chicken poached in a tomato-cilantro sauce. He was a pretty competent cook, but it's the only thing I can ever remember him totally improvising, and at first everyone was really into it. But then he got all high on his success and made it at least once (sometimes twice) a week for four months straight, until everyone was so sick of it they refused to eat it anymore. To this day, that chicken is infamous in my family. I guess the lesson is too much of a good thing is…the worst? —Elizabeth Sheldon, Associate Editor

My dad had the opposite of a sweet tooth, so he invented dark chocolate cookies that used a bare minimum of sugar. Once they cooled, they were kind of weird. But fresh from the oven, they were delicious—super-buttery and bittersweet. —Lawrence Marcus, Deputy Digital Editor

PB&J is absolutely acceptable for dinner. —Brianna Wippman, Digital Editorial Assistant

Related: Father's Day Recipes
Father's Day Gifts
Amazing Ice Cream Sundaes

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