Father Food Memories

IMG_2829One of my favorite memories of my Dad involved a very special breakfast only he and I shared.   Every summer there was a park we would go to for family picnics. We went to a place call Pine Way Trails.  It has long ago been sold and the land developed. The place would get very crowded so we had to go early to get a prime location by the lake and enough tables for everyone. My Dad and I would go before anyone else. Back then it made me feel so special to go and to help. I am guessing it was because I was the baby and no one else wanted to have to get up so early.

We’d get there and the mist would still be rising off the lake. I’d help him unpack the car and place the tables where we wanted them.  He’d get a fire started in one of the grills and get out the cast iron skillet. Over the fire he’d cook us bacon and then cook a couple of eggs. He had his thermos of coffee and I had orange juice. On paper plates we’d sit and enjoy our breakfast together. I don’t think as a kid I really appreciated the skill it took to get that fire just right. The bacon was crisp, but never burnt and the eggs would be sunny side up- with the yolks warm yet runny. I’d use my bacon to get the last of the yolks off my plate.

Later in the day everyone else would arrive. My mom, sister and brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends. We’d have a wonderful day together swimming and fishing and eating grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, chicken and salads and fresh melon. It was noisy and so much fun. But that special part of the day for me was the breakfast my Father and I shared, quietly by the lake. I got out the cast iron skillet this morning- cooked some bacon and eggs and thought of him.