Today is my dad’s birthday! In honor of him, tonight my husband and I ate baloney sandwiches, pickle salad (which is actually potato salad with an obnoxious amount of sweet pickle relish dumped in) and drank an RC Cola – three of my dad’s favorite things.
My dad is an amazing man. It seems like as I get older I realize more and more how lucky I am to have grown up with him as my father. Here are some examples:
- Growing up he never lost his temper. Not even when I bit that kid at daycare so hard he had to go to the doctor’s office. Instead, he just sat me down on the couch and explained to me how what I had done was wrong and that I wasn’t to ever do something like that again. And you know what? I haven’t bit anyone since.
- We had so many fun adventures on the back of his motorcycle in the summertime! We’d ride up to the top of Burnett’s Mound and he’d let me pick out a place that I could see in the distance – a church steeple, a body of water, a strange building, a radio tower – and then we’d spend the afternoon trying to figure out how to get there. Those are some of my favorite childhood memories!
- He was (and still is!) soooooo funny. I can’t even begin to imagine how many different stories and songs he made up and told/sang to my sister and me as kids. Most of his song featured snot in some fashion. The one that always comes to my mind is his own version of Yankee Doodle – “Yankee Doodle went to Topeka, riding on a tractor. Stuck a feather up his nose and that is where it’s atter. Yankee Doodle, sneeze it out! Yankee Doodle Dandy. Yankee Doodle, sneeze it out and keep that feather handy.”
- The man is SMART. Try as I might, I was never able to pick a word out the dictionary that he didn’t know.
- He is very accepting and non-judgmental. I had a very eclectic group of friends growing up. In addition to my average and ordinary middle-of-the-road friends, I also had friends with piercings and tattoos, super smart friends, not-so-smart friends, hippy friends, Republican friends, straight friends and gay friends, blind friends, popular friends and loaner friends. I had friends who were really happy and friends who came from sad and broken homes. I had Black friends and white friends, Hispanic friends and friends from the Philippines and friends from lots of other places in the world. He always made each and every person I brought over to the house feel welcome and invited to stay. Regardless of the color/style/shape of their hair, number of holes in their head, or the right-winged words that came out of some of their mouths, he appreciated and respected them all.
- He allowed me to learn from my own mistakes. I remember one time in high school him saying to me, “You can do anything you want to do once, and I won’t get upset. However, if you choose to do something stupid, I expect you to learn from it. If you don’t and do it again, that’s when I’ll have to step in.”
- He’s an excellent example of what a man/father/husband should be. Hardworking, committed, honest, and strong. I’ve never heard him yell or raise his voice. I’ve never doubted that he loves me, my mom or my sister. And he’s always there for us when we need him – for support, advice, a laugh, a shoulder, or even a truck.
Dad, I hope you had a wonderful birthday. When I finally have children of my own, I hope they have as much fun with me as I did/do with you, learn as much from me as I’ve learned from you, and love me as much as I love you.
FRIED BALONEY SANDWICHES W/PICKLE SALAD
Baloney sandwiches and pickle salad… one of my Dad’s favorite combinations. And I’ll tell you what, it might be one of my new favorites as well. I can’t get over how truly satisfying our dinner was tonight! We sliced up a tomato and added it to our sandwich this time. Next time we might include a fried egg as well. With such a deliciously basic starting point of just fried baloney and bread, the add-on possibilities are endless!
Sandwich Ingredients: (makes 2)
- 4 pieces of baloney
- 4 pieces of white bread (preferably Wonder Bread)
- yellow mustard (French’s if you have it)
- real mayo
- Place a saute pan over medium heat. While you’re waiting for it to get hot, spread mustard on two pieces of bread and mayo on the other two pieces.
- When your pan is hot, place a piece of baloney in the middle of the pan and press down on it with a spatula. Flip your baloney every now and then – you don’t want to burn it. Remove the baloney once it’s turned a nice toasty color. Repeat with remaining pieces.
- Assemble sandwiches and enjoy!
Pickle Salad Ingredients: (enough for 2)
- 2 medium potatoes, cubed and boiled
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- mustard (French’s if you have it) — we used 2 TBSP
- real mayo — we used 2 TBSP
- sweet pickle relish — we used 1/4 cup
- salt and pepper to taste
Pickle Salad Directions:
- Combine boiled potatoes, mustard*, mayo*, relish*, salt and pepper. Mash the potato mixture with a potato masher until you get a consistency you enjoy. (If you’re like my dad, you’ll mash and mash until there’s nothing left to mash. And then mash a few times more.)
- Stir in chopped egg and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!
* Use as much or as little mustard, mayo and relish as you like. If you’re like my dad, you’ll want to go heavy on the relish.