Saturday, June 21, 2014

Honoring Fathers with Food

June 15, 2014

French Toast with Maple Syrup
Hash Brown Potatoes
Berry Salad
Rich Chocolate Tart

Rich Chocolate Tart from Cook's Illustrated

Sunday was Father's Day and I got the day off from cooking (mostly). My father, who died last month, had many strong points but he was not known for his culinary prowess. When I was little he would cook for us on Friday.  Mom went grocery shopping with her friends and they would enjoy dinner out, taking a break from kids and kitchen. Those meatless Friday meals with dad were usually very simple. Believe it or not, I remember fondly having Tomato Soup on Toast, though I've had it only one time since those days. (If you want the recipe let me know, I can probably give you general directions.)

What dad was good at, though, was cooking breakfast. It was great when mom and we kids got home from church and he had a hot breakfast waiting for us. His French Toast was a favorite of mine, so much so that he would often fix it for me on my birthday. In memory of him and those days, I try to have French Toast on or around my birthday with mixed success over the years.

For Sunday dinner this week, Fathers Day, Diane fixed me French Toast. Nothing else could have been so appropriate. It honors my dad and my memories of him and those days growing up. It also honors me: not only did I get the week off from cooking, but it my memories were respected. Dinner was even more special because my whole family was present, not just two of us,  including Caleb, Karley, and Caryn. I don't know if they fully appreciated the significance of the menu, it does seem a strange meal for celebrating, but I hope they have a better idea now of its significance.

I contributed dessert. I have been wanting to try a recipe for Rich Chocolate Tart. I purchased a tart pan several months ago. Several weeks ago I purchased the ingredients for the tart but I postponed making it because it takes several days to complete. Several hours are needed to make the crust, made using ground almonds, because the dough rests in the refrigerator several times. After it bakes it needs to cool. The chocolate filling didn't take too long to prepare and bake in the cooled crust. However, before adding the chocolate glaze, the tart rests over night in the refrigerator so the filling can set. The final step, adding the glaze, was relatively quick but the glaze did not flow well enough so I could cover the tart without using a spatula. Since it wasn't smooth, Caleb used a spatula to make an attractive pattern. While everyone enjoyed the rich finished product, I think I'll stick with the easier-to-make French Silk Chocolate Pie when I want a dessert of this sort.

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