A Father’s Day Barbecue
Great memories can be found where you least expect them. For some people, it might be the annual grand vacation they take with their families in a new city or country. Some people prefer road trips, or overnight outdoor excursions, or even just a day trip to a local region they have never seen before. Gathering with our loved ones and experiencing something new and exciting is a staple of family tradition. However, sometimes the best memories are made right at home; in a place you have seen every day.
Family life is what I consider one of the greatest blessings that life has to offer. Watching all of my children grow up has been worth every minute of hard work throughout all of my days, and they have ultimately become my best and biggest accomplishment. Looking ahead to their bright futures I can’t help but think back on some of our best times as a family.
This past Father’s Day, my family and I gathered together yet again. It may have seemed like a routine dinner made special only by the holiday, but after looking at the quick cell-phone photos we took it made me realize that this moment was more of a culmination of all of our successes. Sharing our love together from the grill, to the dinner table, and beyond was just the next fun memory in the long line of great times that we have had together.
Kay and my children pulling together for the outstanding Father’s Day dinner was all that I could have asked for. What better way to celebrate a day meant just for me than a great deal of amazing food? While my sons Stephan and Chris manned the grill, my daughter Mary was going between inside and outside the house, chatting with us during downtime but keeping a close eye on the oven. The day was filled with laughter; and the slow breeze was breaking up what was otherwise a hot and humid Louisiana evening.
My boys, as always, did a great job preparing the main course over the hot fires of our gas-powered grill. Keeping a close eye on the lamb they cooked that day; with Mary’s help they seasoned it heartily with rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. The flavor of rosemary is something I have always loved – it brings back warm memories of soups and stews on rainy days but also takes me back to the summer favorite of juicy and tender steaks. We mixed all the spices in with olive oil and tossed in generous amounts of balsamic vinegar to give the lamb that sweet balance mixed with the tartness that can only be found in the fine, aged grapes that it is made out of.
The meal came together swimmingly thanks to the great efforts of my wonderful children and Kay. Around the table we sat and talked over the aromas of our delicious lamb. We commiserated over today’s current events with heaping plates of baked macaroni and smothered squash, and I gazed around my loving home knowing that I wouldn’t have experienced this moment had it not been for my children and Kay. As our children grow older, Father’s Day somehow becomes more special, as I look at them with less fatherly concern but rather a strong sense of affectionate pride.
As time moves forward and I see my two boys and daughter grow more and more independent, I try and use moments like this in an effort to slow time. Looking back on days like Father’s Day and even my own birthday celebrations I realize that even something as simple as making an excellent dinner and having everyone around me is the greatest gift I could ever know.