Oh, mein Papa…

My dad took this photo. His wife, a.k.a. my mom, is in San Francisco fetching me water and cooking up her famously fabulous wild rice salad and shuttling her grandson all about town while I lie in bed with ice and Percocet as my constant companions recovering from knee surgery (surgery necessitated by this incident).

My dad is no cook. He makes superlative toast, grills bratwurst to crispy juicy perfection, fries fish over camp fires, and turns out a mean bacon-and-eggs (he’s no fool, he fries the eggs in the bacon fat), but, in general, he doesn’t cook. Left to his own devices he tends towards take-out of one sort or another. He is no stranger to the prepared foods section at the Whole Foods near their house.

While he is no old-school meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, he doesn’t mind meat and potatoes and has, more than once, commented on the sheer number of vegetables I seem to eat on a daily basis.

So when he sent me this picture he had snapped of the dinner — a bowl of split pea soup (defrosted), steamed asparagus, and a salad that, upon further questioning, was revealed to be from lettuce from the garden — he pulled together for himself the other night (subject line: “healthy dinner”), I was proud and charmed and terribly glad not to have fallen too far from that tree.

He is a man of many strengths, but one of the greatest examples my dad has always set is to be willing to try new things, like steaming asparagus or taking pictures of your meals.

That, and he always modeled the very important role Tabasco can play in any meal.