The modern father and gentleman is an adventure-seeking man — one who values hospitality, generosity, intellectual curiosity, and yes, chivalry. Of course, these attributes are not exclusive to those of the fatherly rite. Gentlemen the world over should seek to incorporate these traits into their lives.
To take it a step further, I believe all of these characteristics can be found, honed, and showcased in the most unlikely of places: The Kitchen.
Cooking should be viewed much more as an adventure than a task. Whether you are fishing, hunting, or simply acquiring goods at the local market — much of the thrill that comes from cooking starts miles away from any kitchen.
Cooking and sharing food with others allows you to perfect this centuries-old practice. Inviting others into your home to sit and enjoy a meal cooked by hand is one of the most simple, yet fulfilling forms of hospitality. The kitchen table serves as an open invitation to friends, family, and strangers — it’s a place where we’ve celebrated the joy of friendship, the miracle of new kiddos, and sometimes the sting of loss, or the settling of differences. Breaking bread with others is one of life’s most primal instincts. It fosters tradition and community, and creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere in your remodeled Home.
Generosity is contagious, and I believe fathers and men everywhere can help build stronger families and communities if we generously and kindly share parts of ourselves, and our work, with others — without of course, expecting anything in return.
It’s that intellectually curious attitude that keeps me exploring and learning in the kitchen. Cooking offers an autonomous and never-ending challenge to continue to study and evolve. New ingredients, types of cuisine, techniques, and equipment create opportunities for each of us to challenge ourselves.
Good behavior and social practices remind us to open doors, to offer up your seat on the bus or train, and to stand when a lady enters the room. We all know these things, but how often do we put them into practice? Still, these are only the outward actions of being a good gentleman. To truly practice chivalry, one must pursue, understand (or try to, at least!), and fulfill the heart of a woman. I believe we men must take on a bit of adventure and risk to pursue said heart.
Of course you see where I’m going — you can do this in the kitchen! One of the simplest ways to express your love and care to your gal is by serving her food prepared by your own two hands — a routine that I live out in our home in Columbus. A home cooked meal is just one of the many ways that I can let her know I’ve been thinking of her and that I care about her. And yes, from time to time I want to show off a bit of skill in the kitchen! Women love a man who can cook.
Read more about How Cooking Can Make You a Better Man in this cool story from the Art of Manliness.
Another interesting story comes from an interview with Mr. Kreisberg, a busy father who cooks for his family.
Describing that perennial working parents’ quandary he is constantly thinking, “What will I cook for the family tonight?” “I’m thinking about the ingredients. I’m thinking about what I have in the fridge.”
He hops on the subway back home to Long Island City, Queens, around 5 p.m., dashes to the day care center to pick up his 7-month-old son, Harrison, and often squeezes in a run to the grocery store. Finally, he gets into the kitchen. Soon, he is roasting a chicken stuffed with rosemary, thyme and onion, or seasoning some fresh salmon or frying up eggplant for parmigiana.
Mr. Kreisberg is a freelance copy writer, a husband and a father. He is also a member of what he and other men describe as an often overlooked portion of the population: the growing number of working dads who cook.
“We do a lot more than barbecue,” Mr. Kreisberg said wryly.
Read the full story from the New York Times.
Here is another father making a mess in the kitchen with his kids.
Malcolm Seawell works as a criminal defense attorney in Denver, which means after a long day in the law office or courtroom he is ready to spend an evening catching up with his three young sons. His favorite place to do that: the kitchen in their Cherry Hills Village home.
“I’ve been the cook in the family for as long as I’ve had the family,” says Seawell, who married Nicole Elias in 1999. “My wife doesn’t care to cook, but I really enjoy it. It’s a great way to spend time with my kids and bond with them, although it’s also something that simply needs to be done.”
Read the news article from the Denver Post to find out how he does it.
Also, here are some recipes to get you some ideas for Father Day.
The Food Network presents It’s Dad’s Day with Rachael Ray.
Rachael Ray is honoring dads with a delicious Steak and Eggs Burrito. See the special segment called The Kitchen Toolbox, where the guys bring their power tools into the kitchen for some fun cooking shortcuts and Rachael shares a few of her own.
This story from Creative Family Recipes should definitely inspire you to get back in the Kitchen and be more creative.
This father moved his family and started a new life living in a small town in Ohio. This town had a nice, cozy sit-down restaurant in their very small, historic down-town. Despite having energetic children, he would take them out every week to eat there. They got to know everybody in that restaurant, including the owner and his family. He also got to know their menu very well! This dad’s creativity was always on full gear. He would try to recreate his favorite dishes from the restaurant and bring it back to their family kitchen.
Find more creative recipes that fathers have made throughout their lifetime and shared here at Creative Family Recipes.
With Father’s Day approaching on Sunday, it’s time to tip a toque to the men who wear the apron in the family. Some take on the task simply because they find it fulfilling or relaxing. Others do it by necessity, when their spouse’s work schedule is such that it prevents them from taking on the job.
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