My Father’s Day 2010 Dinner: Kid-Made Stuffed Burgers & Fruit Salad

My kids have been busting their butts all day long. The day started with a knock at the bedroom door. On the other side was 13-year-old Ryan. In each of his hands was a large mug of Biggby Michigan Cherry coffee, a mug each for Mary and I. He’d brewed it himself and to tell you the truth it was pretty darn smooth.

Later in the morning Ryan made me breakfast, one of his top-notch Poached Egg Sandwich on Toast dishes. He decided a few years ago, probably at age 10, that he likes poached eggs more than any other cooking type. He started by nuking them in the microwave but now occasionally poaches them on the stovetop as well. He’s also mowed the loan and helped his sister with some things today.

15-year-old Briahna is normally quite the princess. We’ll hear, “I can’t do dishes I just had my nails done!” But even after spending three days at the hospital with Mary and I during the latter part of this week while I dealt with another episode of The Nosebleed From Hell, Bri has washed the walls and doors upstairs and down the carpeted stairs, vacuumed the carpeting, steam-cleaned it, and power-washed the back deck. We’ve now replaced her phone, which she’d lost at either the hospital or the hotel she and Mary stayed at.

17-year-old Adam just plain kicks ass. He’s done all our shopping this weekend (multiple trips), done most of the work installing a 2.1 GPM pump on the city’s flower pot watering tank in the back of our van, taken my convalescing self on a short walk on the long pier (thank God not the other way round) and anything else we’ve needed.

For Father’s Day dinner this evening Adam put together and grilled these beautiful stuffed burgers, which were stuffed with cheddar, sweet onion and bacon. Briahna also created the fruit salad of watermelon, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries and blackberries. The meal was superb, and I’m very proud of my kids for all they do for us just out of love.

We don’t see my 20-year-old Aaron too much unless he’s not working. He works long hours in the refrigerator that is the produce area of the Meijer warehouse just north of Monroe, Michigan. Meijer is a Michigan-based department store that originated the concept of mixing a department store and full grocery. They do it so well the chain has 180 stores in the midwest. Mary’s oldest, Caleb, works at the same warehouse but in the frozen foods section, wearing many layers during work even in the summer months. And her youngest, John, is that most-excellent Marine of ours, stationed at Quantico. These three young men are sorely missed on days like today, and I always wish the best for them.

Gifts from these same kids are right up my alley: Assorted truffles, milk chocolate, dark chocolate with infused chili extract, and some new book from some guy with goofy lips who supposedly knows something about food. Ok, so that is the one thing I actually requested … it completes my Bourdain collection. Mary bought me two books, “Why a Daughter Needs a Dad” and “Why a Son Needs a Dad”, and of course Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles” on Blue-Ray. What could be better?

I have great, wonderful, amazing kids and I love all of them very much. I hope they know that. It’s important. Happy Father’s Day? Yes, I had one, thanks to these kids!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.

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  1. A nice story and I LOVED reading it.

    Unfortunately, my kids are so spread out (son in Upstate New York and daughter in Florida) that they could not join me for the ‘special’ commercialized day.

    Of course, they sent their greetings and their gifts, but it was my wife who made my day special — VERY special.

    And THAT is what was important to me.

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