Growing up, my father was a Commander in the U.S. Navy. His position meant nothing at home of course, where my mother had him out-ranked. Still, it was ‘civilian’ Dad who taught me one of the most important lessons I ever learned in the kitchen. He taught me how to cook with love.
My father was the Sunday morning chef. He taught my siblings and me how to make all-manner of eggs, French toast, waffles with ice cream, and the best sandwiches ever! He explained the difference between just throwing the ingredients together in a bowl and taking ownership and responsibility of what we make. He explained to us that it was not just about the right measurements or even using the best ingredients, what mattered most in the kitchen was what mattered most in life. The secret ingredient was an attitude. He taught us, the most important part of the process was making the food with love.
After years of his Sunday morning brunches, my Dad gave the reigns to my siblings and me. We were in charge of making the Sunday morning feasts. I remember every time I would place the cinnamon flavored French toast on my Dad’s plate, he would always say, “This is the best French toast I have ever had.” Every Sunday was the same, whether it was a scrambled egg, French toast, or a tuna fish sandwich; week after week he always said the same thing, “This is the best I ever had.” As a child, I was confused. I asked my father, how is it possible that every time I made him breakfast, it was the best ever? He explained that each week, as I made the morning meal with care and love, my creations were just the best.
I never bought it.
However, years later, when I became a parent, I found myself doing the same exact thing. I showed my kids how to toast the bread just right, how to spread the mayonnaise on the toast just so, squeezing the tuna fish from the can until there is no water left, placing the tuna in the bowl before the mayonnaise, mashing it until there are no lumps, placing just the perfect amount of tuna on the toast and of course placing just the right amount of lettuce on the bread, to make for a sandwich made with love. And of course I would tell my kids, “This is the best sandwich ever! “
And you know what? I meant it every time.
My father taught me well. It is not about how one adds just the perfect amount of cinnamon to the eggs for French toast or how much is the right amount of mayonnaise to spread on a sandwich. In fact, it is not about the measurements at all. It is about the love of a father, a love of a parent(s), being present in every generation that allows each and every one of us to taste the “best ever”.
Back in the day; soft boiled eggs on toast.
Just the other day, I was reminiscing about this old time favorite, not many people make it anymore because of the possibility of salmonella. Yet, it sure is yummy!
Here is my recipe for Soft Boiled Eggs on Toast.