Friday, June 24, 2011

Father's Day Month of June- Blog 4: Letters from Mom & Mimi

Hanging out at your Dad's softball game!

So Miss Ellie Spaghetti,
Let's sum up this Father's Day on what constitutes a great dad...

1.  Unconditional Love
2.  A sense of humor
3.  Protective
4.  Fun
5.  Puts family first

And you sure are blessed and lucky that your dad encompasses all of these.

Ellie, you are learning that dinner time is important at our house.  We don't always sit at the dining room table but the process of making dinner and sitting down somewhere together is what is most important.  Your favorite is when you and I join your Dad on the porch as he grills.  You love to run around (even picking up dried up worms once or twice), enjoy the gorgeous summer weather, and having your family together in one place.  If we aren't outside while your Dad grills, you are pounding on the sliding glass door yelling his name. 
You are yelling for your Dad in this one!

For this month's recipe, it's only appropriate that I share my favorite grilling recipe of your dad's (in fact, it's the one I chose for him to make every Mother's Day!):

Grilled Salmon
-          Sprinkle with lemon juice
-          Add Salt and pepper
-          Completely coat with Grey Poupon
-          Add Salt and pepper again
-          Grill to taste.  I like Salmon cooked Medium-Well to Well, so I grill it for about 20 minutes on high.

This song (and I think of songs as poems that are sung) always reminded me of your dad since the day you were born.  His nickname for you Ellie is Baby and you truly have stolen his heart.  When you fall down as you are perfecting your walk, he feels the pain sometimes more than you. 

Tim McGraw's My Little Girl

Gotta hold on easy as I let you go
Gonna tell you how much I love you
Though you think you already know
I remember I thought you looked like an angel wrapped in pink so soft and warm
You've had me wrapped around your finger since the day you were born

You beautiful baby from the outside in
Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again
Go on, take on this whole world
But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl

When you were in trouble that crooked little smile could melt my heart of stone
Now look at you, I've turned around and you've almost grown
Sometimes you're asleep I whisper "I Love You" in the moonlight at your door
As I walk away, I hear you say, "Daddy Love You More"

Your beautiful baby from the outside in
Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again
Go on, take on this whole world
But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl

Someday, some boy will come and ask me for your hand
But I won't say "yes" to him unless I know, he's the half
That makes you whole, he has a poet's soul, and the heart of a man's man
I know he'll say that he's in love
But between you and me
He won't be good enough

Your beautiful baby from the outside in
Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again
Go on, take on this whole world
But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl

Make sure you always tell your Dad how much you love him!

And now from your Mimi…

Hi Ellie,    

I feel that since this is the last week of our Father's Day Month blog, I need to incorporate something "manly" into my "tea" opening!  So how about this?  Here is an excerpt from Chris Cason's article on The Tea Party: History and Ideas.

It was early on the crisp December evening.  A group of 200 some-odd men assembled in disguise on a nearby hill.  The crowd marched down to the wharf two-by-two, crying, "Boston harbor, a teapot tonight!"  They descended upon 3 ships and demanded the captains grant them access to the holds.  With the faux-tomahawks from their costumes, they split open all 340 chests of cargo and pitched them overboard.  This single event, organized as a protest against a tax that made it harder to get tea, was dubbed "The Boston Tea Party."

Wow!  Can you believe they threw All that tea overboard?  I have a hard time throwing a bottle of almost empty Catsup away!  It drives Poppy crazy that I try to get every last drop of that yummy tasting condiment out of the bottle, and the only way to do that is to turn it upside down in the refrigerator so that it is continuously standing on its head!  I am certainly not one to be wasteful!  But back to the story at hand.  Hmmmmm.... leave it to a man always trying to "fix" things!  But I guess in this case it worked!  I do think the women of this "time period" could have accomplished the same result Ellie if they were given a chance... and they probably could have accomplished it without having to throw all that precious tea overboard too!  My guess would be that the towns women probably would have had the fires a roaring, the kettles a boiling, the chatter a going and the tea a sipping!  And they probably would have had all their friends along with foe joining in with their merry festivities, only to end the tea party with everyone forgetting what their beginning purpose of drinking all the tea was actually for!  As for me, the only time I throw out my tea is when it tastes "funky" which I can tell you is very rare!  And at this very moment the only place this delicious cup of tea that I have in my hand will be thrown to; is down my throat!   Mmmmmmm....yup, it is a good one!  Waste not, want not.

So Ellie, I asked your Poppy to give me his thoughts on what makes a "great dad."  Here is what he said:

1.  Live your values:  The choices you make in life not only reflect on you but your family too.
2.  Assume personal responsibility:  If you are brave enough to do things, make sure you are brave enough to accept the responsibility and or the consequences that go along with it.
3.  Your word and handshake are everything:  When you say something and when you promise something... make sure you follow through with it.  It will show honesty, integrity and good faith.
4.:  Learn something new each day, Laugh at least once a day and work hard everyday:  Tomorrow is promised to no one.

Your Poppy is a wonderful man Ellie and he adores you to the moon and back.  By taking your Daddy's advice and your Poppy's advice, you will grow up to be a very wise and insightful woman.

For this month’s recipe I have chosen grilled vegetables, as it would be a nice "side dish" to serve with your daddy's famous grilled salmon!
Here it is:

Balsamic Grilled Vegetables

1 medium yellow squash and 1 medium zucchini, sliced on a bias
1 medium eggplant and 1 red onion, sliced in 1/2 inch thick circles
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
1 red bell pepper and 1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
2 portobello mushroom caps, gilled and peeled
3 green onions
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2-cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2-cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat grill to high
Prepare all vegetables.  Place them in a roasting pan with the mushroom caps and green onions.  Season vegetables generously with salt and pepper, and toss with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Place vegetables; cut side down, on the hot grill and cook for a couple minutes on each side, or until tender and nicely marked by the grill.  Remove from grill and toss with an additional 1/4-cup balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste!

Now here is a poem that I think is befitting of "Dads" everywhere and a perfect end to this month’s blog on Father's Day.

Only A Dad
By:  Edgar Albert Guest

Only a dad with a tired face, coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame, to show how well he has played the game,
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice, to see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four, one of ten million men or more.
Plodding along in the daily strife, bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate, for the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad neither rich nor proud, merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day, facing whatever may come his way.
Silent whenever the harsh condemn, and bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all, to smooth the way for his children small.
Doing with courage stern and grim, the deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen, Only a dad, but the best of men.

So Kimberly, how about for our July blogs we make them a "Vacation Theme"?  Since so much travel is going on this summer it only seems to fit perfectly!  I would actually like to start out the month with sharing our story of the 3 of us traveling to Wisconsin to visit our Green Bay family!  Something tells me that the plane ride with Ellie could prove to be a very memorable experience!

Till next time Ellie-bean,
Love Mimi

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