My Dad introduced me to Grilling at a young age. He’d lost two sons, so I was their replacement.We hung out a lot, whether it was gardening, fishing, (summer and winter) and being his Sue Chef as he grilled throughout the warmer seasons. Every Saturday and Sunday evening he would barbecue steaks, pork chops, burgers or ribs, (the occasional veggie snuck in as my mom would insist on onions or a baked potato. I, as Sous Chef, ran back and forth between the house and grill to get whatever he needed, his favorite Bbq sauce, garlic cuz a little was never enough and an icy cold beer.
If the weather and time permitted, we were fishing, summer through winter. Ice fishing was not my favorite, but we had fun, the adults likely more as they each had a thermos of hot toddies. We would eat the majority of our catch right there for a huge fish fry with our friends on fire pits and his handcrafted grill-grate; a piece of metal mesh he coated with pork lard.
Dad taught me everything from fishing to barbecuing a good steak which was his favorite. He said that as a kid he’d eaten enough pork, although bacon, eggs and pancakes were every Sunday morn’s breaki. Dad’s steak was always prepared medium rare , he made fun of anyone who wanted it well done, to the point they would learn to love it the same. You often heard him saying ” I’m a pretty damn good griller “. We all agreed.
There was a show called Cottage County and Dad was really fond of it. He and I sat and watched the show together. Dad said he loved the guys hair. MY DAD? Possibly being fecious? Before my Dad passed, that same Chef was grilling on beaches. Wow, he loved that, as well the chef’s shirts! On a trip to Hawaii just a short time later, I bought him a loud tropical shirt. He LOVED it, wearing it often and yes, when grilling. He told me one day “Imagine fishing the ocean instead of MacBride Lake and tossin’ that fish on a barbecue while you drink a cold one on the beach? We’re gonna do that Kibbie”. We never got the chance to.
Very shortly after my Dad passed. Little did we know that one day I would meet his favorite barbecue Chef, Ted (Theodore), Reader. Nor would he have imagined our family would be producing barbecue & beverage accessories Chef Teddy Reader would use, and would say he loved using, helping and mentoring me with our company. Teddy says he loves our product and we’re extremely happy, very grateful and I’m so proud to call him a friend.
Both named Theodore, they eventually had more than a name, a love of grilling food, and a tropical shirt a in common, me. If there’s a way, he’s watching us all grilling and bragging in Heaven that his Kibbie is Chef Reader’s friend, that he mentors her and that she, her husband and grandkids, the youngest he only knew as a baby, are now producing grilling accessories and his barbecue hero uses them.
Sometimes you just have to believe in serendipity. Love you Dad .