My dad’s a quiet man. He’s not the type that commands attention when he walks into a room, let alone ask for it.
He grew up on Prince Edward Island, a rural province that treasures humbleness as much as its rich, red soil. He’s soft spoken at times, but he always makes me laugh, something I’ve always counted on him for.
Growing up in a small town, my dad wasn’t like all the other dads I knew. When I was a kid, he spent his weekends bringing my imagination to life, whether I wanted to turn the kitchen into a restaurant or the backyard into an Olympic stadium.
He picked me up when I fell off my bike and pulled my sled to the top of the hill on those cold winter days when I was too tired to walk back up. He never thought twice before leaving work early to pick me up from school whenever I was sick. With him, I always came first.
In the evenings, my dad listened to classical music and read The Globe and Mail. He drove me to dance class and helped me with my math homework. My mom did most of the cooking, but every once in a while, he would pitch in. His speciality was corn chowder.
I always think of my dad when I make this chowder. I think of him frantically cutting onions and peeling carrots, desperately trying to get everything in the pot so that we could eat by 6:00 p.m.
Dad always worked so hard to make everything perfect for me, so that I never had to want something I couldn’t have. And even though I’m living on my own now, he still takes care of me, in whatever way he can. He reads Chatelaine and recommends articles I might like or recipes I should try. He calls me every week to make sure I’m doing okay. Whenever I go home, I can always count on finding a fridge stuffed with all my favourite food.
Like most men of his generation, my dad has a hard time telling me how he feels. Instead, he finds other ways to show me that he cares. Whether it’s by stocking up on mangoes and cantaloupes before Christmas break or wiping last night’s snowfall off my car’s windshield, he always makes sure I know that he loves me.
large kitchen knife
medium mixing bowl
4-5 slices bacon
1 small onion
2 cups cream style corn
4 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
Chop bacon into small pieces, about one inch. Fry until crispy in large pot. Slice onion and fry with bacon, stirring often, for five minutes. Add cubed potatoes and two cups of water. Slice carrots into medallions and add to pot. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add cream style corn and milk. Stir and heat (don’t boil) for about 15 to 20 minutes. Before serving, add butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
This chowder is best served with my recipe for tea biscuits.