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If food is the way to a man's heart, surely Father's Day is perfect timing. Even though not as much fuss is made for dad as there is for mom on Mother's Day, he is far from forgotten.
For proof we look to the traditions observed annually by two local families, the John and Shelley Sutherland family of Toledo and the Ron and Joanne Glick family of Perrysburg. Each has a lakefront summer home, which guarantees an out-of-town destination for family fun and waterfront dining.
While we talked about Father's Day traditions, we also peeked into Mrs. Glick's and Mrs. Sutherland's recipe files and found some real treasures. The grandmothers agreed to share some of the favorite recipes that will be prepared for Father's Day. But note who will be cooking at the grill - for them, it's a man thing.
In the Sutherland family, the men go fishing while the rest of the family stays at their lakefront home. "The men can do whatever they want to on Father's Day," Shelley Sutherland said. "The food waits until they come back."
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For Dr. Sutherland, Father's Day is a double celebration. The Sutherlands' first child, Jason, was taken home from the hospital that day in 1976. "We figured it was the very best Father's Day gift in the world," Mrs. Sutherland said.
The fishing crew includes Dr. Sutherland; Jason; a second son, Jeremy, and son-in-law John Kessinger.
If the men return home with perch or pickerel, it will be the mainstay of the dinner served on the outdoor deck overlooking Lake Erie. A professional potato peeler makes quick work of cleaning the fish, then Dr. Sutherland breads it lightly and cooks it in oil.
Mrs. Sutherland, her daughter Amy, and daughter-in-law Kristen make sure there are plenty of appetizers. Cowboy Caviar, made with black-eyed peas and served with lime-flavored corn chips, is a family favorite. A chili cheese dip is another appetizer that goes fast.
Mrs. Sutherland has added a new touch to the baked cheesy potatoes she makes with frozen hash browns - crushed cheese crackers give a more flavorful topping than the usual bread crumbs. Desserts at the Sutherland summer home on Sunday will no doubt feature a Fruit Pizza, mud pudding, and, if plans go right, homemade ice cream served with chocolate sauce. It is no ordinary sauce that is poured from a can, but one that is cooked following a recipe that the late Jim Sutherland, Dr. Sutherland's father, got from a New York City hotel chef.
Some of the 25 members of the Glick family will miss the Father's Day celebration at their summer home at Farwell Lake near Jackson, Mich., this year, but there still will be plenty of children and grandchildren present when Mr. Glick fires up the grill and Mrs. Glick prepares one of her specialty menus on Sunday. Chances are there will be new recipes, just as there were for the Memorial Day weekend, when Mrs. Glick surprised them with red, white, and blue cole slaw and a caramelized onion dip.
The mother of five and grandmother of 14 never tires of searching for new recipes. Mr. Glick, who retired as the vice president and general manager of Weyerhaeuser Containerboard Packaging Division, praises his wife as "an adventurous cook."
When Mr. Glick grills steaks, they are branded with R.J.G., his initials. The personalized branding iron and a large smoker that does ribs perfectly were both Father's Day gifts. He prefers the pricey Niman beef that is produced in the Midwest and said to be similar to Japanese Kobe beef. But he does not marinate the meat. "If you get a good piece of meat you don't need to marinate it. Keeping turning those babies, is the key," he said. Usually the steaks share grill space with colossal, colorful vegetable kabobs that Ms. Glick bathes in a barbecue sauce. For dessert, Mr. Glick can usually expect a fresh cherry pie, his favorite.
The five Glick children don't have to call their mom for a recipe because she gave each a thick cookbook of her recipes written in longhand. When the grandchildren are married they also will receive copies of With Love from My Kitchen. Some recipes go back to the 10 years they lived in Gig Harbor, Wash., and to other places they called home, including Williamsburg and Florida, before they decided "back home was best" and they returned to the Toledo area and purchased a villa in Perrysburg.
The whole family, which includes three sets of twins, will be at the lake house for the July 4 weekend. They are Jane and Doug Glick and their three children, of Temperance; daughter Angela and her husband, Mike Parker and their five children, of Sylvania; Traci and R.J. and their three children, of Monroe, Ohio, near Cincinnati; Paul Glick, of Seattle, and Lynn and Michael Glick and their three children, of Grafton, Mass.
Mary Alice Powell is a retired Blade food editor.
Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.