Give your father one more tie for Father's Day and he'll strangle you with it. No socks or handkerchiefs either; his drawers are overflowing. Scotch is okay, but that's what your brother is giving him.
So what do you do?
You think like a dad, that's what you do. And what do dads think about? Eating. Hearty stuff and spicy. Messy enough to stick to your cheeks and cover your hands like gloves. Drink-with-beer stuff. That's what you give him for Father's Day. A spicy, messy barbecue that you, not he, barbecues.
Shrimp is the perfect choice. Mix up a hot, cayenne pepper barbecue sauce, fire up the coals and spear big, juicy shrimp on metal skewers. Then get a keg, a case, a six-pack or Moussy beer, depending on your dad's beer-drinking habits, and hand your father the first glass.
Make or buy some salads, potato, coleslaw or bean. No pasta, please. Real dads are sick of it. Corn on the cob is a must, no decent barbecue goes on without. Wrap the bright yellow corncobs in foil and place on the grill about 15 minutes before the shrimp. For dessert, scoop up smooth, gleaming balls of ice cream to cool him off. Then sit back, stay out of the way and watch him eat.
Below is a quick and napkin-eating recipe for spicy cajun shrimp. Try it with the Roman potato salad; it's different and very easy to fix. So, if Dad has butter, sugar, oil, salt and pepper in his kitchen, it will take just a short trip through the express lane. He'll never know you left.
Express Lane list: shrimp, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, potatoes, olive oil, scallions (optional) CAJUN BARBEQUED SHRIMP (4 servings)
FOR THE SAUCE:
2 1/2 cups butter
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, minced
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper or to taste
FOR THE SHRIMP:
4 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined, leaving shells on tails
Oil for grill
Heat all sauce ingredients, stirring frequently, until butter has melted. String the shrimp on metal skewers. Oil the grill, place the shrimp across the grill and baste with the sauce. Be sure not to overcook the shrimp; as soon as they turn pink, they are done. Serve the shrimp with extra sauce. ROMAN POTATO SALAD (4 servings)
3 large boiling potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 scallion, finely chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Scrub the potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise, leaving the skins on. Place in boiling water and boil for 10 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce them. Do not overcook.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them if you wish and dice them.
While they are still warm, toss them with the olive oil and scallion. Season to taste and serve at room temperature.