Julie Anne, Tatjana, and Nick Rhodes

Twenty-four years ago I lay across my bed like a beached whale (about to pop Tatjana out) reading Bill Cosby’s book on Fatherhood. I had tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard, because it really hit home. Now that I’m recumbent yet again as my ankle heals, the book provides an equally funny read. There is a particular chapter entitled “No Hope on a Rope” that made me roar about Father’s Day gifts. I remember giving my father soap-on-a-rope, a gift described in the book as ” not the dumbest present you can get, but it is certainly second to thousands of yards of dental floss. Have you ever tried to wash your feet with soap-on-a-rope? You could end up with a sudsy hanging”

One of the funniest books ever
In fact I was guilty of most sins described in that chapter. My other favorite excerpt being how his wife made him give $20.00 to each kid (he had five), so “the kids then go to the store and get two packages of underwear, each of which costs five dollars and contains three shorts. They tear them open and each kid wraps a pair of shorts for me. (The sixth pair is saved for the Salvation Army drive.) Therefore, on this Father’s Day, I will be walking around in new underwear and my kids will be walking around with ninety dollars change.”

Culprits: my sister Patty and I with Dad
Other less than desirable gifts listed in the book included a bottle of Old Spice, the ninety-seventh tie, a sweater (in June), or yard tools which Mr. Cosby is quick to point out “It is time the families of America realized that a father on Father’s Day does not want to be pointed in the direction of manual labor.”

The repentant daughter today
All I can say is I stand guilty as charged, and I’m sorry Dad! I will be giving my father this treasured book for Father’s Day this year. I know he will enjoy reading it, maybe not as much as a Mercedes or Corvette, but it’s within my price range (I don’t ask dad to cough up money for his own gift anymore.) What lame pressies have you given your father over the years, and what will you be surprising him with this year?

Fusion Flank Steak

Since Dad is master of the grill in our family… here is a marinade for Father’s Day that he will love too!

Servings: 4


  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dry Sherry
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 Serrano chiles, membranes and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese five spice
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/4 pound flank steak
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Directions:Ā 1). In a large mixing bowl, mix together rice vinegar, Sherry, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, Serrano chiles, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Chinese five spice, paprika, coriander, and cardamom. Whisk in the sesame oil. Add steak, turning a few times to coat well. Marinate the meat, refrigerated, for up to 12 hours, turning occasionally to allow it to marinate evenly.2). Preheat a hot grill.3). Remove meat from marinade 30 minutes before grilling to allow it to come to room temperature. Reserve the marinade for basting while you grill. Pour it into a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat, simmer for 5 minutes.4). Season meat and grill 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare, basting with marinade before turning, or as desired. Let meat rest, tented with foil, for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

5). Slice meat across the grain, into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Serving Suggestions: Serve with Five Spice Sweet Potato Oven Fries, and Asian Carrot Slaw.
PS. Only two days left to vote for the Ladies That Lunch Menu winner.
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