It’s midnight, so technically it’s not Father’s Day anymore. But I’m still thinking of my dad, and his smile, and how he magically knows how to do everything, from baiting a hook to building a miniature dollhouse, from frying Oreos to rebuilding a 1955 Cameo, and how he worries about me, in his quiet way, and how he beams when all his babies are nearby, and how he’s changed, for the better, and how he’s become stronger and younger somehow, and how much I love him. That’s all.
Sometimes, when the world feels a little crazy, I look for this video. It’s the rooftop, and the wind, and the fur coats and the Bobby hats, and George laughing, and the cameraman in the shot, and the way the song just feels like a bit of fear and a bit of hope, and the pure trust of putting your heart in someone else’s hands.
If you only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.
Some of my favorite dishes don’t come from a printed recipe – they come from a friend or family member or acquaintance who jots something down or tells you the ingredients quickly over the phone.
My mom used to make Hobo Joes for us when I was a kid. I have no idea where that name came from, but I imagine it refers to a foil packet of food that could be cooked over a fire by a vagabond. Where did my family get this non-recipe? No clue.
It’s basically a steamed packet of goodness that you can tailor to whatever you like and whatever’s in your fridge.
Lay out a few sheets of foil. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Or 400°F. Whatever floats your boat. Mix a half a pound of ground beef (or ground turkey?) with some Lawry’s seasoning (or whatever seasoning you like, just make sure there’s some salt), and form two patties (or roll into little meatballs). Set aside. On the foil, layer sliced (or diced!) potatoes with any other veggies you want – canned mixed veggies, sliced zucchini, mushrooms, corn – whatever. Be sure to salt them a little as you go. Top with some canned diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes), sprinkle everything with salt and pepper, then plop the beef patty on top. Fold into a well-sealed foil packet and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the veggies are tender. You can either eat it straight from the foil or slide the goodness onto a plate. Spoon on some salsa. Or sour cream. Or sprinkle with cheese. Whatever makes your mouth happy.
And that’s a hobo Joe – one of the most comforting dishes I know. :)