I remember it like it was yesterday. The sun would shine through my bedroom window like a beacon, shining the light to the backyard. I would wake up, stick my feet into my fuzzy slippers and follow my nose down the hallway. The scent of maple filling the air, I’d stop at the edge of the kitchen and see my dad. Standing in the kitchen, a spatula in one hand, a cup of black coffee in the other, standing over the waffle maker.
“The first one was burnt,” he’d laugh. “So was the second and the third. But this time I’ve got it.”
My brother and I would sit down at the kitchen table, forks at the ready, waiting for our very own dad-made Belgian waffle. It wasn’t that dad couldn’t cook. It was that summer seemed to signify the beginning of dad-doing-the-cooking-season. It was probably the arrival of Memorial Day that brought it on, and dad leapt to the challenge. Suddenly he was making waffles in the morning, homemade Caesar dressing in the afternoon and, as the sun set, it was all about that grill.
So, with the official arrival of Dad-Doing-the-Cooking Season, Memorial Day and with Father’s day right around the corner, here are some must-have cooking gadgets that any dad would love to sport.
LaunchPort: This little port is also a charging station for your iPad. Get it for Dad so he can easily mount his favorite cooking videos in the kitchen as he works. www.launchport.com $350.00
HapiFork: If your dad is trying to watch what he eats, he’ll love this smart fork. It helps remind you to eat slowly with the use of lights and gentle vibration. It will also offer you a report for how long it took you to eat and the intervals between “fork servings.” www.hapi.com $99
Chemex Coffeemaker: Dads love their coffee, and this coffeemaker promises the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had. It’s an elegant looking hourglass shaped coffeemaker with polished wood and a bit of leather around it for insulation. www.chemexcoffeemaker.com $37.50
Motorized Grill Brush: Cleaning the grill is a pain in the butt, but this brush makes it much easier. It addition to a motorized head that does the scrubbing for you, it also has steam-powered action. www.brookstone.com $29.99
Molecular Gastronomy Set: For the dad that really wants to show off. This set will help dad create things like mint caviar beads that burst in your mouth or lemon foam, chocolate spaghetti and much more. It includes everything he needs to be a scientific wiz in the kitchen. www.moleculargastronomy.com $49.95
Sidebar: Think Outside the Grill for Memorial Day
Has your grill only seen burgers and hot dogs? Take your cookery to the next level and test out your culinary skills with these fun alternatives:
- Sandwiches: Think gourmet grilled cheese. Ditch American for Brie and top with grilled apples. Experiment with recreating a panini from your favorite bistro. Double- and triple-deckers encouraged.
- Veggies: This one seems like a no-brainer…if you’re boring about it. Grilled corn is amazing, but what else have you tried? Pick up a few random veggies and play around. Sweet potatoes are perfect, but so is jicama. See what pumpkin is like.
- Fresh fruits: Try surprising yourself with these. (The juicier the better.) Pineapple, watermelon and nectarines are classics. See if you like bananas or coconuts. Squeeze on some lime or even jalapenos for a kick. Season with spices like cumin or chili powder. Have the kids make their own fruit kabobs.
- S’mores: Can’t make a campfire? Your grill’s a fun alternative. If it’s a party, make a buffet-style table full of creative goodies. (This is where you bring out those grilled bananas.) Build your s’more and put it right on the grill. This works best with a grill master running things.
- Baked goods: Don’t want to heat up your house but you really need cookies? The grill is a rad alternative to your oven. Bonus, your patio will smell amazing.
Chris Arneson contributed to this story