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What We Think About When We Think About Our Dads

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If, when thinking about a food you associate with your dad, you think pancakes, you're in good company: It's what I think of when I think of my dad, and it's what a good handful of the Food52 team thinks of, too. (Also frequent: eggs, waffles, French toast—Dads of the world: You and breakfast, huh?)

But it's not all breakfast. Here's what the Food52 team said when I asked, in honor of Father's Day and dear old you-know-who, what foods and recipes they think of first when they think about their dads:

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The Inessential, Essential Tool for Perfect Pancakes (& Everything Else)
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The Inessential, Essential Tool for Perfect Pancakes (& Everything Else)

Clare Slaughter: Red beans and rice. It's only thing he can cook, and a New Orleans-informed dish he could share with his Boston-raised kids.

Sarah Meister: I always think about ice cream and pizza when I think about my Dad, because that was all we would eat if my mom ever went away for a weekend.

Megan Lang: Growing up, my family and I would gather around the kitchen island every Sunday morning and watch my dad make stacks and stacks of French toast. I still request that he make it for me whenever I visit him. It's easily one of my top three favorite family traditions!

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More: Our Test Kitchen Chef Josh Cohen's dad makes the best French toast in the world (according to Josh).

A Challah French Toast That Can't be Improved Upon
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A Challah French Toast That Can't be Improved Upon

Carmen Ladipo: My dad would bake this moist better-than-banana mango loaf for quick breakfasts and delicious snacks. It hits the spot every time.

Lauren Locke: Apple "canpakes," as my dad so dad-jokingly calls them. We have them (or blueberry canpakes) every Christmas morning, and often when we get together.

Victoria Maynard: My dad grills a mean steak, so I think of him whenever I have a rib-eye.

Samantha Weiss-Hills: German chocolate cake. It's his favorite, and my mom hates it, so he gets it all to himself—an eternal birthday cake for one.

Kate Kudish: Toast! It was the only thing he made and it was usually burnt.

Photo by James Ransom

Hannah Wilken: My dad also used to burn toast for the two of us to eat till it was charred, and then would put butter and salt on it.

Rebecca Salisbury: Whenever my dad requests dinner, it ends up being braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts with bacon.

Natalia Panzer: Spaghetti bolognese and barbecued ribs. These were my dad’s specialties growing up. He and my mother each had a spaghetti recipe but we (my siblings and I) preferred his because it had brown sugar in it and generally more fat. And he would make these really amazing barbecued ribs with plum sauce.

Micki Balder: Blinis and oatmeal—basically the only two things my dad can make.

Grilled Fish Hoagies with Za’atar, Harissa Aioli, and Carrot Cilantro Pickle
Grilled Fish Hoagies with Za’atar, Harissa Aioli, and Carrot Cilantro Pickle

Jackson Fust: Grilled tuna. We always vacationed in Cape Hatteras over the Fourth of July and would buy fresh fish. My dad truly loves very rare grilled tuna and also making fresh tuna salad with it the next day. One time, after he grilled it perfectly, he told us, “All you can say is, Dad knows how to cook tuna." And then it was the only thing my brother would say for the rest of the trip.

Adam Becker: One of the things my dad and I have always bonded over (and still do) is barbecue. I have all kinds of memories of being in the backyard, cooking over both gas and charcoal grills as well as an electric smoker. Cooking a brisket or pork shoulder all day and reaping the benefits for dinner is one of the more satisfying things you can do!

What recipes make you think of your dad? Tell us about them in the comments.

Tags: father's day, food52 team