“Why” Part One: Why Sunday Was the Best Father’s Day ever

I woke up a little bit later than usual for a Sunday morning. I still had four more Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Puddings to make for the Real Men Cook event later that day.

I tracked up the stairs trying to remember if I needed more whip cream or cream cheese. I found my son and my mom at the top of the stairs having a morning chat. “Happy Father’s Day Dad!” my sons said with a huge snaggle toothed smile. My mom wished me a Happy Father’s Day as well and they both gave me a hug.

There wasn’t much time to waste, so I headed back down stairs to get to work on last year’s winning dish. I was sure anyone who attended Real Men Cook ’07 would be looking for the banana pudding man. I took the milk and pudding out of the fridge and once again it was on.

woods-golf.jpgAbout the time I finished puddings one and two, my wife made her first appearance in the Father’s Day production. This excited the little fellow because now he could give me my gift. My son approached me with his arms folded behind his back, then extended his hands out towards me.

“Here Dad,” he said with a grin. It was a case containing Tiger Woods Golf ’08 for our Nintendo Wii. He handed me the gift, then preceded to hound me for the next two hours to open up the game and play a round of golf. But I couldn’t, I had work to do.

After a special Father’s Day breakfast prepared by my sweetie (pancakes and sausage) it was back on pudding duty. I realized how much faster things had going the night before when little man was helping me out, so I enlisted his services for the final push. He was eager to help because he figured this would get us on the Wii that much faster.

“Go wash your hands,” I said. He left out and returned to his job of lining the foil pan with Jackson’s Vanilla Wafers and bananas. After putting the finishing touches on the last batch, I had about an hour before I was supposed to arrive at the African-American Museum for Real Men Cook. But I had a tee time upstairs, so I obliged my little helper.

After playing the front nine, I rolled down I-30 towards Fair Park. When I arrived, the heat was “flamboyant” as we used to say and the museum was full of activity. Chefs were setting their tables, volunteers were getting folks signed in, and the event’s producer Terry Allen was running around doing a little bit of everything.


Real Men Cook ’08 was an excellent showcase of African-American Men. It’s becoming a Father’s Day tradition in cities around the country, as people flowed through the line discussing events they attended previous years in Chicago and Atlanta. Of course Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding was a big hit once again, and was described as “delicious,” “perfect” and “a taste explosion.” And my mama was there and I had to tell folks it’s not her recipe…it’s my mother-in-law’s.

real-men-cook-logo.jpgMy chef’s assistant Dorian and I had a great time chatting up tasters and serving out our dilectible dish. Brothers prepared wings, potato salad, pasta, speghetti, even Sweet Potato Soup. By four o’clock, people could hardly move as folks continued to flow thorough the door in a steady stream. We had to shut the pudding line down for a while to regroup.

They didn’t announce the winning dish, but I’m feeling good about our chances for a repeat. My mother-in-law still can’t believe how well the dish is received. Upon making it home, my wife and I started up the DVR and watched the final round of the U.S. Open over a 45 minutes stretch.

There was a time when watching golf major tournaments was a Sunday ritual, but not so much now with the little fellow around. The golf wasn’t as exciting as Round 3 on Saturday, but watching Tiger Woods birdie number 18 to force an eighteen hole playoff was a nearly perfect ending to an almost perfect Father’s Day.

I was on my feet from sun up from sun down, but sometimes that’s just how it is. I thank God for the son he has given me and the recipe that my mom in law has given me as well. From the look on my child’s face while we played Wii, to witnessing Tiger’s reaction to his 4 on the par 5 eighteenth, It was a Father’s Day I’ll never forget.

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