When dinner was dad's choice, on his birthday or father's day, he would choose pork tenderloin, Spanish rice and banana cream pie. He rarely wavered and, I think, preferred his mother's birthday meal to all others. Once I progressed beyond Minute Rice and microwave popcorn I did my best to learn how to make my grandmother's version of Dad's favorite meal. The pie portion was always a disaster but in time I was able to put together a decent pork tenderloin, despite having not eaten pork in ten years, and some very nice tasting Spanish rice.
Yesterday morning the girls and I wandered the aisles at the grocery store, trying to come up with something interesting to make for dinner as Jack, who usually opts for dinner out, choose spending Father's Day at home. He's a meat eater married to a quasi vegetarian so on this day, and his birthday, I will consider the idea of perhaps, but not always, preparing meat. It was the mangoes that inspired me, "what if we make a pork tenderloin on the grill, we can have fish also, and then make tacos?". We bought avocados, cilantro and tortillas, plus jicama and cucumber for a salad.
As Kate and I put together a marinade for the pork I decided to add rice to our meal, using a salsa verde to make a green Spanish rice. It was then that I noticed, without intention I was creating my own version of my Dad's favorite meal, and my Mexico loving father would have welcomed my stuffing his beloved pork tenderloin into a corn tortilla to be topped with tomatoes, cilantro and crema.
The one who cheered for me most and yelled at me often (most notably on that decision to not eat meat) still impacts the choices I make every day. Salud Dad, it was a most delicious dinner, but we skipped the pie. Best to end on a high note and ice cream cones are just down the block.