As a bachelor, my dad had a trick or two up his sleeve.
My father, native of Yonkers, New York, former Pan Am captain and Marine Corps veteran for life, knows a thing or two, about a thing or two.
Dad could fly 288 passengers safely from New York to New Delhi, rocket down the double blacks of Austrian, snow-capped mountains, and solve almost every cantankerous calculus problem my sister and I encountered. (We're still working on things like navigating Instagram and programming the iPhone, but hey, that's what daughters are for!)
Though no son or daughter likes to speculate too much about 'life before mom' (what life before mom?!), it's pretty clear to me that a career as an airline pilot for the world's most glamorous airline, Pan Am, may have come with a few perks. Perks like flight attendants and free travel. Or was it free travel with flight attendants? I'm not sure. I won't ask. In any case, my dad was either in uniform or a bomber jacket. You get the idea.
As a happy bachelor, who literally traveled the world, dad was armed with three things: A moustache (it was the 70's, after all), a passport and a recipe - Breakfast soufflé.
The significance of this recipe didn't really become clear to me until later in life, but I get it now. Any man who can whip up a soufflé, is ahead of the game. He actually scoffs at the game.
So here you have it, in his own words, as emailed to me by my father...
"Tess, this actually has a name. It is affectionately known as the 'I had you last night, breakfast soufflé' - perhaps that should be left out.
Put the butter in the soufflé dish and put into a 425*F oven until the butter melts and starts to bubble, about 10 minutes. Watch it! The minute you turn around, it burns!
Beat together eggs, milk, sugar, flour and salt until smooth.
Throw the mixture into the bubbly butter as soon as you take the dish from the oven.
Return the whole thing to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Sweeten your fruit as you think necessary and dump it into the center of the soufflé.
Since his days of bachelor-dom, dad has expanded his repertoire to include a few other recipes, including bolognese, damn-fine chili and an oh-so-fancy scallop dish with fried sage, but this sweet number is just a little legendary. It truly is delicious. I mean, it would have to be. Mom was a flight attendant. The rest is history.