A FEAST FOR MY FATHER
By Doc Lawrence
Dad remains my hero. A combat soldier in World War II who still hates war, a good and decent man who did his best to give his family a wonderful life and never thought of expecting anything in return. But, my father also enjoys good food, particularly things that are farm fresh, often advising me during my adolescent “know-it-all” days that home grown tomatoes would extend my life.
Now, I pray he’s right.
My feast for Father’s Day is what I would serve the great blockade-runner and smuggler, Captain Rhett Butler, a man who enjoyed the finer things in life and, according to Margaret Mitchell’s book, got what he wanted. Because Rhett Butler was from Charleston, the great epicurean center of the Southern Atlantic Coast, lived in Atlanta, traveled to Paris and New York, and had business in New Orleans, we can assume that he loved Champagne, was very familiar with the wines of the world and had a refined palate that was attuned to great dishes that, as we say down here, were properly prepared.
We’ll begin his feast with a few pours of chilled Champagne served with snacks that are salty. Caviar (quality domestic caviar is available now) in some form; perhaps something with anchovies? This will stimulate conversation and invigorate those appetites.
The first course should have roots in Charleston and Savannah, two cities that have a related food heritage. My choice is She-Crab Soup, that fabulous dish made with crab roe and seasoned with a touch of fine sherry. I would not hesitate, by the way, to serve a quality semi-dry sherry with it.
Just like the super fellow with such a big heart I’m honoring this Sunday.