Tulips in the garden

Tulips in the Park

But the Tulips I like best

Are the Two Lips in the dark.

I don’t remember the first time I heard my father say that little ditty, but I do know that I heard it so many times – along with his dozen or so of other corny jokes and sayings – that when there are but a few dozen brain cells left in this poor old head, they will be the ones taking up the space.

Seriously.  I can’t look at tulips without thinking of it.  I can’t get into an elevator without thinking of his midget joke.  Or see a keg of beer and not think of his light beer story.

And now, when you look at tulips, you’ll probably remember that you heard the silliest little rhyme about them…

Pop lives on…

I was thinking of Pop earlier toady when I kinda flashed back on Valentine’s Days of my youth.  To say that my father spoiled my mother would be a bit of an understatement.  When she got up on Valentine’s Day, there would be a pile of gifts awaiting her on the kitchen table.  See’s chocolates, flowers, a new outfit or two (my father bought a lot of my mothers clothes.  He had impeccable taste when it came to what she would like and what looked good on her.)  Her birthday, Mother’s Day, their Anniversary… Mountains of gifts and sappy cards signed “RJ.”  Of course she saved every one…

They had their differences and they had their rocky moments, but my father appreciated her and knew how hard she worked keeping the house and six kids together while he was gone for his 24 hour fire department shifts and then off at his second job – because being a San Francisco Fire Fighter alone wouldn’t pay the bills.

A pile of gifts was only fitting – and he had as much fun buying them and we had as much fun watching her open them as she did. And he kept it up for the remainder of their 53 year marriage.

It’s funny the things you remember.

It’s also funny the habits you pick up.  We finally had to call a gift-moratorium a few years ago because we were doing the same thing to each other.  When we each bought the exact same ice cream maker – color, brand, and style – one Christmas (after stating no single-use appliances) we knew it was time to stop.

So while the urge is still there to buy out the store, a couple dozen tulips with a ditty by Pop, and a nice dinner is more in keeping with reality.

And a nice dinner, it was.

Pork tenderloin, twice-baked sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts.

I sliced the tenderloin into six steaks and marinated them in buttermilk, garlic, salt and pepper.  I then breaded them with panko breadcrumbs and fried them in a bit of olive oil.

The twice-baked sweets were really good.  After baking them, I scooped them out and mixed the potato with a bit of sour cream, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits.  Back into the oven they went for about 15 minutes.

The brussels sprouts just got a bit of butter, salt, and pepper.

Fun memories, a yummy dinner, and more of last night’s cake later for dessert with the best guy on the planet.

I’d say it was a successful Valentine’s Day.