Archive | 11:52 PM

My Dad, the Super Bowl and a Dirty Kitchen

5 Feb

There isn’t a day when I don’t think about my Dad, but some days I think about him all day. Super Bowl happens to be one of those days. Not so much because of the game or awesome commercials, but because of the presence of family in the kitchen. His ability to rise to the cooking challenge and destroy the kitchen in the process was a ritual often saved for Thanksgiving, however the Super Bowl also required a batch of fresh-smelling Fabulouso and Clorox Wipes.

One Super Bowl, I remember telling him how much I wanted Kentucky Fried Chicken or El Pollo Loco. I told him it would be so much easier to just to pick up some treats and eat up.

Kentucky Fried Chicken/KFC Original Recipe chi...

Image via Wikipedia

“I don’t buy chicken. I sell chicken. Thousands of them. Why would you want chicken anyway. We should have carne asada. But if you want chicken I can make that for you. We don’t have to buy it. It’s easy.”

“No Dad, you can’t. Let’s just buy it.”

And there it was … I went and did it.

You see, my Dad is also like me. He lives by the Lero Lero Factor. There’s not direct translation from the Spanish language but the best I could do is the “in your face…in your face!” expression. It’s the ability to feel vindicated and accomplish something after someone tells you that you couldn’t do it. It warms your heart and makes you smile. It’s a powerful feeling of satisfaction.  It’s the Lero Lero Factor.

And as soon as I said it…as soon as the words ‘you can’t’ left my mouth I knew it was over. He was up for the challenge. Watch out Food Network Chito was in the house. No need for an apron.

My dad brought out the frying pans and the old-school skillets that we probably had since 1985. He raided the fridge and pantry for the ingredients and lit the fire.

Two hours later the stove was covered in Mazola Oil, a hundred dishes in the sink, cilantro all over the counter, tomato on the walls, flour in his hair, on the floor, and on the ceiling. He would bring out the platter and of course it looked nothing like the chicken in the commercials. He’d smile and nod.

English: We grilled chicken thighs, corn on th...

Image via Wikipedia


“That looks nothing like The Colonel’s KFC special recipe or El Pollo Loco’s flame grilled Mexican Chicken.”

“Hey, hey, hey. We’re Guatemalan. Besides, I didn’t say it would look like it. I said it would taste like it.”

So I’d grab a drumstick from each pile and took a bite. I looked up and smiled. We’d watch the game and finish most of the chicken.

Just as this happened my mom would walk in see the catastrophic mess in the kitchen and fly off the handle, letting the Spanish profanity roll off her tongue. She had just cleaned the kitchen.

My dad would turn and look at me.

“It was your daughter. I’ll have her clean it up.”

Looking at my parents clean kitchen this Super Bowl Sunday I remembered my Dad. I missed the flour on the ceiling and tomato on the walls.