As the axiom goes, if there's a way to a man's heart, it's through food. If that man happens to be your father, chances are that pathway is paved with gold foil-wrapped chocolate bricks and snakes in and out of a lush wood, where streams of beer whisper promises and the animals are already done medium-rare. And since Sunday is the holiest of days in which to pay tribute to your epicurean pop, Father's Day, why not get him a present that recognizes his truest passions? Well, Clean Plate Charlie has a few ideas for you so you can save your thinking power for developing a Sunday-night menu that'll leave him sated for the next year.
1. KitchenAid Hand Immersion Blender
: No one really knows just how useful an immersion blender is until they get one. But you can rest assured Dad will appreciate this baby. No more transferring simmering soups from pot to rusty old standup blender; no more toiling over chunky sauces. For $50, this stud from KitchenAid should last a lifetime. It sports a stainless-steel blade and splash guard (the plastic arms get all funky) with an eight-inch depth. It also has variable speeds and comes apart quickly for easy cleaning. This gadget will save Dad a lot of frustration in the kitchen, and that's a gift that'll keep on giving.
2. Rogue Brewery's Dad's Little Helper Malt Liquor
: Dad loves nothing more than to lounge around on Sundays with a cold brew watching golf on TV. Typically, the beer he chooses to do his lounging with is light drinking lager or a crisp malt liquor. Pay tribute to that tradition of great, American malt-liquorey while simultaneously upping the craft beer ante by getting Pops a couple of bomber bottles of Dad's Little Helper. The sweet, crisp malt is lagered in a traditional fashion but is made from premium Midwest corn and Oregon crystal hops for an exceptionally bold flavor. Dad will love it because he won't think it's one of those "froufrou beers you kids like to drink." You'll love it because you're secretly turning Dad on to craft beer. That's a win-win.
3. Serious Barbecue by Adam Perry Lang
: It's no secret dads love to toil over hot coils, listening to the sizzle of fat as drips of honkin' slices of meat. Dad may handle all the grilling in your house, but even the most seasoned grill hand could stand to learn a thing or two about good 'cue. Adam Perry Lang's Serious Barbecue
is widely regarded as one of the best books on the subject -- a tome of knowledge and a cache of great recipes that will inspire Dad for a while to come. The book doesn't just cover low-and-slow 'cue as we know it. It also covers the other side of American "barbecue": grilling in your backyard over an open flame. And it's a steal at just over $20.