I lost my dear father on April 5th. I was such a daddy’s girl right down to my love of food. My father worked as a restaurant manager for most of my life. I’ve seen the inside story of so many restaurant chains. And when I was growing up, the best meals I remember at home were made by my dad. He had this meatball recipe that I just loved. He called the Iowanian meatballs. Truly, now that I know the recipe, I’m kind of grossed out by it, but I’m telling you that we loved spaghetti and meatball nights. And he would often pick up a large chef’s salad from the Dixie Cafe, which would feed the entire family as a side dish with spaghetti and meatballs.

Over the last several years, I swear every conversation my father and I had somehow made its way to food. I never felt more proud than when my father would call me up and ask me how to cook something or some other question about food. And daddy always let me know he was reading my blogs. I am loved by a lot of people and I have a ginormous family, but the my daddy’s love was just bigger.

When I was young, I thought my father pushed too hard, that he was too strict, too demanding. As I grew older, I realized that my dad’s pushing was because he was proud of me. He believed in me like none other. He pushed because he knew what I could be. And I am the person I became because of that pushy man. It’s hard to imagine that he won’t be here pushing me forward, but the values and work ethic he instilled will always propel me forward.

I just wish we could go have one more crappy hotdog stand hot dog. I guess I will always feel that way. However, I am eternally grateful for the time we had.

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