ChefDad at the Bat

It looked extremely rocky for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood two to four , with but one inning left to play.
So when Cooney died at second, and Burroughs did the same,
A pallor wreathed the features of the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go, leaving there the rest,
With that hope that springs eternal within the human breast.
They thought, if only Casey could get a whack at that,
They’d put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.

–Ernest Lawrence Thayer, Casey at the Bat

When I was ten years old, my dad made me a deal that if I went a whole season in little league without striking out, he’d take me anywhere in the world I wanted to go for dinner. Now, at age 10 I didn’t know as much about cooking around the world as Mr. N and Miss A, and I think he figured I’d pick something familiar and local. I was, however, an adventurous eater and by about the third or fourth game of the season, I’d settled on Joe’s Stone Crabs in Miami. I’d never been there, but my dad would have occasion to travel there back then, and he always raved about it. In retrospect, he probably did some nudging to ensure that if I picked a place that would wind up costing him two plane tickets, he at least wanted stone crabs out of the deal. I also think he didn’t expect to have to pay up. Continue reading

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