When I was little, I hated broccoli. Dad loved broccoli.
Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure that it was really broccoli I disliked so much; I might have confused it with collard greens or mustard greens, which I REALLY did not care for.
But “broccoli” became the code word for all things food that I wouldn’t eat.
Dad loved to surprise us with a dinner out during the week, but he liked the mystery to sustain until we drove up to the restaurant and uttered little sighs of pleasure.
If I would ask where we were going, he’d reply, “I found a new broccoli place. That’s all they serve,” and the kicker, “and they have ice cream for dessert.” What flavor? “Broccoli brickle.”
“Broccoli brickle” became code for, “There’s something good in store for you, but I’m not going to tell you what it is.” It was also a catch-all for a term used to turn any common conversation into a family joke.
As I grew up, though, my taste buds became less discriminating and broccoli became one of my favorite foods. I can almost imagine broccoli ice cream tasting good.
Thinking of my dad on Father’s Day, and wishing everyone happy family memories past, present and future.