Cooking with Barbara: From Father to Daddy

By Barbara Crady Whitley

Cooking with Barbara: From Father to Daddy

It has been said that any male can father a child, but it takes a special man to become a daddy. In the Crady household, there was never any question as to whom my daddy was: he was the one who would swing me, as a little girl, high on his shoulder when he arrived home from a long day at his sawmill job. He always smelled like freshly cut wood, never like one would think after long hours outside in the sun. In the autumn, I remember him raking up big piles of leaves for me and my four brothers to play in. We thought that doing that was the end result, not-withstanding it was necessary for a tidy yard.

Daddy was ever in the process of “doing” something. He was rarely still. He could do anything: repair cars, burn those pesky leaves, make the most horrendously thick chicory coffee, fashion a pine needle doll.

In the Crady household, there was a definite division of labor. Daddy provided the means by which his wife and children were able to survive and prosper. Momma provided the sustenance of food, hugs, wiping away of tears, clean sheets, clean bodies and a clean kitchen from which emanated mouth-watering aromas.

The only food I recall my father preparing (and this story might be apocryphal) was one evening when my mother was unable to make food for us. Daddy found some cornmeal and fresh corn, mixed the two, and put the concoction into small Mason jar lids for us to eat. We thought this the food of the gods, but the next day was equally as astoundingly painful!

That was definitely the last time my mother left Daddy in charge of a meal. I still to this day love the look of Mason jar lids.

Grilling was not an acceptable method of cooking in the Crady household, so I was especially delighted when, as a teenager, my new life-long friend, Delores, invited me to her home for steaks cooked on the grill by her father. As the sizzling meat was placed on my plate, my still developing palate was expanded several degrees. And then, to cut into the rare meat and taste the caramelized flavor awakened a desire for grilled food I had not yet known.

In the Whitley household, divisions of labor have been somewhat blurred, but one is certain – my husband has always been the “griller.” Generally, on Father’s Day, even though it is ostensibly a day to honor fathers and give them a day off, Whit (my husband) has never begged off this task. He has become quite a master of knowing just how much charcoal, just how long it will take for the coals to become that perfect deep glowing red, and how many minutes to achieve the desired internal temperature of the meat.

One of our favorite grilling recipes is for a Jamaican Jerk pork tenderloin that we always have for Father’s Day. I prepare the marinade, let the meat stand for several hours, and just when the coals are ready, on goes the tenderloin. Generally, it’s best when there is quite a bit of pink internally and when the marinade has been allowed to crust somewhat from the heat.

The joy of gathering the family and sharing a meal is a wonderful way to celebrate a special day. I hope you all enjoy Father’s Day this year and take the time to reflect on the special moments you shared with your daddy. Until next time, keep cooking!

Jamaican Jerk Marinade

1½ cups chopped onion
1½ cups chopped green onion
½ cup olive oil
½ cup orange juice
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup thyme
1 tbs minced fresh ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Serrano chili
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

Puree until smooth paste forms. Spread evenly over two 12 oz. pork tenderloins and marinate at least 6 hours.

Cooking with Barbara: From Father to Daddy

About this writer

  • Barbara Crady Whitley is a Master Baker and owner of Crady’s Eclectic Cuisine on Main Street in Conway, South Carolina. She offers cooking classes once a month. For more information visit:, find them on Facebook or call 843-248-3321.

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2 Responses to “Cooking with Barbara: From Father to Daddy”

  1. That is a mouth-watering recipe and a wonderful portrayal of your dad. My husband is the griller, too. Enjoyed reading your story.

  2. Sounds delicious Barbara! I am a novice griller myself… might have to give it a try and surprise my own dad for Father’s Day this year : )

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