My father was not demonstrative as a whole; his Scots-Irish DNA prohibited it. He was a man of walk the talk, not talk the walk. If he was there, he loved us. The end.
When he wasn't at sea or didn't have duty, he was home every night for supper and he contributed, like the rest of us. He made the salad, I peeled the potatoes, my brother and sister set the table, and Mom did the rest.
Sometimes he was the cook, usually when we had "vegetable" dinner or breakfast for dinner.
Vegetable dinner consisted of pure carbs: black-eyed peas, rice for Hopping John, cornbread, sliced tomatoes with mayonnaise slathered all over them, turnip greens (for Mom) and my favorite - what my father jokingly referred to as Potatoes A La Patton.
Recipe: roughly mash potatoes with milk and butter, plop them on your plate and make a hole. In the hole, place raw chopped onions and mayonnaise, then mix.
The crunch of the onion, the tangy creaminess of the mayo all mixed in with the carrier potatoes - shut your pie hole! To this day they are one of my all time favorite comfort foods.
My dad fried eggs by ladling hot bacon grease over the top of them, no flipping involved.
I am convinced that a Southerner's blood is part bacon fat. We actually owned a canister set that included one for bacon grease. In my house, pouring a precious commodity like bacon grease down the drain was a first degree felony.
Fried corn, another one of my favorites, involved bacon grease.
Recipe: remove the kernels from a bunch of fresh corn. Saute in bacon grease (sub olive oil now) in a cast iron skillet (that is important). Ta da! Fried corn. Freezes well.
Not sure why it's called fried, batter was not involved.