One of the best parts about going home after a long day at work is being able to talk to my father.
Because of an illness, my father joined the mayhem at our house in April.
At this point in my life, when most people are too busy to reconnect with their elders, I love having my now healthy father be so much a part of my life.
In his 70s, my father's hands are weathered by time and hard work in the local brick plants. As temperatures drop during the winter months, his hands have a tendency to dry out and sometimes painfully crack open.
However, a dirty dish doesn't sit too long in the sink at our house.
"It helps keep my hands busy," he replies when I tell him he doesn't need to do the dishes. "Anyway, I think it helps my hands."
Those busy hands never let anyone who walks through our door go without eating.
It's a lesson he taught me so many years ago that remains dear to my heart now.
One of my most favorite things as a child was watching my dad make breakfast on the weekends. It was great to sit at the kitchen table, the room filled with the smell of bacon frying, while he drank coffee and chopped onions, celery and potatoes to fry in a cast-iron skillet.
He let me break eggs into a bowl to be scrambled with the other stuff. I also had the privilege of making the toast.
It was time for me to talk about boys, show him my artwork, and talk about my problems and my goals for the future.
After listening to me (and offering advice about my problems), he shared stories about our family history, what he did at work and his opinions about life.
I knew who my father was, where he came from and what he hoped my future (and my sister and brother's) would be.
It was father-daughter time. Apparently we were ahead of our time, but we didn't know that. We were just sharing a moment together while cooking.
Young then, with jet-black hair and no wrinkles on his face, my father's hands were young too.
I can't explain how great it is, that at almost 44-years-old and finally feeling the ground under my feet after having my world and that of my children turned upside down a year ago, to wake up to the familiar smells of my childhood and wander into the kitchen to find my father drinking coffee, whistling and listening to his favorite music on the CD player while making breakfast.
It almost brought tears to my eyes the morning I found my son sitting with his "grandpa" at the kitchen table, sharing a cup of coffee and family stories as the smell of bacon filled the air.
Time has made it a little difficult to hold a knife and cut for a long period of time, but my father's an inventive man. There is a large pair of metal scissors hanging above the stove for when he cooks.
I hope that sharing my father's "breakfast skillet" recipe will inspire people to share a cooking experience and reconnect with their family members.
Take a piece of bacon and wipe the inside of a cast iron skillet before cooking a pound of bacon slices until crunchy.
While the bacon is cooking, chop two medium sized onions, four stalks of celery (including the leaves) and 4-5 red potatoes. After removing the bacon, drain half the grease into a pan to save for cooking later.
Fry the onions, celery and potatoes in the remaining grease until they begin to brown. Do not season at this time.
While waiting, crack at least 4-6 eggs in a bowl and mix well with three tablespoons of sour cream and sit aside.
When the vegetables are light brown, stir in a tablespoon of minced garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes before adding the egg mixture.
Let eggs cook for 3-5 minutes. A tip to keep the eggs overcooking, my father shuts off the stove and lets the heat of the skillet finish the cooking. Sprinkle some shredded cheese over the top before serving.
Mushrooms can also be added to this recipe, and sausage can replace the bacon.
I hope you are able to enjoy this recipe with a loved one.