Tag Archives: father’s day


So, just watched a really great little photo essay on the importance of Dads and thought I would share this poem about my Dad and the wonderful man he was.
Shells of the Summer of ‘62
by Joan Leotta
The soft ripple of low tide
rolled in to chill our toes.
Dad said the damp sand
was good for walking.
He pulled up the collar of my jacket.
Wind was pushing dark clouds our way.
There’d be no afternoon of sun and sandcastles.
We hopped over lines of soft white foam
zigzagging across the strip of brown sand
between our place and the ocean.
Gulls screeched, “Go back!”
I never looked up. My eyes were set
to hunt treasures in dawn’s tide.
At last I spotted something!
An orange fan! A perfect scallop shell!
Surf crashed with sudden interest in my search.
Foam fingers fastened on my prize,
pulling it back out into the ocean.

Without even rolling up his pants,
He chased the wave back out toward the rocks.
He bent over and put down his hand.
Another wave swelled up.
“Dad, look out!”
In another second he was completely soaked.
But he had my shell.
I have it still.

_____My beautiful picture__
So, postscript to the poem. I married a man with the same wonderful qualities as my Dad. He is a great husband and a great father. Virtual hugs to my Dad (now in heaven) and to my beloved husband, real hugs and kisses and best wishes on Father’s Day

Sweet and Hotter than Honey!

Sweet thoughts for Dad


In the course of my work as a food writer, I am sometimes offered new food products to try. This one is a timely offering for those of you who have Dads who like their food with a bit of extra “kick”. These products, as a group are known as Henry’s Humdingers. They are a set of are honey sauces with spices that bring up the heat. Eaten alone or, better yet, used to flavor foods on the grill, from the roast pan and on appetizer cheese, these will make meals more lively. Made with raw honey and spices, there is one more sweet fact about these items which may well become as the ad says, the “secret ingredient” in your summer cooking. That extra sweetness is that these sauces were developed by a young man who is donating part of what he earns to The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees. You can find out more about the product and the need to care for our precious honey bees at the Humdinger website, www.henryshumdingers.com

 In 2011 founder Henry won the award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011. His product is on shelves in stores in 27 different states and the District of Colombia. Stores that carry the product range from small organic specialty shops to top-of-the-line grocery chain, Wegman’s.


At this time, there are no stores in my home area carrying the delightful piquant-power packed sweets. Mine came in the mail. I received, from the company, to try, their

Father’s Day, the company special four-pack that includes of some of its most popular sauces.  It’s priced at 19.95 plus shipping for Father’s day. The four are Grumpy Grandpa – garlic & cayenne, Naughty Nana -ginger & pepper, Phoebe’s Fireball- chipotle & cinnamon & Diabolical Dad – habanero & lime.


My husband (appropriately for Father’s Day!) is the hot food lover in our family so he gave the four products a taste test from the point of view of a heat loving palate.

Here are his findings from tasting the four varieties plain.

Grumpy Grandpa: a little heat, not too much, garlic aftertaste

Phoebe’s Fireball: Good taste, nice heat and counterpoint of cinnamon. No aftertaste

Naughty Nana: The pepper and the ginger work well together,

Diabolic Dad: hottest of the four, the lime offers a cool counterpoint to the heat. This one was my husband’s favorite.


My husband said that while the four were ok as dipping sauces on their own, he’d like to see them paired with food in recipes and for that, the website offers plenty of suggestions/ www. Henryshumdingers.com. I was happy to learn that the products contain no msg, and are therefore, safe for me to eat when I try out some of the recipes on the site. I’m looking forward to it.


If you have a heat loving Dad in the house, place your order soon so you can get the package in time for Father’s Day. Maybe place another order for Fourth of July entertaining while you are at it!



Joan’s Humdinger Wings in the oven.

Simply apply about 1 T of your favorite blend to each wing and bake until done. Delicious! The company offers a recipe for Icarus chicken wings (see below) for two dozen wings, enough for a party.


Joan’s suggestion for Have you a favorite honey and carrot recipe? Use one of these honeys instead of a plain honey and the veggie will add zip as well as color to your meal. I usually add a couple of tablespoons of honey, and an equal number of T of butter to the carrots and then bake them in the oven at 350 until tender.


       Here is the recipe for Henry’s Icarus Chicken Wings–courtesy of Henry’s Humdingers


24 chicken wings

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

3T garlic powder

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp white pepper

Vegetable oil for frying

One 6 oz jar of Diabolical Dad tm

3 T dark brown sugar

Ranch dressing for serving



Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Put wings in the flour, shake off excess and set on plate, in a large pot, heat several inches of oil to 360. When oil is hot, put wings in flour one more time, shake off excess.

Deep fry the wings until crispy and golden, while wings are frying, mix the Diabolical Dad and brown sugar. Remove wings form oil, pat dry and then dip in the honey mix to coat. Lay cooked wings on baking sheet, bake until dry, about 12 minutes. Serve with ranch dressing.