British Columbia

Gravy pie and pink soup: CBC contest uncovers Father's Day memories of delicious (or not) dishes made by dads

The Early Edition asked listeners to share delectable or disastrous meal moments with their dads. These are your stories.

The Early Edition listeners share stories about memorable meals with pops

CBC's The Early Edition celebrated Father's Day by asking listeners to share memorable meals made by, or shared with, their own dads. (Photofusion/Shutterstock)

It's time to celebrate dads on Sunday, but the party for pops got started early on CBC's The Early Edition.

In the week leading up to Father's Day, listeners have been recounting memories of successful, and not so successful, dishes they have shared with their own dads.

And just for fun, the radio show also offered up a prize. The winning entry would receive a family feast at family-run Peaceful Restaurant, which dishes up northern Chinese cuisine at multiple locations across Metro Vancouver.

From questionably coloured soup, to camouflaged cookies stealthily smuggled into summer camp, these are some of the culinary tales we heard:

It's all gravy

Wendy Wight's dad had a lot on his plate. 

Her mom worked six days a week so dad was in charge of cooking and cleaning for seven kids. Money was tight, but her dad always managed to put dessert on the table.

One "pumpkin pie" in particular stands out.

There were guests for dinner that night and Wendy's dad, a pastry whiz, placed a fresh baked pie in front of them as the meal's finale. It was quickly gobbled up, amid high praise for the cook.

But when Wendy's dad went back to the fridge, lo and behold, the bowl of pumpkin filling was still there but the gravy was gone.

Turns out the delectable dessert was actually a pie crust full of meat sauce and no one had been the wiser! Or at least said anything ... 

Pumpkin or gravy? The right spices, as it turns out, can fool many. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

The camouflaged cookies

Marta Thornson's dad, Doug Thornson, is an excellent baker and his care packages of cookies were a hit with her and her sisters when they worked at a summer camp on Vancouver Island as teens.

Turns out, campers like cookies too.

Once word got out about the delicious care packages, the homemade cookies started to disappear before Marta or her sisters could dig in.

So Doug got clever.

He started packing his treats inside feminine hygiene product boxes and his daughters were never deprived of his cookies again!

Homemade cookies make for happy campers. (Shutterstock / Vera Petrunina)

A non-palatable pink

Mark Lunden's dad, Derek Lunden, has always had a can-do attitude but, unfortunately, his family particularly remembers a can-don't meal.

It was a rainy November night, and Mark's mom was working late so Derek, always the creative cook and also colour blind, decided to combine canned tomato and canned mushroom soup in one pot.

The end result?

Spoonfuls of pink, Mark and his brother Rob coined "flesh soup." Maybe it was the colour, maybe it was the cannibalistic name-calling, but the bowls were not drained by the diners at that particular dinner.

Now, every time Derek announces he is making a soup, his family does a quick check-in to make sure it's not a repeat of the infamous, non-palatable, pink concoction.

Um, Dad? Is soup supposed to look like this? (Shutterstock / mamaza)

The dad ahead of his time

Millennials may think they invented avocado toast, but Janet Fedorchuk's father, Frank Banister, had them long beat.

When Janet and her siblings were young, Frank's favourite dish was smashed avocado on toast or an English muffin, seasoned with salt and pepper, and occasionally topped with a poached egg.

This will be Janet's first Father's Day without her dad, who passed away just under a year ago.

It's going to be a tough day, said Janet, whose siblings live in Washington state, making it impossible to be together for it because of current COVID-19 border restrictions.

 But Janet will start Frank's Day with fond memories — and of course some avocado toast.

This will be Janet Fedorchuk's first Father's Day without her dad, but she plans on honouring his memory with one of his favourite dishes — avocado toast with poached eggs. (Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

And the winner is...

Jennifer Adachi grew up an only child, but her beloved dad, Dennis Adachi, ate so much, she learned to cook extra food early.

She says her dad, handsome and fit at 75 years young, loves to eat and his physique belies his penchant for buffets, boxes of chocolates and fast-food burgers.

And his love for large portions is remembered fondly by Jennifer, who as a young kid, was on the receiving end of his massive "dad sandwiches."

"It was just like a regular sandwich only about three times the size that a toddler would eat," recalls Jennifer, who would join her dad for lunch while he worked from home and her mother, a nurse, was working out of town.

At the time, the supersized sammies were a struggle for a three-year-old, said Jennifer who, at the time, was used to cut-off crusts and a snack she could actually fit in her mouth. Now, she cherishes the memory of a young dad lovingly lunching with his little girl.

Jennifer Adachi is the winner of this year's The Early Edition Father's Day contest for the entry she shared about her father, Dennis Adachi, supersized sandwhich maker and big-time food lover. (Jennifer Adachi)

And Jennifer also has fond memories of her dad enjoying a loving meal she "prepared" for him as a teenager.

When Jennifer was 14 she was visiting family in Toronto when she realized a fast-food burger chain existed there that her dad loved and could not get on the West Coast.

So she packed a couple frozen ones home for Dennis, who polished them off with gusto and a grin.

It's been awhile now since Jennifer and and her dad have broken bread or burgers together.

Dennis was hospitalized for a few days recently after a bad fall. Then Jennifer and her husband contracted COVID-19, so family visits were out of the question.

But this weekend, dad and daughter are both healthy and excited to celebrate Father's Day together. 

And if they don't already have plans for "dad sandwiches" or frozen fast food burgers, Dennis can get his fill at Peaceful Restaurant.

To listen to Jennifer Adachi share her memories of her food-loving dad on The Early Edition, tap here.

With files from The Early Edition

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