Out of Bounds

Father’s Day Gifting Bonanza

You shouldn’t allow your Father’s Day gift giving impulses to be constrained by societal norms

By Rob Breeding

My male-pattern deficiency in the memory department can also be an occasional hindrance in the column writing business. I write something every week, but I’m not always paying attention to the calendar. 

That means I often forget important dates — holidays, anniversaries. Usually, when I think of an upcoming milestone I ought to write about, it’s too late to make deadline for the appropriate issue. There’s nothing more useless than Father’s Day gift suggestions a week after Father’s Day.

Well, I suppose it’s useful for make up gifts. Actually, Father’s Day gifts are appropriate any day of the year. There’s no need not to buy any of the following, because your special guy has certainly earned it. You shouldn’t allow your Father’s Day gift giving impulses to be constrained by societal norms.

I’m not an advocate of guns as gifts. It’s too personal. This position may be shaped by the fact that I’ve never had a partner who gave a lick about firearms. Instead, I suggest providing a gift certificate of a suitable amount and then making a date of it. You can take in a movie, have dinner, then walk over to Sportsman and Ski Haus for the purchase. 

If he needs more than the gift amount, don’t worry. He’ll have made provisions.

Fishing equipment is another matter. I would never tell someone to not buy me a nice Winston 5 weight, or a St. Croix Legend X spinning rod. Rods are easy to exchange if they’re not exactly what you need. Better still, accept the gift that isn’t exactly what you need, as surely it will be exactly right for something else, then use the slightly not-perfect-gift as an excuse to buy the one you really want.

Remember, researchers have tried for decades, but as yet have been unable, to confirm the existence of a condition described in scientific literature as “too many fly rods.”

You know your Father’s Day recipient better than I, but most dudes who like to hunt and fish also like to cook, and this is the ideal time of year to stock up on cooking tools. I just added a few things that might spark some ideas.

I’m quite happy with my new pizza steel. If you like to cook your own pizza from scratch, this is a must. It replaces those fragile stones pizza makers have fussed with for decades. So far I’ve only used it in the oven, where it goes on the top rack. I preheat the oven to max temp, in my case 550 degrees, and then, just before I’m ready to bake a pie, turn the broiler on high.

It takes about five minutes to cook pizza using this technique. The broiler properly browns the top and that fast, heat-conducting steel puts a proper leopard spot on the crust. Pizza stones and cast iron pans transfer heat too slowly to match steel.

There are all kinds of uses for a 1/4-inch slab of steel on the grill. I’m thinking maybe smash burgers with an assist from the heavy-duty grill spatula I just picked up at a hardware store.

Other gifts to consider based on my recent Amazon activity: an aluminum pizza peel, along with one of those heavy pizza slicers with a rocker blade. Wheel type slicers have a short lifespan around my kitchen.

And always, a few inexpensive enameled Dutch ovens. While I’d love a Le Creuset, those French pots would put a real dent in my fly rod budget. Inexpensive brands work well, and I abuse mine anyway. Run a Dutch oven through too many 500 degree sourdough bakes and they start looking pretty ratty, quick.

Or consider a sous vide immersion cooker. If Dad likes to cook game, and he doesn’t have one yet, fix it on Father’s Day.

Rob Breeding writes and blogs at www.mthookandbullet.com.

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