But for those of us whose fathers know a thing or two about the kitchen, and would rather have a new set of carving tools than carpentry tools, Father's Day is as good a time as any to thank Dad for what we've learned from him.
Growing up, my mother took charge of the kitchen, shooing my dad away. But when he got in there to cook, the things he made were without compare. Mom was the one who made healthy dinners with lots of green vegetables, Dad was the one who added an extra stick of butter.
Mom taught me to take pride in my food - making everything pretty and nutritious. But Dad still teaches me to take joy in my cooking - how to relax and take the pressure off as I experiment to see what happens, or how to gild the lily by making things richer. It's because of him that I use words like indulge as I stir extra cheesy buttery grits, just like Dad makes.
His buttermilk cornbread recipe is still the one I use, and I keep meaning to call him to get his barbecue sauce recipe. And when it comes to feeding a crowd, Dad's got down the easy, affordable party hors d'oeuvres that please.
Does your dad cook? What are the recipes he's taught you that you cherish most?
Image: Flickr user Leonard John Matthews
, licensed under Creative Commons
Related: Father's Day gift idea - mixology classes at the Astor Center