Tough and Tender…The Best Combination

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My father was always a stern man. He was difficult to read and approached life with the utmost seriousness. However, there were moments when something got through to him, and for a brief moment, a rare smile would soften his whole persona.

When I was about eight, a hard winter and a particularly rainy spring had left us with a leak in the roof. It dripped onto the ceiling in my brother’s bedroom. Despite my mother’s insistence to call a professional, my father assured us that he could fix it. On yet another rainy Sunday, my father climbed the rickety steps to the attic to survey the damage. I stood in the bedroom with my mother and four brothers waiting anxiously to see the level of irritation this problem would invoke upon my father.


We heard him make his way over to the leak, carefully walking along the beams that made up the floor. We heard him stop in the corner of the room. Silence ticked by. Suddenly, the ceiling exploded and pieces of dry wall rained down on us like pebbles. A dirty old tennis shoe dangled from the ceiling, and we all stood staring at it, shocked by its presence. My father had lost his footing and stepped right through the dry wall ceiling.

We were frozen in our spots gaping at the giant hole in the ceiling as my father tried to pull his foot back up. The only thing that made it worse was the fact that my father was deathly quiet. My mother snapped out of shock, and ran to get a broom. She sent my brothers to the garage to gather supplies to fix the mess. I stood in the room unsure what to do when my father walked in. He walked right over to the mess and stared up at the ceiling shaking his head.

I felt bad for him. It seemed to me that it was very stressful to be an adult. I knew just what he needed – a hug. That always made me feel better. I walked over to him and wrapped my arms around his leg, “It’s ok Dad. We didn’t think you could fix it anyway, but we still love you.” He laughed at me. A genuine and rarely heard laugh. Now, twenty years later, my parents still tell this story with a bit of a chuckle, and whenever, I hear the phrase Tough but Tender, I always think of my father.

While it may seem difficult to have opposing forces at the same time, such as tough and tender, Ball ParkⓇ has done just that with their new Flame Grilled Jerky. It is dried to be tough but grilled to perfection for a tender texture and savory char-grilled flavor.


Gluten free with no added MSG,Ball ParkⓇ Flame Grilled Jerky is now available in five juicy flavors in a re-sealable pouch. 

  • Original Beef
  • Bourbon BBQ Beef
  • Peppered Beef
  • Barbecue Pork
  • Teriyaki Pork

Have you ever found yourself in a tough spot when a tender gesture was surprisingly the solution? We’d love to hear about it! Share now on social media with #ToughandTender or comment below.

Written in partnership withBall ParkⓇ but all opinions remain my own.

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