So, what is so special about June 21st? It is the 172nd day of the year and there are 193 days remaining until the end of the year. June 21st usually marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere, which is the day of the year with the most hours of daylight in the northern hemisphere and the fewest hours of daylight in the southern hemisphere. Could that be it?
So what else is so special about June 21st? In 2006 Pluto’s newly discovered moons were officially named Nix and Hydra and in 2009 Greenland assumed self-rule, in the latest step towards independence from Denmark. No, let me think… I don’t think that’s it.
Canada’s National Aboriginal Day is annually held on June 21 to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of the nation’s Aboriginal peoples. There are three Aboriginal groups in Canada – the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
If you look back through history, many important events happened on June 21st but I think you all know what I’m getting at here!
IT’S FATHER’S DAY!!
Some scholars believe that Father's Day history is much older than we actually believe it to be. They say that the custom of honouring dads on a special day is over 4,000 years old; they claim that the tradition of Father's Day can be traced to the ruins of Babylon. They have recorded that a young boy called Elmesu carved a Father's Day message on a card made out of clay nearly 4,000 years ago wishing his Babylonian father good health and a long life.
Father’s Day is not a Federal holiday in Canada because it falls on a Sunday. It is always the third Sunday of June. You should be treating your father extra special on Father’s Day – you could start by helping dad enjoy the day. Perhaps you'll let him sleep in that morning, or perhaps you won't badger him over something you'd normally badger him over. Whatever it is, let it be his day. Some nice ways to start would be making him breakfast in bed, along with the newspaper and his favourite cup of special coffee. After breakfast, make sure you have planned some sort of family event. Use this opportunity to get everyone in the family together for a fun day. Think about including all the dads in your family, not just your own father; would-be future dads, your uncles, and brothers, the more the merrier! Plan a picnic at a park or a family BBQ.
Be creative. When it comes to making gifts for Father's Day, perhaps steer clear of the traditional store-bought gifts of tie and socks. Expensive gifts are not necessary, but the time and effort you put in to create a personalized gift, will be deeply appreciated. Instead, let your own creative abilities shine and bake him a cake, make his favourite dinner, bake some cookies or look at old photos of you and your dad doing fun things together. Take a walk down memory lane by creating either a photo album or a photo slideshow. You may be surprised at how many things you both have forgotten about and how much they mean to you.
Acknowledge the importance of fatherhood. Being a father is a tough job. Dads are responsible for at least one half of the financial and emotional well-being of the family. A thoughtful card, a letter, or short speech that expresses your love will benefit both you and your dad. Giving dad a heartfelt toast, or card of genuine, loving words at the dinner table, or at some other point when all the family are around (siblings especially)!
My own father just passed away on April 10th and even thought my father and I were not extremely close, he was still my father and I will miss him in my own personal way. One of the things I remember about my father was the way he loved to eat, so as a tribute to dear Dad I’m going to share a few of his favourite dishes. They may help inspire you with your own Father’s Day tribute dinner.
Now this might not have been my father’s all-time favourite dish, but I do remember him asking mom to make Swiss steak on more than one occasion (a real old fashioned type of meal).
1 pound beef sirloin tip steak or bottom round steak
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp butter
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium green pepper, cut into strips
Thinly slice steak across the grain into strips and lightly coat with flour. In a large skillet, brown steak, a bit at a time – not to overcrowd in butter. Return all meat to skillet. Add the tomato sauce, lemon juice, soy sauce and Worcestershire; mix well. Add the onions and green pepper. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve over noodles.
My father loved pudding… I think he loved ice cream more but he LOVED his butterscotch Pudding. In fact, I love butterscotch pudding too! Must be in the genes!
CLASSIC BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING 2 tbsp butter 2/3 cup dark brown sugar 2 cups milk, divided 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk 2 tbsp cornstarch 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and stir well, until brown sugar is well moistened. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the milk, egg, egg yolk and cornstarch until very smooth. Whisk in remaining milk, and then slowly pour the mixture into the butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring with a spatula and taking care to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just comes to a simmer and begins to bubble. Continue to cook, still stirring, for 1-2 minutes as pudding thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract. Divide pudding into 4 individual serving dishes or ramekins. If you want a pudding skin, leave pudding uncovered. If you do not want skin, press a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface of each serving of pudding.
Have the most wonderful and special Father’s Day ever. And, may something wonderful happen for you today!
Author: Kathryn Hartwell
References: fathersdaycelebration.com, artofmanliness.com, springrollz.blogspot.ca, bakingbites.com, wikihow.com and wikipedia.org