Every first Sunday of September we celebrate the men in our lives who raised us, protected us and helped us to be the people we are today. Father’s Day isn’t just about rewarding men who’ve had children but also father figures and inspirational male role models. Let’s learn a little about how it got started, and how we can best appreciate the day.
In the early 1900s a young American woman named Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to honour her father and all fathers with a celebration. Her own father was a civil war veteran who had raised six children as a single parent – but all that happened on that day in West Virginia was a few sermons preaching the importance of parenthood and encouraging young people to appreciate all that their fathers do for them.
In 1938 Father’s Day was supported by the New York Associated Men’s Wear Retailers, who consolidated a lot of issues and created a Father’s Day Council. It was clearly a commercial venture – sales of ties, smoking pipes and slippers were going to go through the roof. Its inspiration was Mother’s Day, which had been introduced only the previous century but was already a huge hit, and by 1911 had been granted official holiday status.
It was many years later in 1972 that President Nixon signed Father’s Day into law. For a long time many refused to accept it, realising cynically – but truthfully – that it was just an excuse to make more money for male gift businesses. However by the mid eighties it was practically a second Christmas for sellers of pipes, ties and slippers.
Traditions are similar to those for Mother’s Day – you might make or give a card, prepare a meal or buy gifts. Others prefer to take a religious approach and participate in charity events or visit a place of worship. For those who don’t have a Father in their life, other significant male role models may be appreciated instead, such as grandfathers or godfathers.
Despite everything our dads do for us, one in ten Australians have admitted to completely forgetting about Father’s Day at least once – and 12% of fathers won’t get anything at all. People are also likely to spend less money on Father’s Day than on Mother’s Day, even though fathers are much more involved in their kids’ lives now than in the last few generations.
Of course the best gift for your dad will depend on what your dad is like – would he prefer an adventure experience? A handy gadget? A new hobby to pick up? While you’re thinking about it, have a look at these recipes for a great Father’s Day breakfast or brunch.
A genuine treat for dad – bring this to him in bed if you can to really make his day! The best thing about this recipe is it’s totally customisable, so if he’s vegetarian you can top it with delicious vegetables, or make a nicer base out of cornmeal for some added crunch.
You will need:
- 225g chopped bacon
- Pizza dough
- 3g butter
- Half a dozen eggs, beaten
- ½ a small onion
- ½ green bell pepper
- 115g grated cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper
Turn the oven onto 350°F or 275°C and coat a suitable-sized baking sheet with oil or cooking spray
Cook the bacon in a large pan, moving often to stop it from sticking, until it’s brown and crispy. Remove it and leave on paper towels to drain off the excess oil.
Roll out the pizza dough until it’s a good size and thickness, dependant on personal taste (does dad usually have thick or thin crust pizza?) then place onto the baking sheet.
Pre-cook for a few minutes in the oven, allowing the crust edges to get a little brown and the centre to harden.
Melt your butter in a non-stick pan, until the foam goes away. Add your beaten eggs to the skillet and scramble them gently for 3-4 minutes – try to keep them a little moist, not overdone and rubbery. You could also put fried eggs on top of the pizza, but getting six good ones in a row might be difficult!
Arrange the scrambled eggs onto the crust and top with the bacon, onion and green pepper.
Liberally cover with cheddar cheese before seasoning with salt and pepper.
Put the whole thing in the oven on the top rack for about ten minutes – the cheese should be good and melted by now!
French Toast with Banana
For a sweeter tooth, knock dad out with these amazing flavours. Normal fluffy white bread can be substituted for brioche if it’s difficult to find!
You will need:
- 2 eggs
- 1tsp vanilla rctract
- 2 tbsps cream
- 30g unsalted butter
- Thick slices of brioche
- 1 banana
- Crème fraiche, maple syrup and cinnamon (optional)
Start by beating the eggs together along with the vanilla and the cream. Dip the brioche slices into the egg and soak through on each side.
Heat the butter in a large frying pan. When it’s sizzling, place the egg-drenched brioche into the pan.
Cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden.
Serve by stacking some slices together and topping with banana. Add crème fraiche, a drizzle of maple syrup and dust with cinnamon.