Gone are the days of celebrating dad with the gift of a necktie,
a bottle of Old Spice or a soap-on-a-rope. Today's dads enjoy
spending the day as a family, enjoying a group activity with
friends, and being spoiled with food. The way to a man's heart is,
after all, through his stomach.
What dad wouldn't love the opportunity to sleep late while
everyone is busy down in the kitchen preparing him a delicious
breakfast? Spoil him with yogurt smoothies and homemade scones,
steak and eggs, or a big stack of blueberry pancakes drizzled with
maple syrup. And remember the fresh coffee and juice - dads always
need a little pick-me-up after a long lie-in.
Don't let the food fun stop there. After a leisurely morning of
breakfast in bed, why not get together with friends to celebrate
all of the dads in the group with a barbecue get-together or a
picnic in the park? Putting together a menu is simple: think meat
meets fire, and things you can eat with your hands.
Fire it up
Perhaps it's a bit cliché to have a barbecue on Father's Day,
but once the weather switches from drizzly spring to summery great,
the grills come on in full force. Let dad focus on tossing the
pigskin or Frisbee around with the kids, and bring a gourmet touch
or an international flavour to standard barbecue fare.
For gourmet burgers, have your local butcher coarsely grind a
fresh piece of round, sirloin or chuck (not too lean), or try lamb
for a richer flavour. Buy fresh-baked Kaiser buns, and offer a
variety of delicious toppings: pico de gallo and guacamole,
crumbled goat's cheese, gorgonzola and cream cheese with diced
shallots, pineapple and chili salsa, balsamic glazed onions, peanut
satay sauce, fresh slices of beefsteak tomato, arugula in place of
iceberg lettuce… let your imagination run to the four corners of
the world for inspiration.
And while you're trotting the globe by grill, why not eschew the
burgers and look instead for inspiration from the grilling
traditions of other countries? Try chicken kebabs marinated in
yogurt, chile and garlic; lamb koftas; coconut grilled shrimp;
ginger-honey spare ribs; or perfectly grilled steaks with fresh
béarnaise sauce and matchstick fries for a touch of French bistro
in your backyard. Add some buttery corn on the cob, and you're
Hand to mouth
Alternatively, gather together a group of family friends and
agree to meet for a picnic in the park. Make it a potluck where
everyone brings something that fulfills the following criteria: it
must be something you can eat with your hands. Think potato skins,
pinwheels, nachos, sausage bites, cheese, olives, mini hero
sandwiches, tacos and spring rolls.
You can also make the theme something that brings a little
competition and fun. Have everyone make a kind of hand pie from a
different culinary tradition: Latin American empanadas and tamals,
Jamaican beef patties, Irish beef hand pies, Italian calzones,
Surinamese bapaos, West Indian rotis, and whatever else you can
find. Or have each family bring a few pounds of their favourite
chicken wings, and let the dads taste-off and vote for the best.
Here are a few of our favourite chicken wing recipes:
General Tao Wings
Spicy Thai Chicken Wings
Barbecue Chicken Wings
No matter how you end up celebrating Father's Day, the most
important thing is to ensure that dad has a good, relaxed time,
without Mom having to slave away in the kitchen for days. With
group get-togethers, the work gets shared around so that everyone
can have time to have a little cuddle and a lot of fun with their
favourite big guy.