A day for our fathers

The week was fairly quiet for me, two meetings, work morning at the Auxiliary workshop, and two afternoons in the gift shop. Of course, there was the ever-present laundry to do and a few other things. When my company left last week, my daughter made sure all the beds were made, the sheets washed, dried and put away and no dirty dishes left for me.
Thursday evening, I went to bingo with some friends. A thunderstorm was brewing, but we were safe inside, not out in it. It didn’t seem as if it was very serious, but the next morning as I was heading into town, there were some trees down, and a couple of signs were off kilter and some old tin against a fence. I didn’t think much of it until on the way home; I realized a very old barn and a storage shed/garage near-by had both been destroyed. Everyone seems to think we had a straight-line wind through here, and that there was some damage at homes/barns about six or seven miles away. No one has said whether it was a straight-line wind, small tornado or just what it was.
Thankfully, it didn’t come near my home, and I had only about one-half inch of rain from it.
A little over a month ago, we celebrated a day dedicated to our Mothers. This coming Sunday, June 16, we celebrate a day dedicated to our Fathers/Dads/Daddys/Pops/Papas/Padres, whatever name we called him as we were growing up. Isn’t it great to know that we can honor our parents in such a way? Many times, fathers seem to be pushed to the back burner, so to speak. They are at work all day and we seem to ask Mom rather than Dad when we want something. They aren’t always paid attention to, listened to and sometimes not even respected, as they should be. You will never know how much your father means to you until he is gone, then you will wonder; “Why didn’t I listen to Dad more, why didn’t I pay more attention when he spoke, why did I ignore him when he got older, why didn’t I visit him more often, why did I think I was smarter than he was, why, why, and yet again why?” All of these things belong to the shoulda, coulda, woulda, but…didn’t do group, because of being busy working, playing or simply taking care of your own family. It can’t be helped; we all do it at one time or another, so don’t feel guilty about it. Think about him, remember the good times and forget about the bad times, think about the fishing and hunting trips or the vacation trips to favorite spots, the times you just dropped by to visit him for a few minutes, the times you hugged him and said; “I love you, Dad and he hugged you back and said; “I love you too!” These are the times you need to remember, they are the important ones. Dads are just like Moms, they always love and they always forgive and forget! Think of the times you said; “Can I use the car tonight, Dad and he said “yes”, of the times you asked for money and he said “yes, or the times he encouraged you in whatever interest you had at the time, whether it was sports, cars, a new hobby, or anything else.
Sunday, June 18, is Father’s Day, a celebration that began with Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington, who first proposed the idea in 1909. She was looking for a special way to honor her father, Mr. William Smart. He was a Civil War veteran who was widowed when his wife died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart raised all six children by himself. They lived on a farm in eastern Washington State. After Mrs. Dodd was grown, she realized how much strength and selflessness he had shown in raising them as a single parent in that day and time.
In 1909, Mrs. Dodd approached the minister of her church and others in Spokane about having a service dedicated to fathers on June 5, her father’s birthday. The minister was unable to prepare for the service that quickly, so he spoke a few weeks later on June 19th.
From that time on, the state of Washington celebrated the third Sunday in June as Fathers Day. At this same time, various towns and cities across America were beginning to celebrate a day especially for fathers. States and various organizations began lobbying Congress to declare an annual Father’s Day. President Woodrow Wilson approved of this. President Calvin Coolidge was in firm support of the idea of a National Father’s Day and in 1924, made it a national event to “establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.” However, it took until 1966, when President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday in June as Father’s Day and put the official stamp of approval on a celebration that had been ongoing for almost half a century.
In early times, wearing flowers was a traditional way of celebrating Father’s Day. Mrs. Dodd suggested a red rose to honor a living father and a white rose for a deceased dad. (This is similar to the fact that we wear red carnations if our Mother is living and white ones if she is deceased, when we celebrate Mother’s Day.) Mr. J. H. Berringer, who attended Father’s Day celebrations in Washington State as early as 1912, chose a white lilac as the Father’s Day Flower.
So, let’s talk about how we can pamper this most important man in our life. What is his favorite dish? Would he like breakfast in bed? Would he prefer an extra special meal at noon, or an extra special meal at dinnertime? Which would make his day most special?
Here is my favorite recipe for chicken fried steak and a delicious chocolate cake to go with it.
Chicken Fried Steak
Tenderized round steak or cube steaks to serve as many as needed
Salt, pepper, flour
1 to 2 cups milk, in bowl
Cooking oil for frying
Season meat with salt and pepper, dredge in flour, dip in milk, back into flour and repeat again. Set aside while you finish breading all the meat. Fry in deep fryer or skillet with at least 1″ of cooking oil or shortening until meat is browned on one side. Turn over and brown second side. Keep hot in oven while you finish cooking remaining meat. Serve hot with gravy and mashed potatoes.
If you are not up to making “white gravy” on your own, go to the grocery store and buy a package of “Country Gravy Mix”. There are two brands, Pioneer®, and it makes two cups of gravy. The HEB house brand, and McCormick® brand each make one cup.
The following recipe for Chocolate Cookie Cake was on the back of a box of cake mix several years ago. It has always been a favorite of my family.
(With the new size of cake mixes, follow the directions on the box and just stir in the cup of crushed cookies when you finish beating the batter, and then bake according to their directions).
Chocolate Cookie Cake
1 package chocolate fudge cake mix (I like to use the triple chocolate fudge cake mix)
1¼ cups water
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
3 eggs
1 cup coarsely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 10 cookies), (divided use)
1 tub Betty Crocker® Creamy Deluxe®, vanilla ready-to-spread frosting
Heat oven to 350ºF. Generously grease and flour 2 round pans, 9x½-inches. Beat cake mix (dry), water, margarine and eggs in large bowl on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons of crushed cookies. Fold remaining crushed cookies into batter. Pour into pans. Bake 30 to 37 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans. Cool cake completely. Crush reserved crushed cookies more finely; mix into frosting. Fill layers and frost side and top of cake with frosting. If desired, garnish with additional cookies. (I usually bake this in a 9×13 size cake pan).