Friday, September 01, 2017

THE “F’ WORD IS ALLOWED - HEY! DON’T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS!







This time each year I find it difficult to write about one particular word or subject.  I do want to give the meaning of the word and the subject justice, but my lack of personal experience causes my hesitation. 

The word/subject that gives me grief - the basic, central, critical point of the matter in question - begins with the letter “F”.   

My now late father never played a role in my life, or in the life of my older brother, Graham.  He was an absentee father in every way.

My brother and I were raised in a purely maternal household (by the otherwise known as “The Golden Girls”).   

Therefore, on that score, I really don’t have a factual base upon which to form an argument, not one I’m guaranteed of winning, anyway – but, I’ll give it a good go.  “In for a penny; in for a pound” - I’m ready for anything, win or lose - dressed up for every game, as it were.  Too bad if you take umbrage at my tracky-dacks and Sloppy Joe, I’m not changing!  Accept me as I am!

Here I go...below is my take on the subject.  Pick it apart at your peril!

F - Firm, but fair; forthright; foresightful; fun

A - Adventure Activities’ Agent; able and admirable

T -Tactful tutor; teacher with a tender touch; thoughtful
                                         
H - Honourable; hero - hard act to follow; hugs; happiness
               
E - Easygoing; energetic; enthusiastic; encouraging; efficacious 
             
R - Rational; receptive; relatable; reliable; responsible; referee

On reflection, and I often do reflect upon this ...for example, only a few days ago I discussed with a male friend my thoughts on this matter...I wish my brother, more than me, had had a father role model in his life.   

A father with whom he shared backyard cricket matches and goal-kicking a football over the front fence, or onto the neighbour’s roof; fishing trips to Tin Can Bay, and off the banks of the Mary River, returning with tales of the monster that got away. 

Fortunately, our mother, who was very keen on fishing, fulfilled the latter role for both my brother and me.  That activity was well under control.  We were taught by an expert in the art of fishing and crabbing.   Our Nana, the champion oyster-gatherer and shucker passed on the skill to my brother and me.  

My brother was resourceful.  Even though he lacked the manual guidance a father could give him, he taught himself all the manly things such as gardening; how to repair plumbing issues; carpentry, mechanical problems etc., etc., et al. 

Every time I see happy young fathers out and about with their kiddies, I smile.  When I see fathers like the one I wrote about a couple of years back who was shopping in IGA with his delightful daughter, Poppy; or the Dad I mentioned a few weeks ago with his two little boys who loudly and exuberantly declared their ages, a feeling of warmth and contentment fills in my heart. 

Happy Father’s Day to Aussie Dads...Father’s Day doesn’t only fall on the first Sunday in September...it is every day...but it doesn’t do any harm to have a special day of celebration.

Be your best at all times...be someone your children will be proud of forever and a day...teach your children well....

Dad’s Brekkie: Preheat oven 190 C. Generously spray muffin tin with oil. Combine 4c finely grated potatoes, approx 450G with 1 thinly-sliced shallot, 1/4c chopped parsley or herb of choice, 1/2c corn kernels, 2tbs melted butter, 1tbs cornflour; season. Divide evenly in muffin tray, filling each cup to about1/4 full. Press down gently to form. Sprinkle tops with a pinch of salt and pepper; bake 20mins. At 20mins mark, increase temp to 218C; bake, 10-12mins, until golden. Rest 5mins before removing; serve with a chilli sauce.

Cornmeal-Rosemary-Battered Fish: Combine 3/4c plain flour. 1/2c yellow cornmeal, 1tbs chopped rosemary, 1tsp baking powder and 1-1/4c light beer; whisk until smooth; set aside to rest. Pat dry 600g white fish fillets, cut into 10cm pieces; season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Combine more flour, cornmeal and rosemary in a shallow plate. Pour about 2-inches of oil in large pot; heat over med-heat. Dredge fish in flour mixture; dip into batter; let excess drop off.  Fry in hot oil, 2mins per side.

Cappuccino Cheesecake:  Preheat oven 170°C/fan 140°C.  Line 23cm spring-form cake tin with non-stick baking paper. Sit tin on a baking tray. Mix 175g crushed dark chocolate digestive biscuits, 150g ground almonds, 1 tbsp dark brown sugar and 50g melted butter. Press into cake tin base, and slightly up sides. Mix 250g golden caster sugar and 1 heaped tbsp cornflour with 625g cream cheese and 250g mascarpone. Add 4 med-eggs, 1 by 1, beating with wooden spoon, followed by 2tsp vanilla extract, 1 heaped tbs instant coffee granules and 300ml sour cream. Pour into tin; bake on middle shelf, 1hr 20 mins. Turn off oven; open door slightly; allow cake to cool. Mix together 200ml sour cream, 1tbs golden caster sugar and 1tsp lemon juice; spread over cheesecake. Chill 4 hrs or overnight. Sift 1 tbsp cocoa powder over cheesecake before serving.   

                                                        D = Dedicated

                                                 A = Attentive                                    

                                                 D = Dependable




27 comments:

  1. My father (and step-father) to my brothers did his best. Sometimes he failed, as we all do, but we never, ever doubted that he cared. Mind you, that caring for us (and knowing better than us) sometimes made him a difficult and grumpy so and so.
    We never celebrated Father's or Mother's Day (the parents said one day was insufficient to make up for a year of neglect) but they knew they were valued. And I suspect know they are missed.

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    1. Hi EC....we always celebrated Mother's Day...not over-the-top, but Mum and Nana always received little gifts from my brother and me...and when we were younger, cards made at school. I still have a couple of the hand-made-painted cards among my memorabilia.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  2. Hello, Lee. I am not close with my father as well but I do believe that they are indeed firm. I try to understand them as it must have been difficult for them too growing up during their time but I'm only human. Sometimes it's also quite hard. Thanks for your honesty.

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    1. Hey Lux...I'm always honest...I see no reason to be otherwise! I'd get caught out for sure if I was otherwise! lol

      Thanks for coming. :)

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  3. Father's day holds no interest for me anymore, apart from recognising my son in law who is a fantastic Dad.
    Cappuccino cheesecake sounds nice.

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    1. Hi River...it's never held any interest for me, except when Randall and I were married....his father, my father-in-law, was a wonderful man. We always hosted a special Father's Day luncheon for him and Randall's mother. We did similar for her on Mother's Day. Father, as I always called him was special. He has since passed away...as has Randall's mother...but the memories of both linger.

      That cheesecake does sound delicious. I love a baked cheesecake, but a few years have gone by since I've made on. I think the last time was about eight years ago.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  4. I am the opposite, my Dad had to fulfill the parental duties since my parents divorced early and even when my Mom was around, she pretty much left us to ourselves. In my childhood, the TV was my mother! (Good thing, there were good role models around then. What would kids have on there now?)
    Here is an "F" word for you - you are FUNNY!

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    Replies
    1. G'day, Kay! TV wasn't around when my brother and I were kids...we were avid listeners to the radio/wireless, though, and in those days there were many entertaining shows worth listening to, as well as music, of course. The picture/movies/films played important roles in our lives, too. We never missed the Saturday afternoon matinees, for instance.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  5. Happy Australian Fathers Day to all the Aussie Dads out there......ours is in June.

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    1. Hey Delores...We here in the Land of Oz celebrate it on the first Sunday of spring. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  6. I'm for the separate celebration days of father and mother. These special days make us take a break from our daily activity to think about each of our parents, evaluate their contribution, and sort out our feelings about them. It is important, as we usually don't really know what we have until we lose them.

    Your CC words - cappucino cake - looks 'to die for'.

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    1. Hey DUTA....I agree with you. I see nothing wrong with special days put aside. And, the world is always filled with such doom and gloom and bad behaviour day after day...we need a break from the heaviness of the burden, in my opinion. Days of reflection and fun...there can be nothing bad about that, in my opinion. :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  7. It some ways, perhaps all ways, it is rather sexist to admire a dad out with his young children. It is something mothers do every day. Nevertheless, I really enjoy seeing a loving dad out with his little kiddies. Children born in the last decade or so will view their fathers quite differently to how my generation view their fathers.

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    1. Your comment baffles me, Andrew. I don't believe I'm being "sexist" by enjoying seeing fathers enjoying being out with their kiddies. I enjoy seeing mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts, friends. pets enjoying being out and about with kiddies.

      I believe I'm neither sexist or racist; nor am I a feminist.

      I am just me being me...and my opinions are my own, and I'm the only one who feels and experiences my own emotions. Simple really! :)

      Perhaps I'm just misunderstanding - misinterpreting...your words....

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. In the UK we celebrated Fathers Day in June ...

    I have a weakness for cheesecake, loved the look of your recipe here.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hi Jan....I like the baked cheesecakes very much...and often made them but haven't done so for a while. I wouldn't be bothered making one just for myself, and I rarely, if ever, entertain at home these days, not like I used to do once upon a time.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  9. Father's Day in England always occurs on the third Sunday in June. I am pleased that I had a good father from birth until the age of twenty five though I would have liked him to stick around longer to see me married and to meet my kids - his grandchildren. I have tried to be a good father to my children and I know that they both love me very much.

    From everything you have said in the past, it is clear that your mother and your nana did a great job in raising Graham and his naughty little sister.

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    1. Hi Yorkie...yep...I knew in the Northern Hemisphere Dad's Day was celebrated on a different date to ours down this way. And, the US and Aus celebrate Mother's Day on the same date, which is always the second Sunday in May, but Mum's Day in the UK is different to that...yours being on the fourth Sunday of Lent as you're aware. Different strokes for different folks! :)

      You're both fortunate you had a loving father in your life, and that you have in turn become a loving, and loved father, yourself.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  10. My father was a very good man but he was absent from the home a good bit of the time. Still we made the most of our annual family vacations and he was the most fun person in the world. If we had not had those times together my memories of my dad would not be as good. It was a time when the man worked outside the home and gave his days and nights to his work while moms stayed home and raised the children.

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    1. Annie...Our mother was the main bread-winner in our small family unit...she went out to work and was never without a job throughout our childhood and beyond. Nana also worked a few hours a day a lot of the time when my brother and I were at school.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  11. I was another one fortunate to have a very good father who taught me all the practical things as well as took me hiking and cycling and playing football etc etc. I also had a very strong mother who was kindness and consideration personified. I don't even recall either of them having to raise their voce to us. (I'll gloss over the celery incident). I'm not sure I was anywhere near as good a father when my children were young. My work often got in the way although I had an absolute rule: when I was at home (ie not away on business) I ALWAYS came home fo dinner even if I went back to work afterwards. However my children didn't want to go walking (I did take them fishing occasionally) or do practical things with me then. Andrew (who died when he was just completing his doctorate in computer science) only wanted to play with and program his Sinclair Spectrum and was never really an outdoorsy type. Gaz had a rebellious streak and one of the beauties of living on Lewis was that you knew that he was safe to go and play with his friends.

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    1. The celery incident? Where exactly did you stick the celery Graham?

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    2. Firstly...Yorkie....I was going to ask a similar question, but decided against doing so for fear of the answer! My imagination is running wild! :)

      Graham...Our mother and grandmother were firm, but fair; and both had a good sense of humour...of the ridiculous.

      I don't recall ever being struck by them in anger...I do recall being warned of a pending whack if we didn't pull our head in and behave....that was enough for us. We heeded the warning. I don't recall being yelled at in anger, either.

      A dirty look and a dire threat of looming doon was all my brother and I needed to make us mend our wayward ways. :)

      Thanks for coming by. :) (And if you're ever going to divulge the celery incident, Mr. Pudding and I are waiting in the aisles)!

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  12. Replies
    1. Well, that certainly was short and sweet!

      Thanks for your fly-by, Mr. Ad-Man! :)

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  13. A good read. It's a shame your father was absent a lot of the time. It hasn't affected your ability to write good prose though.

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    1. Hi Treey...our father was absent all of the time. He and our mother separated when she was still pregnant with me.....and never played a role in the lives of my brother and me...ever.

      That's how life plays out at times. Once can't alter the past...it is what it was. :)

      Thanks for your kind comment, and for coming by. Take good care. :)

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