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