Precious memories of dad can be traced back to the very beginning, with them bouncing us on their sturdy shoulders as kids and then ferrying us between sports practices, after-school clubs, and parties as teens. A silent source of strength and fiercely protective – they are the ultimate advice providers, givers of the most comforting hugs, and the dealer of some shamefully bad jokes
Grace Stevens – TV chef, cookbook author, super mum to four, and fellow daughter shares three ways to make this Father’s Day extraordinarily special for doting dads who deserve to be treated for all that they do for us.
Gather all the family
This Father’s Day is an extra special one. After two years of being banished indoors, we can finally unmask and spend priceless time with our loved ones. I like to plan a nice outing for all the family like going for a leisurely walk outdoors or visiting a nearby market to taste some of the local delicacies. If the weather is not playing ball, then why not snuggle under a blanket with cups of steaming hot chocolate and freshly baked gooey chocolate brownies and have a movie afternoon.
Whatever the activity, the main thing is for dad to know that everyone just wants to spend the day with him and celebrate the hard work he has put into holding the family together through these stressful years. One of our family traditions is to take lots of family photos, so we have something to fondly look back on in years to come.
Start the day right
Nothing says Father’s Day like a lie-in, and you can never go wrong with a sumptuous home-cooked meal to demonstrate your love and appreciation for dad. Cooking dad breakfast and delivering it straight to the bedroom is a classic treat. As my kids get older, they have become more adventurous with breakfast, even preparing everything the night before so that they make less noise in the kitchen and don’t wake dad up from his pretend sleep.
If you’re assisting younger kids to treat your partner, involve them in the baking of an easy but tasty treat for dad, like some sweetie pie cupcakes or chocolate mousse cups. If you don’t live with your father but want to preserve a bit of this tradition, why not pop over to his house with some freshly baked cookies, biltong, or his favourite chocolate wrapped up in brown paper.
Make it about him
Every father is different so put some thought into what would make his day extra special. If he’s the adventurous type, why not pack up the family and go away for the weekend? Match tickets are always a winner for the sporty dad, or maybe a bottle of his favourite wine, or better still, why not book a wine tasting afternoon at a local farm? If your dad loves cooking, working with his hands, or gardening, dedicate some time during the day to helping him with his hobbies or maybe do something for him, like clean out his car, or help him in the garage. The trick is to make sure he feels special and loved, just like he always makes you feel.
No matter your age, or his, a father, or father figure, is a hero to every child, and Father’s Day is a brilliant opportunity to come together and show your appreciation for his selfless love and kindness. No matter how you choose to spend the day, enjoying some quality time with loved ones, over delicious food, is never a bad idea.
Here are a few of Grace’s beloved treats to create for dad:
Whip up a classic with a sophisticated twist. This gluten free mousse recipe can be an impressive showstopper if dressed up, or a simple but decadent feel-good after lunch treat on a rainy winter afternoon. You can make this ahead of time, and a little goes a long way which is perfect for big families. I like to spoon out the mousse into small Martini glasses for a more dramatic look, and then arrange them on a try for the kids to serve to dad.
Sweetie Pie Cupcakes
Who can say no to a warm cupcake right out of the oven? These adorable little ones are topped off with a white cloud of light and airy meringue enveloped in delightful gooey chocolate. Getting the temperature of the sugar syrup just right does requires some concentration but perfect that, and the rest will be all fun and games. I like to get the kids involved with the pouring of the melted chocolate – it’s might be messy but it’s lots of fun, and everyone is guaranteed to enjoy this delicious, sweet treat.
For more tasty, tried and true family recipes and online tutorials, shop, and live classes follow her on @Grace_stevenschef.