I was always a little skeptical of Father’s Day and Mother’s Day growing up. Just another commercially driven celebration so greetings card companies and tacky souvenir manufacturers can make a quick buck on the back of panicking Mums’ and Dads’ who feel pressured to buy gifts on behalf of their children for the other parent - basically “an overblown Americanised holiday that started with a good idea but has become little more than a chance to kneel and worship at the church of consumerism."
I’m happy to say that now, I’m very much in favour of such celebrations! Father’s Day should be one of the most celebrated moments of the year, we all have one and I hope the vast majority of them are good people. So, embrace it.
I’m a Father of 2 (that still sounds strange to me), but it doesn’t seem that long ago I was going about my daily business without a great many responsibilities, planning holidays and weekends away without having to consult anyone. But I wouldn’t change it for the world now, of course! They come first. They are my life and I love them. Simple.
I lost my dad over 11 years ago - goodness me that seems like an age ago, but it also seems like yesterday when I last hugged him and joked about the lasts episode of Top Gear or his exploits as a younger man. I’m now 41 (blimey!) and my son is the same age I was when Dad was 41. I hope I can do for him what he did for me, I’ll try my hardest that’s for sure… I know we both cried when our sons were born!
I could reel off all manner of clichés about a boy’s bond with his father, but the fact is that they are all true. I had the honour of knowing mine for 30 years - too many people didn’t, or won’t, have that luxury so I know that I am lucky. I’m lucky too because I could have lost him when I was 7 years old, little did I know then that the next 23 years would be rather tumultuous with endless hospital visits and scares. At times, I got angry and annoyed that he was a Dad who couldn’t kick a football around with me, throw me around the garden or in the pool, but I guess this was just a normal reaction to an abnormal situation……I was just a nipper too. However, the lack of physical messing around was replaced by loving guidance, jokes, and kindness. I was lucky there too. I think I miss him more now than ever; I need to ask more questions and I need some fatherly advice! However, I do find comfort knowing that his answers to my questions would ultimately be that everything will work out for the best and what’s meant to be will be.
So please enjoy this coming Sunday, and make the effort. Take lots of pictures throughout the day - not just of sitting around the table but the whole day, from peeling the spuds to doing the washing up. Don’t just leave the images on your phone either, get them framed and put them on the wall! I leave the house every morning as pass an image of me and Dad, it makes me smile :)
An epic roast will make everyone smile too! Why not treat yourselves this Father’s Day with one of my all time favourites: a roast dinner? I don’t think I know any man who doesn’t love a decent roast dinner and the roast beef must be the king!
Here are some of my secrets on creating the ultimate roast:
- Always buy the best that you can afford, and if possible, use a butcher rather than a supermarket.
- Fore rib is the best roast - bone in always works for me as it adds more flavour to the meat.
- Make sure you leave the meat in the fridge for about 24 hours before cooking and ensure its uncovered. This will enable the meat to air dry - it makes a difference, trust me!
- Buy floury ones like Maris Piper - waxy potatoes never fluff up when roasted!
- Parboil them first (for about 15 minutes) but make sure they are completely dry before roasting in a hot pan with lashings of olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Make the batter in advance - it will keep in the fridge for hours and it saves you time.
- Make sure there’s plenty of oil in the roasting dish before pouring in the batter, and also make sure that the oil is piping hot too!
- Don’t open the oven during cooking - no one wants a collapsed Yorkie!
- You can always precook any greens like beans or broccoli - simply shock in iced water after cooking and then simply reheat in boiling water just before serving. This will take the pressure off especially if you’re cooking for large numbers :)
- Roasted carrots and parsnips can be elevated with a little drizzle of honey for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- I always use a selection of chopped root vegetables and some woody herbs (rosemary and thyme) to place my beef on while roasting. The flavours permeate the meat and can be used to make gravy when the meat is cooked.
- Season the beef just before roasting. I also love to rub the fat with some mustard powder too (English of course!).
- Make sure that you rest the meat after cooking. This will ensure it relaxes and retains its juices. You can easily leave it to rest for an hour and this will also give you time to roast the potatoes and Yorkshire puddings.
Complete your Father's Day with a super decadent chocolate fondant.
They are remarkably easy to make and the gooey chocolate is a sure winner!
- Be sure to use the best chocolate you can find - it has to be dark and at least 70% coco.
- I would always suggest making a few more than necessary! These little beauties are often subject to collapse so set aside some of the chocolate mix just in case the first batch don’t live up to your expectations.
Make sure you subscribe to our meal plans to see how easy this meal is to create at home and make your Dad the happiest man in the world!! Happy Father's Day.