When Father’s Day Is Celebrated Throughout The World:

JANUARY:  Serbia
FEBRUARY:  Russia
MARCH:  Andorra, Bolivia, Honduras, Italy, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Spain, Antwerp
MAY:  Romania, South Korea, Tonga, Germany
June, third Sunday:  Antigua, Argentina, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Hungary, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Zimbabwe
JUNE, other dates:  Denmark, Austria, Belgium, El Salvador, Guatemala, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Uganda, Nicaragua, Poland, Haiti, Iran, Pakistan
JULY:  Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Samoa,
AUGUST:  Taiwan, Nepal
SEPTEMBER, first Sunday:  Australia, Figi, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea
OCTOBER:  Luxembourg
NOVEMBER, second Sunday:  Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
DECEMBER:  Thailand, Bulgaria

Father’s Day In Italy

Festa del Papa, the Italian name for Father’s Day,  is celebrated on March 19.  St. Joseph’s Feast Day in Italy is a day that commemorates San Giuseppe- a fatherly symbol of love, compassion, kindness, generosity and acceptance.  Households prepare traditional spreads of special Italian breads and cookies. 

  • Italians just love to celebrate. And St. Joseph’s Day or Father’s Day is no exception. This day is extremely popular in the northern part of Italy. In Florence and Rome, this festivity is marked with several days of live music and dancing, and of course, food and drink.

  • In some areas people wear green attire to commemorate this day and contemporary celebrations include people going out on street parades.

  • Family get-togethers include traditional San Giuseppe desserts that vary from region to region. In the south, zeppole (deep-fried dough balls) and bigné (cream puffs) are prepared and, in the north, frittelle (fritters) are eaten to mark the occasion.

  • In some regions, people set up bonfires or pageants to celebrate this day and a traditional donkey race is still held in some parts of Italy.

  • There is a tradition of sharing gifts. Children usually buy gifts for their fathers as a sign of honor and reverence.  After people go to church on Father’s Day, they go out on the streets and greet their fathers as a symbol of love, compassion and respect.


Father’s Day in the United States

There are many different stories as to the origins of Father’s Day in the United States. Some of the possible scenarios telling the story of the first Father’s Day are:

1. It started in 1908 during a church service in West Virginia.
2. Vancouver, Washington was where the first Father’s Day celebration occurred.
3. Harry Meek, president of the Lions’ Club branch in Chicago, created the first Father’s Day with his organization. It was celebrated in 1915 on the third Sunday of June, since that was a date very close to his birthday.

Even though we don’t know exactly when the first Father’s Day was celebrated, we do know who promoted this holiday with a great passion. Mrs. John B. Dodd, who resided in Spokane Washington, felt that her father was outstanding and deserved to be honored. He had fought in the Civil War and had raised six children on his own after his wife had died.
Mrs. Dodd spoke to her minister and other ministers around Spokane to see if they would have a church service that was solely dedicated to fathers. She wished this service to be held on June 5th, her father’s birthday. It was actually scheduled on June 19th., however, since the minister needed more time to prepare such a service.

After that, the whole state of Washington began celebrating “Father’s Day” on the third Sunday of June. Children prepared special meals and desserts as a treat for their dads. If they happened to live apart, children would make an effort to visit.

Other states and organizations wanted an annual Father’s Day for the whole country. They began lobbying Congress to declare such a holiday. The idea of a “Father’s Day” was approved by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, but it was not official until President Calvin Coolidge made it a national celebration in 1924.

In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers.  In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

Grilled Steak Florentine Pinwheels              

Ingredients:
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 1/2 pounds  Flank Steak, trimmed and cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup Progresso Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg

Directions:

 1. In medium skillet heat oil, cook onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Place flank steak between 2 pieces plastic wrap and pound each piece until thin (to about 1/4 inch — you may have to butterfly it to get it really flat). 

3. Mix bread crumbs, oregano, basil, Parmesan, mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper together. Add cooked onion and garlic and 1 egg.  Spread the stuffing mixture over each piece of flank steak, leaving a small border at the edges.  Spread each piece with a layer of spinach leaves.

4. Roll each piece of flank steak and skewer each piece with a toothpick or small metal skewer.

5. Heat grill to high; lightly oil grill rack. Place pinwheels on grill, and cook, turning often, until a thermometer inserted into center of roll reads 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

  • If you like, you can also pound, fill, and roll the entire flank steak; allow extra cooking time.
    To cook inside (if grill is not available), sear rolls in a large heavy skillet, then finish cooking in 425 degree oven, about 7 to 10 minutes.
    Makes 6 servings.

Grilled New Potatoes with a Red Pepper Crust                                                                             

You can choose among tiny red potatoes such as Red Bliss, tiny fingerling or banana potatoes, Yukon Golds, purple or blue varieties and a host of others. All are low in starch and have thin skins and a firm, moist texture. Larger potatoes may be cut into halves. Starchy russets are not a good choice for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil for coating
  • 24 small new potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Directions:

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat and oil the grill rack. If the potatoes are very small, have ready a grill basket to keep them from falling through the grill rack into the fire, or use skewers.

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook them just until they can be pierced with a knife but are not completely tender, 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and pat dry.

Put the potatoes in a large bowl and coat with oil. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, cayenne, garlic powder and salt. Toss the potatoes with the spice mixture until well coated.

Grill the potatoes directly over medium-high heat, turning often, until nicely browned and tender, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Serve immediately. 

Preparation Tip: If you are also grilling over indirect heat, you can cook these potatoes over the heated part of the grill toward the end of cooking. If grilling over direct heat, small potatoes may be grilled while the meat rests.

Summer Squash                                                                                                                                             

Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:
  • 4 medium zucchini, about 6 inches long
  • 4 medium yellow squash, about 6 inches long
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
Marinade:
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped scallions, white portion only, reserve the greens for garnish (see below)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
Directions
1. Trim the ends of the zucchini and the squash, cut each one in half lengthwise, and place in an extra-large resealable plastic bag (or divide between two large bags).
2. In the blender, or a medium-to-large bowl with an immersion blender, combine all of the marinade ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour over the zucchini and squash. Squeeze out any excess air from the bag and close. Roll the bag to evenly coat in the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Preheat a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to medium.
4. Remove the zucchini and squash from the bag, letting all excess run into the bag. Lightly pat dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.
5. Place cut side down on the grate, close the lid, and grill until well-marked, 5 minutes. Flip, close the lid, and grill on the second side until well-marked, 5 minutes.

Ricotta Pie

You can serve this pie with sliced fresh fruit.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 1/2  cups crushed almond or hazelnut biscotti
  • 2  tablespoons unsalted butter or Smart Balance Spread, melted

Filling:

  • 4  eggs
  • 16  ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 1  tablespoon honey
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1  teaspoon finely grated lemon rind

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Coat bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine biscotti crumbs and butter. Pour into the bottom of prepared pan and press down firmly. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool.
  3. To prepare filling, whisk eggs in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and whisk until well combined.
  4. Pour filling into crust and bake 50 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.
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