Most guys like whisky, and dad is no exception. His special day is coming up this weekend and rather than traditional Father’s Day gifts like leather bound law books, fly fishing equipment or an elaborately carved chess set – why not give him a gift he actually wants?
This Sunday, June 21 is a busy day! It is National Aboriginal Day, an annual event that starts with a sunrise ceremony at City Hall at 5:30 a.m., for all you early birds, and continues all day at Fort York with a traditional Pow Wow at noon followed by a Gala Concert at Fort York, which by the way is also hosting an Indigenous Arts Festival from the 18th to the 20th. These events are free to attend, and if you or your kids haven’t experienced Native Canadian Culture first hand these events would be a great starting point.
Sunday is also the first day of summer, the summer solstice, the day when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer resulting in the day with the most daylight of the year to assist you in your diurnal activities. After the 21st, I hate to say it, the days start getting shorter! Here is a cool guide to let you know what time the sun rises and sets each day for the rest of the year , including when the moon and major stars rise in the night sky. For example, on Sunday the sun rises at 5:36 a.m. (just in time for the Sunrise Ceremony, how about that!) and sets at 9:02 p.m., an impressive fifteen hours and twenty-six minutes of daylight!
This is good to know because Sunday is Father’s Day too, so you’ll want to plan your day with Dad accordingly.
If you haven’t got your Dad a Father’s Day gift yet, how about a copy of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer , a good, manly read on the day when the sun is set high above this very latitude, and if your Dad likes a wee nip every now and then, a bottle of good Scotch Whisky is always a good bet. It will not spoil, it never goes out of style, and it will make him feel all “Mad-Men” all over.
Scotch whisky is also an amazing ingredient for a variety of delicious savoury dinners, adding depth and complexity to familiar dishes. Sirloin steak in whisky sauce sounds pretty good, or chicken and apples in whisky sauce, salmon ceviche marinated in Scotch, or Scotch glazed wild mushrooms with garlic cheese croustades, maybe followed by chocolate, whisky and orange Mousse? For these recipes and more, click here.
Now Father’s Day wouldn’t be right without a cake for Dad, and, in keeping with the theme, maybe serve Dad a big piece of traditional Scottish Honey and Whisky Cake.
Here’s a classic recipe from rampantscotland.com
Honey and Whisky Cake
6 oz self-raising flour (or all-purpose flour with baking powder)
6 oz butter
6 oz soft brown sugar (light brown sugar)
3 beaten eggs
4 tablespoons whisky
Rind of a small orange, grated
Ingredients for butter icing:
6 oz icing (frosting) sugar
2 oz butter
2 tablespoons clear honey
Juice from a small orange
Toasted flaked almonds as decoration
Cream the butter and sugar together, add the orange rind and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Whisk until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Sift in half the self-raising flour (or all-purpose flour and baking powder) and pour in the whisky. Fold in to the mixture and sift in the remaining flour and again fold in. Grease two seven inch sandwich tins and divide the mixture between the two, smoothing the tops. Bake for 20/25 minutes in an oven at 375F/190C/Gas Mark 5 until the cake is a light golden colour. Turn onto a wire rack to allow it to cool.
Put the butter, honey and one tablespoon of orange juice in a mixing bowl. Slowly sift in the icing (frosting) sugar and work the mixture till they are all combined. Use half the butter cream as a sandwich between the two halves of the cake and spread the rest smoothly on the top. Add the toasted almonds as decoration.