Happy Father’s Day!

by Columbine Quillen on June 18, 2011

I would like to briefly apologize for falling off the face of the earth, but I found that taking a true break from all of my responsibilities was the best thing that I’ve done for my health in a very long time. I’ve been spending a lot of time with dear friends and family and it has reminded me of the importance of food and drink and how warm meals can bring cultures together, a simple punch can turn a get together into a party, and that preparing dinner with a friend can lead to a heart-felt candid conversation that would never happen otherwise.

Which is why I’m saddened that I can’t be with my dad this Father’s Day – a perfect day to spend with family over bbq’d spare ribs and limey gin and tonics. A father is who makes you strong and teaches you to stand up for your beliefs. A mother’s love is unconditional – but a father attaches many conditions to his affection. For the most part, I knew that to ensure an endearing father I needed to never borrow his scissors; have a deep personal scorn for moneyed Republicans; and have a penchants for knowledge (preferably narrow-gauge railroad history, but I’ve found that knowing the story behind the gin and tonic has sufficed).

Some time during my youth, my father read an article about how to raise successful daughters which glamorized father and daughters doing typical male activities. From that point forward he referred to the article in order to get me to partake in filthy, dirty, nasty chores such as changing the oil on his 64 Chevy pickup (a government-orange beater with the silver bumper’s letters retooled so that the bumper now stated HERO instead of Chevrolet); and helping with the wood pile, which was always filled with spiders and vermin.

Bizarrely, even when I was old enough to understand that the supposed key to success was really just a ploy for free child labor – I realized that these were special times with my dad. I was really helping him and he honestly appreciated it and enjoyed spending time with me. And although there were times when I had wished he had never read that  article – like the time we were locked out and he persuaded me to go down the coal shoot (my parents live in a turn-of-the century Victorian) or the time when he wedged the 64 Chevy on the edge of a cliff on Mount Princeton and warned me to get out while he wielded it further up the mountain – I would never give up these special moments with my dad.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

my dad

For those who can spend the day with their father and want to make him something special. Or for those dad’s who would like to celebrate with a drink – I include three easy recipes below, one for every type of dad.  Perhaps make them a little stronger – for the man who made you a little stronger.

Ginger Bee

For this drink you need to make an easy-to-concoct ginger syrup (recipe follows)

2 ounces of whiskey (my dad personally loves rye)
the juice from half of a lemon
1.5 ounces of ginger syrup

Stir and add ice


Ginger syrup

Go to the grocery and somewhere in the tea aisle you will see either a ginger tea or a lemon ginger tea – buy a box of whatever is the least expensive.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tea bags

Bring to a boil and immediately take off of the heat. Allow to cool – strain out the tea bags.


Agave Agent

2 ounces of tequila
2 ounce of honey
the juice from half of a lemon
2 ounce of pomegranate or cranberry juice

Stir and add ice and top with a little splash of soda water


for the teetotaler dad

Strawberry Lemonade

For most of the country – it is strawberry season, so why not make your dad the best strawberry lemonade ever.

For this recipe you’ll need an easy-to-concoct strawberry syrup (recipe follows)

3 ounces strawberry syrup
2.5 ounces of lemon juice (best if you can use fresh-squeezed – and the lemons are really juicy this time of the year)
3 ounces of water or sparkling water

Stir and add ice.

Strawberry Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1.5 cup cut up strawberries

Bring the ingredients to a boil. Allow to cool. Either run it through a blender or a food processor until smooth.


Later this week, I’ll be back with more from the Jerry Thomas Project – as I’ve been toiling away (only hitting a road block or two).

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