Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., is credited with founding our holiday honoring fathers, according to the National Father's Day Committee. The inspiration was her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran who was widowed when his daughter and five sons were still small children.
Years later, after marrying and becoming a mother, Dodd realized the difficulties he must have had raising his young family and wanted to show gratitude for his constant devotion. The idea of an official day to honor her father, as well as those throughout America, occurred to her in 1909.
Made National Holiday in 1971
With assistance from the Spokane Ministerial Assn., the YMCA and the city's mayor, Dodd saw her campaign come to fruition when the first Father's Day was observed in Spokane on June 19, 1910. Although the day has been celebrated every year since and has gradually gained popularity, it wasn't until 1971 that Congress, by joint resolution, made Father's Day a national holiday to be observed on the third Sunday of June.
That's this Sunday, and if you haven't already made plans, don't hesitate to fall back on a tried and true way of letting Dad know he's appreciated--serving a dinner featuring some of his favorite foods.
For many dads this might be a juicy hamburger or a succulent steak, probably cooked on the outdoor grill. A Mushroom-Stuffed Burger is a flavorful variation that conceals a spicy mushroom-onion filling. Serve on rafts of lettuce or toasted hamburger buns. Round out the menu with other dishes like Curried Bean Salad Bake, Dill Potato Salad and Country-Style Beans or Quick and Easy Baked Beans.
MUSHROOM-STUFFED BEEF BURGERS
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 small head iceberg lettuce, optional
Cook mushrooms, green onions and barbecue sauce over low heat 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.
Divide ground beef into 8 equal portions and form into patties 4 inches in diameter. Spoon equal amount of mushroom sauce in center of 4 patties. Top with remaining patties. Press edges together securely to seal.
Place burgers on grill 5 to 6 inches above ash-covered coals. Grill 5 to 6 minutes, turn and season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill additional 5 to 6 minutes, or to desired doneness. Turn and season again to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut lettuce into 4 slices or rafts, 1-inch thick. Place cooked patty on each raft. Makes 4 servings.
CURRIED BEAN SALAD BAKE
1 (16-ounce) can fruit cocktail in juice or extra light syrup
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 (15 1/4-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Dash hot pepper sauce
Green pepper rings, optional
Drain fruit cocktail, reserving liquid for another use. Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan or oven-proof casserole. Stir in fruit cocktail, onion, green pepper and curry powder. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender.
Stir in kidney beans, tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes or until kidney beans are tender. Garnish with green pepper rings. Makes 6 servings.
DILL POTATO SALAD
1/3 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon instant minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
4 cups sliced cooked potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 (1-pound) can cut green beans, drained
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped pimiento
Combine vinegar, onion, salt, sugar and dill weed in small bowl. Pour over potatoes and beans in large bowl and toss to coat evenly. Cover and chill to blend flavors. Add eggs, sour cream and pimiento and toss lightly. Makes 6 cups.
1 pound dry navy beans
6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
6 strips bacon
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 peeled tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Wash and sort beans. Combine with water and salt in large saucepan. Cover and let stand overnight. Add water to cover and simmer with pepper, garlic and bay leaf until tender, about 2 hours.
Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and crumble. Saute onions in bacon drippings until golden. Add green pepper and tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in oregano and parsley.
Drain beans, reserving liquid, and mix thoroughly with bacon and vegetable mixture. Place in 2-quart casserole, adding bean liquid to cover. Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour, adding additional liquid if necessary. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
QUICK AND EASY BAKED BEANS
2 (1-pound) cans pork and beans
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons catsup
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
3 tablespoons dark molasses
1 small onion, chopped
Combine pork and beans, bacon, brown sugar, catsup, mustard, molasses and onion and pour into 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 40 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.