A day to honour the fathers

John Keough, a Second World War veteran and Cathi Litzenberger’s dad , is father of eight children, grandpa to 18 and great-grandpa to 17. He celebrates with great-grandchildren Michaela, Zoe and Ethan, along with a raspberry chocolate cake. - Cathi litzenberger photo
John Keough, a Second World War veteran and Cathi Litzenberger’s dad , is father of eight children, grandpa to 18 and great-grandpa to 17. He celebrates with great-grandchildren Michaela, Zoe and Ethan, along with a raspberry chocolate cake.
— image credit: Cathi litzenberger photo

Today, across this beautiful country of ours, we are honouring fathers. The very essence of my soul was touched in a most profound way in regard to fathers these past couple of weeks. First by the D-Day memorial celebrations recently held on the beaches of Normandy, France, to honour the veterans who fought so valiantly for our freedoms. And secondly from attending  the funeral services Tuesday (courtesy of  CBC TV) for the three slain RCMP officers in Moncton, N.B. — fathers, all of them.

Today, I want to honour fathers everywhere, especially those who have sacrificed and risked their lives in the past, and to those who still risk their lives today, whether by going to war 70 years ago, or by going to war today on our streets and cities to protect us.  Thank you all. You are true heroes.

And especially today, I’d like to honour a particular soldier, who 70 years ago, landed on Juno Beach with many other young  Canadian soldiers.  His name is John Keough and is pictured here with three of his 18 great-grandchildren. Every year, the number of these Second World War veterans  diminishes and it won’t be long until they and their stories are gone.

This veteran will be celebrating his 90th birthday at the end of June. He’s requested a party with all of his favourite foods and, most important, all his family and friends. We shall comply.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads, especially mine. Today’s recipes are some of my dad’s favourites, great for any celebration.

Strawberry Shortcake

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup shortening

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup milk

Whipped cream

1-1/2 quarts fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced

In a bowl, cream sugar and shortening. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.

Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with milk to the creamed mixture. Spread in a greased nine-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Cut into nine servings. Split each serving horizontally and fill with whipped cream and strawberries. Replace top of cake; garnish with more berries and a dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately. Yield: nine servings.

Authentic German Potato Salad

3 cups diced peeled potatoes

4 slices bacon

1 small onion, diced

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Place the potatoes into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and set aside to cool.

Place the bacon in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Fry until browned and crisp, turning as needed. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add onion to the bacon grease, and cook over medium heat until browned. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil, then add the potatoes and parsley. Crumble in half of the bacon. Heat through, then transfer to a serving dish. Crumble the remaining bacon over the top, and serve warm.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

1 box dark chocolate cake mix

Eggs, oil, water as mix calls for

1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries, very slightly crushed

24 oz. cream cheese icing

2 tbsp. raspberry preserves

¼ cup flour

Chocolate sundae syrup

Preheat oven and prepare cake mix as package directs. Prepare pans with vegetable spray and a dusting of flour.

Pour batter into  two eight-inch round pans. Using a teaspoon, put little drops of raspberries over the batter. Use the baking times from the box as a guideline, cake may take a little longer. Let cool enough to handle. Remove cake from pans.

Spread the cake top with some raspberry preserves. They should melt in. Place second cake on top, both tops of the cake should be together. This gives you a flat cake surface.  Let cool then fill in the gaps with icing and chill to make the first layer of icing firm and easier to work with. Ice the sides then the top of the cake with the remaining icing until you no longer see the chocolate.

A great presentation is to drizzle chocolate syrup on the plate. Warm just a little preserves in the microwave for a few seconds and drizzle that with the chocolate.


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