Family Tested, Dad Approved Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day


“Want to hear a joke about a piece of paper? Never mind… it’s tearable.”

Break out the dad jokes and pull up a lawn chair, Father’s Day is right around the corner.

Last year was my first father’s day with my husband as a dad. We were currently in the middle of dealing with our first child being five weeks old. We were in the no sleep/what have we gotten ourselves into the stage of parenthood. So I really feel like that this is my first Father’s Day for my husband. My own father passed away 3 years ago, so the holiday is bittersweet for me. Anyway, I’m hoping to have a celebration of what my family traditionally did and pass along some ideas of ways to celebrate.

For gifts, we always got my Dad the tackiest t-shirts and ties. My sister and I would get shirts that we thought were hilarious. Last year I got my husband a shirt that said “Super Dad.” For shirts, I like to support local stores. This is one of my favorite places to go Homage. For Father’s Day, you can create a custom shirt and they have some cute ideas. The men in my life tend to be extra Midwestern, in that their favorite apparel is a sports t-shirt, jeans, and a baseball hat representing their fave MLB team. Seriously though, Homage is pretty much a one-stop shop for gifts for your guy. I mean, what 80’s baby wouldn’t want a shirt commemorating NBA Jam? They even have WWE shirts from the 80’s and early 90’s as well. As someone who only had one sister, I am still learning about the intricacies and plots of the WWE in the 80’s and 90’s.

Now let me do what I do best, cook. In my family any special day the person was allowed to choose their favorite meal or try something new. My Dad loved Italian roast beef, corn on the cob, and pineapple upside down cake. He was also obsessed with frozen custard and ice cream. My dad used to get a frozen pint of whatever he loved and ask for a spoon and eat it as it thawed. As an elderly Sicilian woman trapped in a 33 year old’s body, nothing brings me more joy than being in the kitchen for hours and cooking for my family. I have put together a menu that is easy, you can make ahead of time so you can spend the day doing fun things with your family. I tried to choose recipes that denote a celebration and a treat of some kind. Obviously, I am using some of my husband’s preferences but I’ve found these are crowd pleasers.

Crowd Pleaser Food & Drinks

This old chestnut is perfect for entertaining: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches. This recipe is so easy and very enjoyable. Put this in the crockpot and have an adventure with your family. Serve with a side salad and you’ve got yourself a good meal.

My husband is a beer snob so I would suggest a great local beer with your meal. My personal favorite is Wolf’s Ridge.  If you are like me and are over IPAs and aren’t a huge hops fan these offer a great selection.

Now the piece de resistance-this is one of the best things I have ever made and it’s something you can modify for your own taste buds. It is Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Raspberry Tart. I used graham crackers instead of the chocolate wafer cookies and I added sea salt to the ganache to make a chocolate sea salt tart. However, in the summer it’s berry season so I would make this and top it with raspberries or even fresh strawberries. It’s really decadent but absolutely beautiful. It’s a treat and perfect for celebrating.

There you have it! My ideas for Father’s Day and I hope they help you out with ideas. Please enjoy your time with your families and cherish moments with your loved ones! For those who have lost their fathers, I see you and I hear you. Love to your families. Do you have special Father’s Day foods? What are some of your favorite things to do? Do you have specific foods that remind you of a special person?

This is the author and her late father during their father-daughter dance at her wedding. He was the kindest man the author has ever known and is dearly missed.

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Alison Gehred
Alison is an Air Force brat, who was born in Wisconsin (and she still visits there often to see extended family) and lived all over the West before her family settled in the Dayton area. Alison received her BA from Bowling Green State University where she met her husband, best friends who are like family, and worked at her college radio station. If there was a cool band in the mid aughts, chances are Alison played them on her show "My Aim is True." Alison received her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin and moved back to southwest Ohio. She reconnected with her now husband Mark and moved to Columbus a year later. Several years later, she is still working at Nationwide Children's Hospital as a medical librarian and they have a little boy named Rhys and two feisty cats. They are enjoying re-discovering Columbus as parents and enjoy what the city has to offer in the food, music, and art scene. Alison enjoys fashion, cult movies and tv shows, discovering new music and meticulously keeping track of it in various journals, BBC crime dramas, SCIENCE, reading all kinds of books, and cooking. Alison has her own personal blog about her life and things she finds interesting at She loves to write and hope you enjoy her vignettes about motherhood and this fair city.


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