So many poems about June: green grass and flourishing rose bushes, puffy white clouds shaped like animals, BBQs and of course, Father’s Day. As a cookbook author, wife, and mother to three grown boys, I’ve witnessed many a happy Father’s Day, and love weighing in on ways to get to any man’s heart through his stomach. There are so many culinary inspirations this month. Hawaiian Foods Week is upon us (message me if you’re interested in a contest I saw, to submit a recipe and win a trip to Hawaii!), Caribbean Cultural Heritage Month – basically, I can’t walk past fresh pineapples and King’s Hawaiian Rolls right now, without wanting to host a luau! That’s what got me searching through Sunday Best Dishes for something with tropical fruit. I pulled up Popovers with a to-die-for-pineapple mango chutney (see my recipe below) –then it occurred to me how lovely it would be to have a Father’s Day tea! There are plenty of masculine teas out there; it’s not all rosehips and chamomile. I talked to Yogi Tea, a global company, about their “Men’s Tea” flavor, and they said I’m more than welcome to link to their product, yay! You can always refrigerate yogi teas if you prefer your “spot of” cold; or ditch the tea concept altogether and create a spritzer out of club soda, seeped in your favorite summer fruits. Create your Father’s Tea ambience, by serving Dad in the common area of your home. For some people that’s the kitchen table, but another’s happy place may be the living room easy chair. An ottoman, footstool, or coffee table make great surfaces for a breakfast tray and “tea service” – even if that’s just two mugs. Just make sure you let Dad talk about anything he wants. Sit back and patiently listen to why this or that politician is THE ONE. Don’t interrupt! Offer a selection of newspapers if your pop is the strong silent type. Cue up Pandora on the stereo with his favorite soothing songs. Rainy Day jazz compilations work well! BUT…What about after tea time? After all, he’s King for a Day…these gift ideas will make him feel that way! Audubon Society: Does Dad like bird watching? You could sign him up for a local chapter, get him a subscription to the magazine, or just talk about what a cool site this is: http://www.audubon.org/ Baseball: Minor League Baseball is happening all over America right now. Take Dad out to the ballgame, and buy him some peanuts and crackerjacks! All the Bourne and Bond movies you can stand. Who is to say that this morning’s tea room can’t morph into a home movie theatre! A day of golfing: After a spectacular breakfast worthy of Jorj.com, go play golf! It’s okay if you don’t have equipment or a membership in a country club. You can rent putters for the day. Check out this info on How to Find a Place to Play Golf for Dummies. NatGeo: ah, National Geographic. The photography, the articles. Dad would love that! Plant or build something: What could go wrong with a story that starts with: Dad and I went to Home Depot…. A pedicure: It’s not just for women! Just tell your Dear old Dad it won’t be as bad as that scene from Dumb and Dumber when they’re being pampered at the salon… I have more, but you don’t have time to hear it. Father’s Day is just 2 weeks away!! Here’s my recipe for nibbles to go with the tea. The chutney part of it produces enough to put in a pretty mason jar and label it for Dad – hipster dudes love that kind of thing! Ciao, fellas! Citrus Popovers with Tropical Chutney MAKES 6 SERVINGS A hint of citrus in the batter of these airy popovers works brilliantly with the rich, sweet and spicy chutney. It’s a pop-in-the-mouth breakfast treat for a busy Sunday. Chutney ¼ cup red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons brown sugar ¼ teaspoon ground coriander ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 1 ½ cups pineapple, cut into ½-inch cubes 1 large mango, peeled, pitted and cut into ½-inch cubes, about 1 ½ cups 1 cup papaya, cut into ½-inch cubes 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated, about 1 tablespoon 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, veins removed, diced, about 1 tablespoon 1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced, about 1 tablespoon ½ teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon ground white pepper 1 cinnamon stick 1 bay leaf Heat the vinegar, honey, brown sugar, coriander and cloves in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add the pineapple, mango and papaya. Stir in the ginger, jalapeno and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Bury the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Simmer the chutney, until the fruit begins to break down and the liquid disappears, about 20 to 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature. ————————————————————————— Popovers 1 ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 large eggs 1 ½ cups milk 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted Zest of 1 medium lemon, about 2 teaspoons Preheat the oven to 450°. Whisk together flour, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, milk, melted butter and lemon zest in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just blended. Pour the batter into a six-cup popover tin coated with vegetable oil spray and dusted with a bit of flour. Fill the popover cups two-thirds to three-quarters full. Transfer the pan to the oven. The popovers will puff up several inches, so make sure your rack in the bottom third of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350° and bake until the popovers pop, and are golden and crusty, about 20 minutes more. Remove popovers from the oven, and transfer onto a rack. Puncture the sides with a sharp knife to let steam escape, and serve immediately with a dollop of chutney on the side.