Father’s Day has been tough for me the past seventeen years. I lost my dad on January 6, 2003. I was pregnant with my first child after a long bout of infertility. My husband was becoming a new father while I was losing my own. I was so excited to be expecting, but so incredibly sad that my dad would never meet our baby. I was due in early August.

We decided not to find out the baby’s sex. With fertility treatment, you know exactly when your baby is conceived and there are few surprises. I was convinced we were going to have a boy and would name it after my dad (Frank). Ironically, our daughter Iris was born 6 weeks early, 5 days after Father’s Day that year. Her birthday often coincides with the holiday. It has always been a bitter sweet day.

One of my fondest memories of my dad was going out to breakfast. With a family of five kids, we didn’t go out often. Money wasn’t tight per se, but we certainly lived frugally. We typically went to family-style restaurants- Perkins, Denny’s or the local pancake house come to mind. My dad always told me my “eyes were bigger than my stomach”. I had a bad habit of ordering more food than I could possibly eat. Secretly, I think he didn’t mind. Dads are known to have to clean their kids’ plates.

Strawberry pancakes was one such item. They always looked so good on the menu! Who could resist a tower of fluffy pancakes with whipped cream nestled between them, topped with strawberry sauce and more whipped cream? Not me! I’ve always had a sweet tooth and it continues to this day.

We recently had some dying strawberries in the frig. Rather than making a smoothie, my mind traveled back to that stack of strawberry pancakes from the days of family breakfast. My husband and I tend to work as a team in the kitchen. He made mini pancakes and I made strawberry sauce. The whipped cream isn’t pictured here, but it always adds a special touch to the dish.

My girls love this special breakfast, too. Maria- adopted from Guatemala in 2006, has my dad’s name for her middle (Francis). Her maternal grandmother’s name was Francis. The world is small!

Ingredients (pancakes)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. white sugar

1 1/4 cups milk

1 egg

3 Tbsp. canola oil or melted butter


  1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and make a “well” in the center.
  2. Add the milk, egg and oil/butter and add it to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Heat a frying pan or griddle and spray with non-stick spray. Pour 1/4 cup pancake mix on the pan/griddle and brown on both sides. Serve hot. * Recipe taken from Allrecipes.com https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/21014/good-old-fashioned-pancakes/

Strawberry sauce

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. sugar


  1. Place berries, lemon juice and sugar in a small pot. Mash the berries with a wooden spoon while they cook over medium heat (roughly 5 to 7 minutes).
  2. Spoon strawberry mixture over pancakes and serve hot.
  3. Top with a dollop of whipped cream (optional)

Makes 6 large pancakes or 10-12 mini cakes. Happy Father’s Day!




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