After I pushed the girls out the door and they made the bus by the skin of their teeth yet again, I went upstairs to get dressed and found both their lights on, one bed unmade, clothes on the floor and…the list could go on. You get the idea. I’ve told them a million times and yet…still a mess.
I got dressed and went to my desk mildly fuming and….found picture frames still not hung up. A computer still running Windows 7. A fish tank that could be cleaned. Plants slowly dying on the bookshelf. How many times had I been told or told myself to do these things and they still weren’t done?
That was my Dad epiphany this week. Like most weeks, it wasn’t all that profound but jeez kids spend a lot of their days getting commands, demands and requests thrown at them. Maybe cut them a little slack. Or at least a little understanding. Maybe finally hanging up those pictures will show them it’s hard for me too but I’m trying. Worst case, Michelle will have one less thing to do on a Saturday.
Sometimes old school is the best way. The NY Times might have revived it a few years ago, but this recipe dates back to the 30’s or 40’s. If you need a quick, easy, and reliable cake for a dinner party or birthday this is the recipe to use. It all gets ‘dumped’ into one bowl, poured into the pan, baked, and frosted.
You need to allow for cooling time but the hands on-time is less than an hour to have a sweet, moist, chocolaty cake sure to please just about anyone you’ve invited to your party. Or just your family. Or, okay, just you.
I have a race later today. 10 miles. In February. In New England. Can’t wait.
One the biggest challenges I had with my Addison’s diagnosis and then the knee arthritis was being forced to slow down, and then, stop for a bit. I know many people have a tough time, for various reasons, calling them themselves an athlete. I had a really hard time not seeing myself as an athlete. For as long as I can remember sports and fitness were a daily part of my life. It was a huge piece of how I viewed myself, viewed the world, and approached my place in it. It wasn’t the only way, of course, but it was a big part to suddenly be missing.
I’m trying to teach the girls, or at least show, them that confidence is born out of doing hard things. So a 10-miler on a brisk February morning should be a good example. Their thing might not be sports, but the principles still apply. Rise to meet a challenge, don’t bring a misery mindset. I think we often mistake needing courage, confidence or self-esteem in order to try hard things. This feels backwards to me. We need to embrace a challenge and seek out difficult tasks to explore our own psychology and how we respond. Would I have the courage to take on fourth grade math, glitter slime, or the self-esteem for kitchen karaoke without it? I’m not sure I want to find out.
I was in a hurry and knew it was risky but did it anyway. What happened? Grainy ganache. The cardinal sin of frosting!
Would the brownies taste good without the frosting? Sure. Would they be decadent and delicious? Perhaps. But they certainly wouldn’t be quite as luxuriously self-indulgent.
Could I throw out an entire batch of ganache? Hell no.
Could it be saved? Maybe.
Quick and easy might also describe how fast this cake disappeared in my house!
Yesterday was Michelle’s birthday and after the excess of Easter, including a decadent three-layer carrot cake, she claimed she didn’t want any cake on her birthday. There was no way I was going to let that stand. Life is too short not to eat cake on your birthday.
But I could see her point, too. I definitely like my desserts, almost as much as the kids, but sometimes a little can go a long way. Thank you, Dessert for Two for introducing me to the world of mini cakes last year.
For a family of four, a mini cake is the perfect thing for a mid-week celebration where prep time might be short or for keeping that celebratory pomp and circumstance but without being left with an entire cake to eat.
Father’s Day eve was a dishwater gray day, all day. In truth, I don’t mind a drizzly day once in awhile. There’s less pressure to wring every ounce from the day. I take it as a personal invitation to slow down. Mow the lawn tomorrow. Maybe read a book. Definitely take a nap.
These hard-earned nuggets of fatherly wisdom are, of course, lost on my children. They just want me to stop talking in front of the TV and maybe, could you hurry up toasting those Pop-tarts?
What other indignities did I endure yesterday? Let’s find out….
I am officially adding a decent pub to burritos and good pizza on the list of things that are difficult to find when moving out to the suburbs. For the last two weeks of these constant slate colored days both of us have been wishing for warm comfort food and dark beer. The kind of place that smells gently of bitters and fry oil with fogged windows that shield you from thinking of what’s outside.
Or, basically nothing we could find within a 20 mile radius of our house.
There are certainly places to drink out in the ‘burbs, but most are faux-authentic chains trying so, so hard or dark paneled Legion halls steeped in the smoke of unfiltered Winstons. Not places you want to bring the kids or kick back and finish the crossword puzzle that the fish and chips came wrapped in.