This is one of my favorite recipes that I discovered after I finally got myself a good enameled cast iron dutch oven. There’s a little bit of work at the beginning and end that will need your attention, but most of the cooking time here is low-and-slow in the oven so you can leave it unattended.
If you can’t find boneless short-ribs, you can buy bone-in as well and de-bone them yourself, or just use them bone-in and remove the bones near the end (be warned the sauce will have a LOT more fat in it needing to be removed). My advice is to ask your butcher — any good one will gladly de-bone them for you.
The resulting ribs will be exceptionally tender, and in my experience kids and adults both like this a lot. I like to make mine and have over egg noodles, but you can use any pasta, rice, potatoes… whatever you want.
Anyhow, moving on…
Naturally, in the initial weeks after a child is born and he or she is still figuring out life outside the womb, most parents quickly find that baby’s nap-time is also their only chance to catch a little bit of sleep too. But what you may not know is that this can last well past infancy — so much so that parents of toddlers literally dread the day when their child’s nap-time comes to an end. When your baby’s naps start to become fewer, but longer, it becomes an indispensable time to get things done . . . laundry, meal prep, cleaning, dishes, paying bills, showering . . . but it also grants the opportunity to do something that most working parents can only dream about: take a nap of your own in the middle of the day.
This isn’t exactly news to most moms. In fact, ask any at-home mom, and if she’s honest, she’ll admit that the return of (usually) guilt-free daytime nap to the life of an adult is one of the Great Untold Perks of being home with your kids during the day. This is, however, something at-home parents don’t talk about a lot, lest we encourage the false image that being an at-home parent means a lot of sitting around doing nothing, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Naps are not just beneficial (according to both a 2005 NASA study and a 2002 National Institutes of Health study) but I submit they are necessary for the caregiver of even the most angelic toddler to function at their best. And hey, 46 million Spaniards can’t be wrong!
I am something of a foodie. I love good food (maybe too much) but more than that I love preparing good food for others, and learning new techniques that help me make my food better. Cooking most meals is one aspect of being an at-home dad that I took to like a monkey takes to bananas.
So, I’ve decided I’ll be having Foodie Fridays on here. Sometimes I’ll post a recipe, sometimes just more general tips and tricks… we’ll see how it goes.
To start things off I thought I’d share a super easy fudge recipe I picked up that actually snagged me an unexpected award not too long ago, when I entered it into a contest on short notice. It’s perfect for taking to the playground to bribe moms into letting your kid play with theirs. This stuff is seriously so easy to make I wondered if I am going to destroy some of the mystique about it, but I figure what the heck. I just finished making a double-batch for a par-tay tonight, so it’s on the brain anyhow. This is adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe.
So, without further ado…
With a few rare exceptions, dad-as-primary-caregiver portrayals in the media (be it movies, television or commercials) fall into two basic categories:
- The bumbling dad who is forced into caring for the kid due to the loss of a job. This is always, always played for laughs.
- The bumbling dad who is suddenly thrust into a caregiver role through the sudden absence the kid’s mother, through death or abandonment. Here it will sometimes be played as a tragic circumstance, initially, but eventually for laughs as well as the poor guy struggles with diapers and how to feed and clothe a child without getting pee’d on.
“Sitcom Dad”, as he’s known, isn’t a new phenomenon by any means, nor is it limited to at-home dads. Working dads often receive the same bumbling, know-nothing portrayal as well when it comes to doing anything domestic or child-related — with the possible exception of discipline or playing video games. We’re all familiar with the exasperated wife character whose husband is little more than a large child.
I’d only been an at-home dad a month or so when I found myself telling my well-meaning and supportive parents not to call me “Mr. Mom.”
It wasn’t cute anymore and, frankly, was starting to bother me.
Way back in 1983 when John Hughes brought us the movie Mr. Mom, there is no doubt that the idea of a stay-at-home-dad was far, far less accepted and understood than it is today . . . though I guess that isn’t saying much. And to be completely fair, when all was said and done Michael Keaton’s bumbling dad character was able to get organized and find his feet (and his purpose) in caring for his kids, and the movie finishes on a positive note for at-home dads everywhere.
Unfortunately, what the movie mainly did was cement “Mr. Mom” into the mindset of millions of moviegoers as a cute thing to call any dad who takes on the primary caregiver role for his children, forever encapsulating such a role in an emasculating pink robe. Even today, 27 years later, you’re hard-pressed to find a news story about stay-at-home dads that doesn’t include a clip of Michael Keaton bumbling through changing a baby.
For some time now I’ve been bandying about the idea of starting my own “daddy-blog”.
If, like me, you’re a parent who puts even the slightest effort into seeking out others of your kind, you’ll know that “mommy-blogs” are all the rage in the parenting circle, particularly from full or part-time stay-at-home moms. These blogs, which can really range from little more than photos/videos of Mommy’s Little Angel, all the way to the moms leading the charge in the “mommy wars”, outnumber those by dads by such a huge scope it’s really rather ridiculous. But then again, the at-home-mom:at-home-dad ratio is pretty ridiculously one-sided, so perhaps it’s no surprise.
What the blogging world doesn’t need is one more dad setting up a blog to share photos, so instead what I’m hoping to do is instead try to shed a little light on what I’ve learned, and continue to learn, about being an at-home dad in the 21st Century. I’m hoping at the very least to encourage dads, whether at home or working, to be really involved with their kids from day one. And I hope to make you laugh, if I can. Think of this as “Stuff White People Like” for the at-home dad set.
So. This is me throwing my hat into the ring, as it were.