Posts Tagged ‘ cooking ’

Nevadog on Being a Single Father

What does being a father mean to me? I have spent my life as a professional soldier in the United States Military and continue to serve my country in other capacities since leaving, and for me, all my military accomplishments, all the honor and the glory I have seen in battle, in my 2 years deployed to Iraq, all my efforts.  They all pale in comparison to being a good father.  I strongly believe that even alone as a single male I am capable of raising my children to be healthy and to understand what a healthy relationship entails.

I strive to set goals for us as individuals but also as a family unit, goals like our fishing trips, the 5k we ran as a family team, visiting their great-grandfather (my grandpa), I set these goals and help accomplish them so that in time my children will have lasting memories of what a good and healthy childhood is.  In my time with them I push them farther than they realize they can accomplish, I do this by listing to NPR in the mornings, explaining to them what is going on in the world news and then asking them questions.  I am often astounded when they ask me more questions back.  They are INTERESTED when I give them data, when I give them problems to solve and when I create challenges for them to complete.  They are amazed when they create stuff, both in the kitchen and in the woods.  They love it when I tell my stories and make fiction for them to be immersed in.  Telling stories is such a rich and rewarding part of my days with my children, both for them and for me.

Not everything they do is without fault.  I have to play the bad guy at times too.  Allowing them to have consequences for their actions (both good and bad) and watch as they suffer through those consequences.  For instance, I have found that my son (who is 12) has such a better time reflecting on his actions when I ask him to write me a paper on respecting his family, or on treating his sister better (or whatever it happened to be) because it causes him to reflect and actually write from his heart rather than give his cop-out answers like, “I wasn’t paying attention,” or “I didn’t mean to”.  For my daughter letting her know (she is 8 ) that I am ashamed or hurt by her makes her realize just what she did was wrong.  Both of my children are very mature and very different emotionally in how they act and how they react and I love both of them for their individuality.

I write this not to brag, not to boast, simply to show that anyone (even a broken and at times lonely and sad army vet) can be a good and wonderful father.  You just need to pay attention and to show love.

Making Food with my Children

Wednesday night I took my kids to the store and we bought some heavy whipping cream, some pure vanilla extract, and some organic sugar cane sugar.  You see where I’m going with this?

As I began to cook dinner I asked them if they wanted to help me make some home-made whipping cream and brownies to go with it.  They of course, were ecstatic.  They fought and bickered over the turn to mix first.  Little did they know that I do not own an electric mixer so with a wisk I had them take turns whipping the cream until it formed some nice soft peaks.  Well you may not know this but it took the 3 of us about an hour to finally get it done.  Heavy cream has this magical nature to go one minute from a liquid to the next into this delicious whipping cream.

We also made butter that night.  Fresh butter where we put some heavy cream into a sealed container.  I had my kids take turn shaking it.  That change was even more dramatic.  Watching their faces as they saw it go from a frothy liquid to a complete solid and some milk.  we opened the container and saw a complete separation of the butter and the milk.  I poured the milk into a small glass and let them both taste it.  It was delicious and we added a pinch of salt to the butter and that too was delicious.

One hour of my time and my kids now have this incredible memory of creating something delicious by themselves.  It is very rewarding to know as a child that you have the potential to succeed like that.  I just wanted to share this story with all of you because it was a wonderful night for us and any other parents out there (single or otherwise) may want to try this little easy thing with their young ones to create a delicious snack that your kids can take pride in having created through a little hard work.

Breakfast, Soccer and Manatees on the Weekend

So here are the pics from my weekend with the kids, some breakfast, soccer, and manatees on a Single dad weekend with my kids:

Things you can fit in Cortech Sport Bags

I have on my Honda 919 a set of Cortech Sport Bags and here are a few things that you can fit in them (I know this because I have carried these things)

a pineapple

gallon of milk

carton of eggs

cheese

ahi tuna

12 pack of beer

workout clothing

couple days worth of clothing and toiletries

 

Not all at once mind you, but at one time or another I have had such things in my bags 🙂

Cooking with Dad

It’s Sunday and we have already made eggs, bacon, cookies, and prepared the Ahi Tuna for tonight.  Oh and while my son worked on his paper that is due on Monday my daughter and I took a short ride to the store to get the ingredients for our breakfast.

Here are the pics and video of this morning, I hope you all enjoy and for any single dads struggling out there, doing simple things with your kids goes a long way…

Here is how we are preparing the Tuna:

Ahi Tuna Steak
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 clove crushed garlic (for each steak)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
small amount of sea salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
In a shallow 9 X 13 inch glass dish, prepare all of the marinade ingredients. Remember, if you have more than 2 8 oz tuna steaks, you might need to adjust the ingredients to marinate. Marinate both sides (dredge steaks and get marinade on both sides). Let sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes before grilling. *Soy sauce will overpower tuna if you marinate for too long!
Light the grill while tuna is marinating. Once coals are white (30 minutes) spread them and clean the grill, then wipe with oil so steaks don’t stick.
Grill for 4 minutes or less per side for 1 inch steaks, depending on how you like them. Steaks should be firm with pink in the middle. If you prefer steaks to be more rare, grilling time should be 2 1/2 minutes on each side.
Recommended Side dishes: Serve with white and long grain wild rice (We used Vigo) and grilled yellow squash cut lengthwise, sprinkled with Sea Salt and pepper squash and drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Use the same marinade as for the tuna. For grilled squash, brush with marinade frequently during grilling, and grill until just tender.

Ahi Tuna Steak 1 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup lemon juice 1 clove crushed garlic (for each steak) 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil small amount of sea salt, to taste fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In a shallow 9 X 13 inch glass dish, prepare all of the marinade ingredients. Remember, if you have more than 2 8 oz tuna steaks, you might need to adjust the ingredients to marinate. Marinate both sides (dredge steaks and get marinade on both sides). Let sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes before grilling. *Soy sauce will overpower tuna if you marinate for too long!Light the grill while tuna is marinating. Once coals are white (30 minutes) spread them and clean the grill, then wipe with oil so steaks don’t stick.
Grill for 4 minutes or less per side for 1 inch steaks, depending on how you like them. Steaks should be firm with pink in the middle. If you prefer steaks to be more rare, grilling time should be 2 1/2 minutes on each side.
Recommended Side dishes: Serve with white and long grain wild rice (We used Vigo) and grilled yellow squash cut lengthwise, sprinkled with Sea Salt and pepper squash and drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Use the same marinade as for the tuna. For grilled squash, brush with marinade frequently during grilling, and grill until just tender.

Homework and dinner

Yeah, so as a single dad I end up grilling out quite a bit.  For tonight it was burgers with some colby jack cheese but unfortunately I forgot to get buns.  Luckily I had some rye bread handy.  Kids learn to enjoy all kinds of food when you introduce it to them in a way where they have to try it rather than offer them easy ways out.  I don’t ever use white bread and my kids love things that other kids don’t, like avocados, muscles, and artichoke.

My son was in the middle of doing his homework and I had to convince him to smile (by threatening to post a sillier picture of him instead of this one).

Single Dad

I can imagine that there are more of us out there than we let on, us you ask? Yes, the single father. We do things a little different than the single mom. Our kids love us for our rough around the edge nature and for the things we end up teaching them about life. The intent of this blog is to do just that, to tell a little of my life and all the aspects of being a single father, Iraq war vet, motorcycle rider, and and explorer of the mundane.

A little about me, I love to cook, to ride my motorcycle (yes, even with my kiddos), I write short stories, play video games, love Robots and Zombies (marvel zombies is an awesome comic). I struggle every week to do the best for my kids all the while attempting to understanding the world from the standpoint of the single father.