Search

Table for 9 please

A Fathers perspective of a huge family, finally…..

Category

Dads

Culinary bliss

One of my guilty pleasures is to be in the kitchen cooking.  Nothing could be more satisfying than to create a meal for your family and watch their bliss filled faces as they savor every bite.  In ancient times the man gathered and the woman prepared the meals.  This theme can also be seen in photographs or caricatures of the 50’s, but is it true today?  Lets take a look at the landscape of today culinary artists, most of which are men surprisingly.  Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Michael Chiarello, Jean Georges, the list goes on and on, yet when we look at today’s society, has it really changed from times past.  Are there not more stay at home moms then dads?  Are not men supposed to love sports, hate the arts, and forge for monetary success, and not be stuck in the kitchen or at home with the kids?  One of my pet peeves for someone to ask me is if I babysat my kids this weekend.  The answer that I give, much to the surprise of the inquisitor is, no, I stayed home like a father and parented the house, after all it was 50/50 when those kids were created, right? There is no reason a father could not be just as nurturing and loving as a mother, in fact it should be an equal split.  We, as a society, are still very antiquated in our thought processes and are stuck, in most cases, in the 1950’s with the woman in the kitchen slaving and the man in the arm-chair reading the paper waiting for the dinner bell.  Sorry for the digression, but come on husbands and dads, let’s be the role models we know can be for our children and shape who they will become, times are changing all around, do not get trapped on the subway….participate!

Since we have returned home with Liev and August, our close community of friends have showered us with dinners nightly. I am genuinely amazed at the outpouring of support and love from the people we spend daily life around.  Needless to say, we have been very well fed and have had no need to even contemplate what to fix for dinner, until last night!  Thank you to all of you that have helped and continue to help us through the first few weeks of adjustment.  We love you all dearly and appreciate what you have done more than words can express.  I must admit though, I was very excited to plan a weekend menu and go to the grocery store, one of my favorite field trips.  There is much forethought that goes into what we will be eating and I don’t take shortcuts on food prep.  It all must be fresh, organic, and prepared to perfection!  Friday night the planning began…….

I start most days with a brown sugar latte that I make at the house.  Three shots of espresso (Nespresso), whole milk (why not), and some brown sugar, not a better way to begin.  Breakfast is not really my thing, although I love a good, flaky pastry…..And lunch, well it is a hodgepodge of things to fill the void till dinner.  Then the prep begins for the evening feast.  Always have a good glass of wine while preparing food, it clears the mind, sharpens your culinary senses and is excellent for heart health.  All the scents that are wafting in the air make that Pinot, which is the only true foodie wine, taste even better.  Friday night the menu consisted of:  Chardonnay braised chicken with a Crème fraîche mushroom sauce (classic French cooking always has sauces), sautéed haricot vert with shallots, rosemary and olive oil roasted potatoes and good crusty bread (with French salted butter).  It was fantastic, the chicken was falling off the bone (I do not cook with boneless chicken!) and all meals should have good bread and even better butter.  If you do nothing else in life, spend the money for good French salted butter, you will not have regrets.   Ahhhhh….to be back in the kitchen…..good therapy.IMG_2295

Sunday was an entirely different region of food, but somewhat of the same routine.  It was a twist on classic Osso Buco made with brisket instead of lamb shank, I have never been a huge lamb fan and thought it might be a great substitute.  The one thing I need to accomplish is to train one of the boys to be my Sous Chef.  The prep for a meal in this family can be quite extensive and very labor intensive.  So off we go with chopping the veggies, seasoning the grass-fed meat, and preparing the dutch oven for the searing and sautéing.   For those that do not know, Osso Buco consists of a braising process that intensifies the flavors and renders the meat extremely tender and flavorful.  Mine was made with Amarone wine and cooked for about 4 hours till the brisket was falling apart.  The meat was then laced on a bed of egg noodles with the cooking sauces and topped with fresh grated parmigiano reggiano, served with a salad and, of course, some good crusty bread for the sauce.  The dish was amazing and the whole house smelled fantastic.

IMG_2300IMG_2307IMG_2308 IMG_2309IMG_2310

Food should be an amazing experience that thrills all the senses.  It can be sweet, yet bitter, with salt and spice which all leads to an explosion of sensuous flavors.  Culinary skill is truly an art form that can unleash ones full creative potential.  The challenge in life is to find something that makes us feel fulfilled and accomplished.  For me its my new-found love of writing, my beautiful family and the time we spend together, and creating culinary journeys as the Executive Chef for our Table for 9.  Who know what could be next…….stayed tuned.IMG_2317

Sleep Deprivation

IMG_2252
Best buddies

We have all had the feeling while in the hospital, sleeping on a make shift couch/bed, interrupted every hour though out the night for BP reading and various other check ups, I am ready to go home.  All of these nuisances are obviously necessary for the health of mother and child, or in our case children, but man they can be terribly interruptive to sleep.  Then you are so excited to go home and get back to normal life with dates and dinner parties and movie nights and ice cream runs, and all those things that make life satisfying.  Wait…..we just had twins and any sort of “normalcy” is pretty much gone for the next…oh….4 years or so!  Then, after you are home, you look back at how good it was in that cold postpartum room, when the nursery would offer to take the babies for the night to allow you to “get some sleep.”  Now we are home and the real parenting begins!IMG_2219

How is it the babies can be so sleepy and content in the hospital and when they get home, surprise, surprise, surprise, “Dad, we have lungs and I am really not that tired anymore.”  Most of the time that has been the case, but these boys have been dreamy so far (I will regret saying that!).  Now they still have their moments, during diaper changes, when they get “hangry,” or when one of their older brothers pokes them in the eye, you know, the normal stuff.  These boys should be bullet proof by the time they are old enough to walk.  I guess having 5 older brothers will do that!

They don't look naughty at all...
They don’t look naughty at all…

After 4 years of no babies, you tend to forget what it is like to not get continuous sleep.  It is sort of like taking a succession of tiny naps all night, which does nothing for you mental exhaustion.  Then the kids start playing tricks with your mind!  Here is the game, you decide to start changing their diapers before feeding, they start filling them up mid feeding.  Then when they are done you brighten their day by changing their diaper, again, which is always a calming event.  They are then wide awake at 3 am, which is spectacular!  Of course if you wait and start not change the diapers before the eat, they do nothing in them and you have woken them up for no reason, its a viscous game.  There is some joy with them being awake at 3 am when you have 5 other kids, you finally get some quiet one on one time.  They are so sweet and just look at you and coo and there are no other distractions or noise, it is utopia.  I think it is an amazing time to bond with the babies.  Even when you are tired seeing those big eyes and hearing the soft sounds, its quite fantastic!IMG_2240

I have shared with you previously how absolutely perfect my wife/supermom/best friend is and has been through all of this, well she continues to amaze.  I haven’t seen her this happy in quite sometime.  I can tell her heart is exploding with love and our family has definitely strengthened through this adventure.  My unbreakable bond with my best friend has grown in ways I didn’t feel were possible.  Even in the midst of sleep deprivation, which normally means short fuses, we continue to lead and transform this family with smiles and love.  I have never met a person quite like her, someone that completes and enhances everything about who I am.  She is my everything, and together I know that no peak is unreachable and every summit will be conquered.

Lets be honest, getting no sleep really stinks, but to have, not one, but two healthy babies, does it really get better?  I know most of you think we are absolutely crazy, 7 kids, and with the imbalance of work load to sleep, I tend to agree, but this thing called life is getting really good.  What if you got to always received two of everything, 2 Ferraris, or 2 houses in the French West Indies, or 2 signed original Babe Ruth bats, would that not be spectacular?  That is exactly what having multiples is like.  Remember that view from 10k feet, I have to tell you its looking pretty breathtaking right now.  Cherish the moments you have and don’t wish for the ones you never got, and remember only you make your own destiny.  Being a Dad is the greatest treasure given to man, seize it and make the most of these moments, even if you are sleep deprived, there are surprises in the most inopportune times and places.

5 am snuggle time.....
5 am snuggle time…..

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: