Baby It’s Cold Outside

You’ve probably heard that some radio stations have “banned” or stopped playing the classic Christmas song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” because of concerns that it perpetuates “rape culture” or because of concerns about consent. 

Well, there are a couple of really ridiculous points that are being missed in this entire discussion. First, it is really unlikely that kids are actually listening to “old timey” music like “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. Just saying. So relax, if you are concerned about young minds being presented with conflicting messages about “no means no” and what consent is, don’t worry, kids probably aren’t listening to “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

Which brings me to the second point; what are kids listening to “these days”? 

Me being an “old timer”, I couldn’t say what the kids are listening to. So I asked a bunch of kids; “Hey kids, what are the kids listening to “these days”?

HEADS UP – BE AWARE – DO NOT GOOGLE THE FOLLOWING ARTIST’S NAME AT WORK. THIS IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK. EVEN THOUGH THIS IS WHAT KIDS ARE LISTENING TO. 

“scarlxrd” – Apparently “Rap Metal” is a thing. Apparently scarlxrd is what kids are listening to. 

 Worried about consent? Have a listen to what kids are listening to. I was shocked. Shocked and appalled.

The music that kids are listening to glorifies violence. Glorifies gang life. Drug use. Guns. And violence against women. Sexual assault.

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” is like a baby’s nursery rhyme when compared to the music that kids are listening to now.

I admit that I grew up in the age of punk rock with bands called “The Dead Kennedys” and the “Day Glo Abortions”. At the time, I thought, this stuff will NEVER be topped by ANYTHING. Back in the day we thought that we had NAILED the “in your face offensive music lyrics” and NOBODY will top this stuff. 

Wrong.

Compare the lyrics to “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with the music that kids are listening to through their earbuds – society has a problem. (insert picture of old man shaking his fist at clouds here). 

And it is not “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. 

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Updated; No-Knead Rolled Oats Bread

I promise this isn’t turning into a bread-blog, but my goodness, did we ever make a beauty of a loaf of bread yesterday! This is our No-Knead Rolled Oats Bread.

I checked out Steve’s Kitchen on YouTube and followed his super simple instructions and wow, what a beautiful loaf! It rose up almost to the lid of my cast iron Dutch oven!

I’ll add the recipe and instructions a bit later today so check back later today.

Update – the “recipe”.

  • 3 1/2 cups flour (I typically use unbleached white flour)
  • 1 tablespoon of yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 cup of rolled oats

Put the water in a big mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients (except the oats). Mix until you have a big old ball of sticky dough. Sprinkle a pinch at a time of flour on top of the ball of dough so that you can mix and knead a little with your hands.

  • Add the rolled oats and work them into the ball of dough.
  • Let it rise for a few hours. Whatever is convenient for you. This last loaf I made I mixed it in the morning and then the kids and I baked it in the evening.
  • Before baking the bread, the kids and I kneaded the dough out into a flat shape and then folded it over on itself a number of times (10 or 15). The kids were having fun so we continued.
  • Then we put it in a pan to let it rise (we call this “proofing” the dough) again for about half an hour.
  • While the dough was on its final rise we put our cast iron dutch oven in the oven and cranked it up to 450 degrees.
  • Out of the pan, into the smoking hot dutch oven, lid on, into the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Lid off for about 5 minutes to let the top get roasty-toasty brown, and the bread is done.

That’s it. Want to see how it is done? Watch Steve make a No-Knead Rolled Oats Bread – he makes it look super easy.

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The Nearly World Famous Dufflebag Theatre Company Entertains

When I was a teenager my parents dragged me off to see every performance put on by the Vancouver Opera Company.

I didn’t dare let any of my friends know that I was unavailable to go to a drunken teenage party on opera night because I was going to be in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre watching opera. That would’ve been the end of my tiniest slice of “cool” as a teenager.

That was until the opera performance when I saw the Power Mechanics shop teacher from my high school on stage, with no shirt on, as he savagely beat on a massive drum and sang in a baritone voice that shook me from head to toe.

That was the game changer for me. Monday morning I went back to school and told all my friends that I had seen Mr. Town in a performance of an opera on Saturday night. And that it was AWESOME.

Seeing a real live person, a person that I knew in real life, on stage hooked me on theatre. I have loved theatre ever since that moment.

Last Friday night my family and I went to the Evergreen Cultural Centre for a performance of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by the “Nearly World Famous Dufflebag Theatre Company“.

Their performance may have been the “Mr Town” moment for some of the kids in attendance.

The performance was FUN. And completely engaging for the kids and most of the adults in the Evergreen – other than the ignorant slob sitting in front of me who answered her phone during the performance.

Their performance of ‘Twas the night before Christmas breaks down the fourth wall and brings audience members on to the stage to play parts in the performance.

There are three kids from our community who are probably going to go to school on Monday morning and talk about how they got to perform on stage in front of a live audience. Those kids may be hooked on theatre.

The family series of theatre events put on by the Evergreen Cultural Centre is a fabulous series. It is a very inexpensive way to get the kids into the theatre and experiencing real live theatre and having fun – it is fun for the kids and it is good business for the theatre; this is how they can build their future audience.

The Nearly World Famous Dufflebag Theatre Company is on their way to Penticton and out of town for a little while but they will be back in Metro Vancouver shortly.

I’ll do a little searching to find out where they’ll be playing next. They are an incredibly engaging troupe of actors (especially for kids) and if you get a chance, you need to check out their performances.

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Making Sourdough Bread Update

I finally did it! I baked a loaf of bread from my sourdough starter that WE CAN eat!!

The truth is that this was my second loaf. The first loaf turned out to be so dense and hard that I just tossed it in the green bin. It would’ve more of a blunt force

The loaf is not perfect but it is edible. And not just edible, but actually quite tasty with a clear sourdough flavour.

One thing I did realize is that I’m being a good Fortis customer and I’ve turned the thermostat in our house down a few degrees so it is quite chilly (cool) overnight. And seeing as bread dough needs a bit of warmth to “work” I decided to put the ball of dough inside the oven with just the oven light on. That worked! Overnight the dough rose up about twice in size.

I probably took the lid off the Dutch oven too early because the crust on the bread ended up being too hard.

I’ll definitely be trying again!

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Making Sourdough Bread

I’m going way out to the wilderness of baking bread. I’ve created my own sourdough starter!

I’ll tell more about the sourdough starter later but for now, here’s my first attempt at making bread with my starter.

I used a half cup of my starter, 3 cups of unbleached flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and just under 3/4s of a cup of room temperature water.

I started by mixing the starter and the water until I had a smooth slurry of sourdough starter.

Then I mixed in the flour and salt until I had a ball of dough. We kneaded it for a couple of minutes to stretch the gluten.

Now it sits to rise and proof!

More later.

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Vancouver Restaurants; Gone but not Forgotten

News that the classic Vancouver institution known as The Elbow Room is closing got me thinking about a few of the Vancouver restaurants that have closed.

The first one that comes to mind is the Hastings Street seafood restaurant affectionately known as The Only.

Right down in the heart of the downtown Eastside, The Only Seafood Cafe was the place to get seafood in Vancouver. To say it was unpretentious is an understatement. The Only “experience” will never be replicated.

Another gone but not for forgotten eatery from my past – McLeans. The greasy spoon breakfast place that sat just east of Burrard on Broadway.

Countless weekend mornings my friends and I would wander up to McLeans for copious amounts of coffee and breakfast. Just a very simple greasy spoon cafe that served completely unpretentious food. Good people serving good food.

And then there is Delilah’s. One of the Vancouver institutions, like The Elbow Room that I regretfully have to say I never tried. Perhaps a victim of their success?

They had a perfect little location that always had a wait. And then they moved into a larger location and then…they are no more.

I’m sad to say that I never had a chance to enjoy Delilah’s.

Are there Vancouver area restaurants that are now gone that you miss? Feel free to mention them in the comments.

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The Reality of Parenting Conversations

Before I became a father I had many delusional dreams of having intellectual conversations with my children. I thought about the conversations we would have about local and global issues.

parenting

I also thought about wandering along the shoreline with my children and watching the microcosm of life in tide pools. Or going for drives through the countryside and noticing the changes of the seasons.

Delusional. Truly delusional.

parenting

The reality of parenting is that I find myself having the same three “conversations” basically with myself time and time again.

The first “conversation” goes something like this –

“Why are all the lights on when nobody is in here?”

The second “conversation” I find myself having –

“Why is the furnace set at ‘incinerate’ when all the windows are open upstairs AND the door is open? And has anyone seen the cat? Don’t you know that heat rises? All the heat os going right out the windows upstairs! Is anybody listening?! Anybody?”

And the third “conversation” I find myself having,

“What do you mean there’s five loads of laundry? Yesterday we washed every piece of clothing you own!”*

Of course a conversation isn’t just one person asking questions. A conversation typically involves an exchange of ideas. The other half of the conversation is usually a shout of “Oh, sorry!” from some distant and unknown part of the house.

Ah…parenting. The glamour of it all.

*I have to admit that I no longer do any laundry in our home. It is my silent protest against the practice of children picking up a piece of clothing to look at it and rather than re-fold it and put it back in the closet they toss it in the laundry hamper. Doesn’t mean I am not horrified by the piles of “laundry” that build up around the house in seemingly random places.

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The Least Favourite Holiday Treats

I posted this picture on my A Dad in the Burbs Facebook Page with the question, “what holiday treat do you detest?”

Turtles

I was quite surprised at the response! People don’t like so many of the traditional Christmas treats! As you can probably tell from my picture, I can’t stand Turtles. I just don’t like anything with toffee – I can’t stand the way it gets stuck in my teeth.

Feel free to comment below with the holiday treats you dislike or visit my Facebook page to get in the conversation.

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No Knead Bread – Super Simple Recipe

I have been making bread at home every other day and I am really quite enjoying the experience – as well as eating the bread!

I make a super simple bread that requires VERY little effort.

no knead bread

All I do is scoop 3 cups of flour, a half cup of rolled oats, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and a 1/2 teaspoon of yeast into my cast iron Dutch oven. And then stir/whisk it together with a fork.

no knead bread

Then I add 3/4 of a cup of room temperature water, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and and 6 tablespoons of beer. Yep, a little apple cider vinegar and a little beer. And if I do not have a beer in the fridge, I just make up the difference with water.

Mix the wet and the dry together until it is a wet ball of dough that sticks more to itself than to my hands, and then I let it sit. Overnight. Or overnight and all the next day. Whenever I get a chance, I bake it. If I do leave it over night, in the morning I will push the dough back into a ball shape and then leave it to sit for another stretch.

no knead bread

When I am ready to bake the bread, I knead it for 10-15 seconds, just enough to roughly form it into the shape I want. Onto a piece of parchment paper, and then into the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. In the cast iron Dutch oven – with the lid on. And then, I remove the lid and let it bake for another 25 minutes.

no knead bread

I usually take my Fusion Classic chef’s knife and score the top of the dough along the length of the loaf and I will smear a little butter along the top. If I am feeling it, I will sprinkle oregano or a little coarse salt on top before baking.

no knead bread

That’s it. My super simple way of making bread.

The ingredients: 

  • 3 cups flour (I typically use white flour – I prefer the texture of the bread when using white flour)
  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats (I use what I have – rolled oats or quick oats)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of yeast
  • 3/4 cup of room temperature water
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons of beer (optional – leave out the beer and use a bit more water – if you like)

Optional is the butter, herbs, and coarse salt to go on top before baking. That’s it.

Home made bread with virtually no effort. And baking it makes the house all warm feeling and the smell of baking bread – amazing! Let me know how it turns out if you try it.

 

 

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“MINE” at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

How cool is this show scheduled to be at the Shadbolt Centre November 14th to 17th? A Theatre Replacement show called MINE – a digital exploration of mothers and sons through the lens of Minecraft*.

*MINE is not an official Minecraft product, nor is it affiliated with Mojang.

Using the computer construction game Minecraft as a kind of theatre, a group of gamer/performers between the ages of 10 and 45 enact different narratives, live, in front of an audience of roughly the same age.

In a rocky and mountainous landscape, they tell the story of Grendel’s mother’s brutal act of revenge from the Beowulf saga. They travel to a clearing in the woods to reveal the brief but powerful lessons that Bambi’s mother taught him, before that horrible day in the meadow.

Somewhere in a nearby city, a cyborg assassin travels back from the year 2029 to 1984 to destroy a woman named Sarah Connor and her son John Connor, who hasn’t been born yet, but who will one day save the human race from machines.

As the performance unfolds, personal stories begin to emerge from the landscape and weave themselves into the narratives: Grendel becomes a tweenage kid who just wants to stay in his room and play videogames, Bambi’s mother’s instinct to protect her son becomes a metaphor for a failed family trip to the Grand Canyon; The Terminator story evolves to reveal all the misplaced prophecies a mother places on her son — it’s a lot of pressure, and Mom worries way too much.

More stories intermingle and mash up; of hyper-strength and fatal forgetfulness; of galactic love and fear. Of regret and shame. Of a most powerful bond. MINE opens us up to expansive and strange new territories in a performance that both interrogates and recognizes the role technology plays in our modern parent-child relationships.

MINE is created and performed by Maiko Yamamoto and her son Hokuto MacDuff, Conor Wylie, Remy Siu (Hong Kong Exile) and a group of 4 local gamer/performers between the ages of 10 and 14. Dramaturgy by Carmen Aguirre and design by Leah Weinstein. 

MINE will be playing at the Shadbolt Centre at 8pm on November 14th to 17th. Tickets range in price from $15 to $36 and are available at the box office (604-205-3000) as well as available online

 

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