Irish Mike Smith

Irish Mike Smith

Family | Faith | Food

Recent Posts

A Quick Guide To Tea

A Quick Guide To Tea

Compared to coffee, good quality tea can be a lovely way to perk up and enjoy a flavorful hot beverage. Compared to its java counterpart, you see that even Black Tea has only half the caffeine content that black coffee does. Here is a quick […]

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Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

I hate to admit this but I actually like the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Not everyone makes them well, but a lot of places do and it although I don’t “embrace all that is pumpkin” I have been known to make a pie, maybe some pumpkin […]

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Bean Dish

Bean Dish

My Gram (dad’s mom) had a famous “bean dish.” I honestly have no idea how she made it but the few times I had it, it was awesome. Don’t know why it was simply called “bean dish” either, but it stuck. Beans get a bad […]

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Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

One of my absolute favorite food styles is BBQ. I love all sorts of BBQ, from brisket to beans. I love BBQ chicken, hot links, and of course pulled pork. When the wife and I got married we had some of our Poly friends prep […]

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“Mom’s” Mac-Attack Picnic Potato Salad

“Mom’s” Mac-Attack Picnic Potato Salad

If you were lucky like we were, growing up in a huge family with lots of aunts and uncles and cousins, you probably had your own version of our childhood. Large, noisy, sun-baked family get togethers. They say that when you remember your childhood, most […]

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Making Coffee at Home – AeroPress

Making Coffee at Home – AeroPress

Developed by the famed inventor of the Aerobie frisbee, Alan Adler, the AeroPress is quite simply one of the best ways to manually create optimal coffee brewing pressure at home. Light and simple to use, we love bringing this along when we are camping. Please […]

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Making Coffee at Home – V60 Pour Over

Making Coffee at Home – V60 Pour Over

The V60 Pour Over is one of our personal favorites. Serves 1-2 balanced cups of coffee and since it takes a little more time, give you that zen coffee-brewing experience along the way. Like the Chemex, the V60 shows up the complexities and nuance of […]

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Fish en Papillote (in presents)

Fish en Papillote (in presents)

I like fish. I really do. The problem is not everyone in my home shares the same feeling. I have been told that my salmon recipe(s) are some of the very best anyone has ever had (I promise to share soon), at least at home. […]

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The Boulevardier

The Boulevardier

The challenge is actually pretty simple. I DEFINITELY prefer whiskey to all other spirits but there is something about the Negroni that I love. Perhaps its the bitterness. Perhaps its the intensity. Perhaps its simply the gin. Whatever the reason, I forgot that I had […]

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10 MORE Things You Should Teach your Son

10 MORE Things You Should Teach your Son

You probably saw the post. Most likely you loved it. I supposed outside of cooking, it is one area I know a little something about…sons. I decided on this Father’s Day that I should share 10 more things a dad should teach his son. Basic […]

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For Dads

10 MORE Things You Should Teach your Son

10 MORE Things You Should Teach your Son

You probably saw the post. Most likely you loved it. I supposed outside of cooking, it is one area I know a little something about…sons.

I decided on this Father’s Day that I should share 10 more things a dad should teach his son.

Basic Auto Maintenance – I think it is really important to teach your boy some basic auto tech. Schools aren’t teaching it any longer and truthfully cars are getting more and more complicated. I still think basic things like where to put the transmission and brake fluids, the oil and coolant and window fluid is all important. I also think you should teach him how to change a flat, even if you have AAA. Tougher to teach them how to change your engine oil mostly because you can’t dump it in the alley any longer…probably should leave some of that to the pros.

Do Laundry/Iron a Shirt – My mom started having Molly and I do our laundry at a young age because, I think, she caught me putting her nicely folded clean clothes back into the dirty bin. Oops. Teach them the basics. Whites, darks, and towels. Teach your son too to iron his shirt. I know it is easier and much better when you have a pro do it like the local cleaner but why not know the basics in a pinch? Someday he will not have the luxury or time to have the pros do it or will be in a hotel and realized his dress shirt got all crumpled.

Build a Proper Fire – This one is a tough to teach over the internet. I suppose you can watch a YouTube video on it but nothing beats the hands-on approach. I prefer the teepee method, while others swear by the “Lincoln” log approach. They both work greater provided you have some small pieces of wood (cheater tinder is twine “de-twined” in your fingernails) and then progressively bigger. The one I am going to try this summer is the inverted burn where the big pieces are on top and they get progressively smaller. Will keep you posted. Teach your son.

Make a Proper S’more – Now that you have taught him how to make a basic fire, how about teaching him the basic s’more technique? As a kid I loved the torch. Not sure why but lighting my mallow on fire and then sandwiching it between the graham and piece of Hershey’s was perfect. Now that I am older, I have come to appreciate two new things. First, toasted to brown perfection (near the coals not the flame is how you do that) and I now LOVE having a Reese’s peanut butter cup as my chocolate delivery vehicle. Teach them the Hershey first, then let him move up…

Basic First Aid – I like that a few of my sons have taken some basic first aid in school. I think it is EXTREMELY valuable. I think you should teach your son the basics of cleaning a cut/gash, basic bandaging, and of course what to do with a sprain. To know how to wrap a wrist, knee and ankle is extremely valuable. Elevate, ice and wrap. And if you don’t teach, at least bring a basic first aid kit on your urban or country adventures.

Rough house in the lake/pool – I have fond memories both of rough housing the lake with my dad and then doing the same with my sons – all four of them. Allowing them to climb on you, fall off you, or beg you to throw them off into the deep is worth its weight in fond memories and there are studies that show how important it is for the boys’ development, especially for testosterone, etc. I prefer lakes but if you have a pool, you must be a rich cake-eater…

Journal – I joke but its true. Teach your son to write things down. You don’t have to call it a diary and he doesn’t need to have a lock and key but there is SO MUCH DATA on the importance of writing things down! Thoughts, goals, dreams, fears, lists, sketches, you name it. Teach/show him how and why. Looking back on what I have written over the years has been sometimes emotional, a few times frightening, and almost always encouraging.

Write a Personal Note – My mom was the one that taught me but my Uncle John was such a regular at sending notes, I may have picked up some of the habit from him as well. Writing a thank you note, personal note, birthday card, holiday card, etc. is becoming a lost art of sorts. Remember when we lit up when we received and email and threw out our regular mail? Now we are so inundated with email that it is refreshing to open up a personal note, especially handwritten, from someone we care about or is expressing their well wishes or gratitude to us.

Make a Proper Cup of Coffee – I have written quite a bit on coffee. Favorite spots and a lot on home brewing methods but the bottom line is pretty simple: learn to make coffee, somehow or some way. You don’t need to buy a full drip program, you can get away with an Aero Press, French Press and several other methods, even if you don’t drink it…someone in your life will!

Play Pool and Ping Pong – I learned to play both of these games with by best friend growing up, Steve Casey. The Casey’s lived 3 blocks away and when his older siblings grew up and went off to college, he had a big house, virtually to himself. He had an old pool table and pink pong table and although he beat me most of the time, that is where I learned to play and have many great memories doing so. I know it is a big space commitment to set up both but if you can, you should. If you can’t take him somewhere to learn. You will be glad you did and your son will have an obscure sporting skill(s) to take with him through life!

Obviously none of these things by themselves matter too much. The point is always to spend time with your sons, doing things and teaching and learning. That is where the real parenting takes place.

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Artisan | DIY

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

I hate to admit this but I actually like the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Not everyone makes them well, but a lot of places do and it although I don’t “embrace all that is pumpkin” I have been known to make a pie, maybe some pumpkin […]

FacebookTwitterPinterest
Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

One of my absolute favorite food styles is BBQ. I love all sorts of BBQ, from brisket to beans. I love BBQ chicken, hot links, and of course pulled pork. When the wife and I got married we had some of our Poly friends prep […]

FacebookTwitterPinterest
Making Coffee at Home – AeroPress

Making Coffee at Home – AeroPress

Developed by the famed inventor of the Aerobie frisbee, Alan Adler, the AeroPress is quite simply one of the best ways to manually create optimal coffee brewing pressure at home. Light and simple to use, we love bringing this along when we are camping. Please […]

FacebookTwitterPinterest
Making Coffee at Home – V60 Pour Over

Making Coffee at Home – V60 Pour Over

The V60 Pour Over is one of our personal favorites. Serves 1-2 balanced cups of coffee and since it takes a little more time, give you that zen coffee-brewing experience along the way. Like the Chemex, the V60 shows up the complexities and nuance of […]

FacebookTwitterPinterest
Making Coffee at Home – French Press

Making Coffee at Home – French Press

Ah, the French Press. Much debate on origin of the name, but it is universally accepted as one of the premier coffee brewing methods. Using a coarse grind, the hot water pulls on each ground, extracting premium flavor and a strong and robust cup. Following […]

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