Category Archives: dad

Photos and Stories from Washington DC

The past two weeks Shelly, Rachel and I have traveled together in Philadelphia and Washington DC. I created two different, short digital stories using the free iPad app “Adobe Voice” to reflect on some of our experiences around the DC area.

I also posted a lot of our photos from the trip to several different Flickr albums:

  1. ISTE 2015
  2. Tall Ships in Philadelphia
  3. Washington DC July 2015
  4. Harpers Ferry

Over the fourth of July when we hung out with our friends, the Casebeers, I had an opportunity to interview Jonah about his amazing experiences last year at MIT for the Battlecode competition. I published that interview as a podcast on my main blog.

Today is our final day of sightseeting before we fly home to Oklahoma, and I’ll add our photos from today (which we expect to include the National Archives and the Library of Congress, among other destinations) to our Washington DC July 2015 photo set. We’ve had a great trip!

Bowling is Fun Enhanced eBook

A few weeks ago when Rachel and I were in Manhattan, Kansas, we went bowling with my dad. I took photos while we were bowling with the idea that we would later create an eBook together. We did (using Book Creator for iPad) and took turns narrating it. It is available as a downloadable EPUB, a PDF without audio, and as a video on YouTube. I plan to submit this to Apple’s iBookstore but have not done it yet.

 

Snowflake Book Series Website Moved

Rachel: The old domain we’d bought for your first Snowflake eBook (MeetSnowFlake.com) expires tomorrow. Since we decided not to keep that domain, I moved the entire website and made a few small updates/changes to it. The new address is a “sub-domain” of your main website. You can find it on snowflake.rachelfryer.com. If you publish another Snowflake book, like you were talking about over Christmas break, you can publish/link it there also if you want.

I also remembered I setup a Twitter account for your Snowflake book series, it’s @MeetSnowflake. I posted about the new site address and made some changes in the Twitter profile. If you want logins to both the site and this Twitter account I can make/give you those. :-)

I think you should write and illustrate a new Snowflake book by yourself, and we should publish it to iTunes together. :-)

Student Blogs to Check Out

Here are two student blogs to check out. First, “Escondido Adopt a Doggy Bloggy” by Page. Jo-Ann Fox’s daughter is working to “help dogs find forever homes.”

Second, “Reflections of a First Grader” by Yael Varga. In her latest post she’s asking for help learning more about Minecraft!

Great work by young bloggers!

Hash tagging a Family Vacation

Educator Carl Hooker (@mrhooker) is a very clever guy. On his family’s vacation this summer, he used a unique hashtag every time he posted a photo to Instagram. By doing this, he is enabling others to aggregate all his photos of the trip, and it’s possible for him to do the same thing. This creates a dynamic, separate set of images like a photo album. Great idea!

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Holiday Prime Rib

This Christmas we ate prime rib for dinner rather than our more traditional turkey or ham main course, and it was delicious. For my own documentation for future years, and in case this is of interest to others who may find their way to this post, here are some details about what I did, my lessons learned, and what I’ll do differently next time.

Christmas Prime Rib

This recipe from Prime Steak Houses was my main guide. It’s been around 5 years since I’ve cooked  a prime rib, and I couldn’t find the friend’s recipe this time that I’d used previously. I did remember it involved initially cooking the prime rib at a high temperature in the oven for a short time, and then lowering the temp for a longer time… and that is what this recipe also directs. We bought and cooked a five pound prime rib, planning for about 3/4 of a pound per person. That worked out great portion-wise. The main change I’d make is to cook it about 15 minutes longer than I did. My meat thermometer starts at 140 degrees, but according to the recipe you need to remove the roast when the interior temp reaches 120. Since my meat thermometer didn’t show the exact temperature that low, I had to guestimate and I guestimated a bit low. After the initial 15 minutes cooking at 450 degrees F, I cooked our prime rib an hour at 325. Next time I’ll use a meat thermometer that shows increments at least down to 120 degrees (hopefully lower) and cook just a bit longer, probably an hour and a half for the same quantity. Rather than remove the prime rib at 120 degrees (as I tried to do this year, and the recipe directed) I’ll remove it at 130 degrees. For the eaters in our family, medium to medium-well prime rib is best.

I will say the aroma of the cooking prime rib in the house was absolutely fantastic. The anticipation of eating excellent meat like this can be almost as good as the actual eating itself.

We have a relatively new spice shop in Oklahoma City on Western, right by the Will Rogers Theater, called the Savory Spice Shop. It’s a chain based in Colorado, and they have some amazing seasonings. I used their “Mount Evans Butcher’s Rub” as my spice rub on our prime rib and it turned out delicious. I highly recommend it, and look forward to also using it on pot roasts in coming months. Per the above recipe link, I rubbed the ends with soft butter and made small, 1/2 inch cuts around the roast before rubbing in the spices.

We love creamy horseradish sauce with prime rib, and I used this recipe to make mine although I used raw horseradish from a bottle rather than fresh. It turned out runnier than I would have liked, probably because of the amount of lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Next time I think I’ll just make my own to taste with sour cream and raw horseradish. It was good, but next time I’d like it to be less runny.

To accompany the meat I cooked our family’s traditional mixed vege casserole, cranberry sauce (basic and plain from scratch, the best kind) and mashed potatoes roughly following following this recipe. It was a great meal on an already wonderful and blessed Christmas day with family.

I hope you had a great Christmas are are continuing to enjoy a restful holiday time with family and friends!

Table set for Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner 2013

 

An Interview with Fred McPherson

This Friday I’m going to share a presentation at TEDxOU in Norman, Oklahoma. I’m planning to talk about the importance of storychasing the voices of our families, and am going to tell a story (among others) about Fred McPherson. Fred was like a grandfather to me, and a father to my mom and uncle who also spent some wonderful summer months with him and his wife, Alice, in Itasca, Texas.

1977 - Alice, Trudy, Wesley and Fred

In October 2005, my parents interviewed Fred about his life. This is the 78 minute audio interview they recorded with Fred.

I am going to share a 92 second edited excerpt of that interview in my TEDx talk on Friday, which I’ve shared to SoundCloud using the title, “Remembering the Early Days of Radio.”

Rest in peace, beloved Fred. My how you’d be amazed to see how your family members are communicating now around the world.

1992 - USAFA Graduation with Alice and Fred

Alice and Fred McPherson's gravesite in Itasca, Texas

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My Favorite Person Essay

         Do you have that person in your life that makes you smile? That one lucky guy is my dad. I love him so much. He helps me with my homework. He loves to sing with me, and loves to cook with me. I love him and couldn’t imagine my life without him.

 

My dad is a teacher. He is very good at math, English, especially writing. Whenever I’m struggling with anything I can always go to him. Math isn’t my brightest subject. Don’t get me wrong, I love it but sometimes I need help. My father of all trades is always there to help.

 

Dads are usually like their sons right? Well my dad and I are very similar. We both love to sing. My favorite part about long car trips, is plugging in the phone and singing along to songs. We both share a love of music. Our dream is to play the guitar by the fire while singing familiar songs.

 

Cooking is a loved thing in my family. Everyone loves to eat. You can’t have food without chefs. That’s where my dad comes in. He’s the breakfast king. Anything you want he can make it! One of my favorites is homemade doughnuts and foil dinners,(or hobo dinners.) These are some of our family’s favorites. The best part is preparing together and bonding as a family.

 

From cooking, to singing, to helping me with my homework, my favorite person is definitely my dad!

New Mexico Green Chili Chili Recipe (mild)

This week I’ve been gearing up for tonight’s Chili Cook-off at our church in Edmond, Oklahoma, and I’ve prepared a “New Mexico Green Chili Chili” inspired by Dan Tubb’s creation last year. I based my recipe on “Karen’s Classic Old-Fashioned New Mexico Green Chili” with a few modifications. Last Sunday I ‘practiced’ for the first time, and yesterday I made my second and ‘real’ batch. In the initial attempt I used tomatoes, but in today’s version I did not.

I used six Anaheim green chilis in addition to 4 small (4 oz) cans of Hatch green chilis.

Anaheim Green Chilis

I roasted these in the oven using these instructions, basically turning them every 1.5 minutes under the oven broiler for a total of 10 minutes cooking time.

Roasted Green Chilis

Then I covered them with saran wrap for 15 minutes and they were ready to peel.

Peeling the Chilis

I added about a tablespoon of oregano to my recipe, which wasn’t called for in “Karen’s” version. I also added some sliced and sautéed new potatoes, which Dan had encouraged me to use.

New Potatoes

Sautéing the potatoes

Now we’re off to church to see who wins and taste everyone’s creations! For more inspiration, check out the video I made last year at the Chili Cook Off! I may try to make another documentary this year.

Update: My chili was well received, but there was not NEARLY enough of it. No prizes this year. Next year if I make it again, I’ll double or triple the recipe.

The finished chili

The February 2012 Chili Cook Off

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