People always say that a girl’s relationship with her dad will shape her in a special way. Because dads are the first person a little girl turns to with that first scraped knee and dads are the model by which girls will judge all the other men in her life. And if she’s lucky, few people will ever quite measure up to a girl’s dad. And I’m happy to say I’m one of those lucky few. You can’t get much better than my dad. So in honor of Father’s Day I’m going to share a few of my favorite lessons that I’ve learned from my “Pa”
- Family comes first. I don’t think I realized until I started working myself, just how hard my dad has always worked. He worked long hours and went on quite a few business trips when I was growing up, yet I never remember him not being around. In grade school, he was at every single soccer game. In fact, he was even at every soccer practice, seeing as he was my soccer coach for 10 years straight. And in high school, he attended every choir concert, cheering the loudest after every one of my solos. Even after the one that I panicked on stage, forgot all the words, and cried the entire car ride home. But he was there afterwards to make me laugh, and remind me that it was perfectly alright to mess up now and then. Because even though he had two businesses to run and friends to play golf with, he was there for us through everything.
- Finding and losing friends is a natural part of life. I remember dreading moving away to college. I couldn’t imagine leaving my friends behind and I lamented to my dad about the horrible possibility of losing touch with people. And rather than telling me that it would never happen, he told me the truth. It probably would. I was crushed. But he also told me, that the true friendships I’d made thus far would continue into the future, and that college would probably provide me with a few more best friends. At the time, I thought it was impossible, the friends I’d made in high school were the only friends I’d ever need. But of course, my dad was right. Some of those friendships faded away, the true friendships lasted, and I met even more lifelong friends in college. And thank goodness for that..because where would I be without Leona and Eric?
- Jimmy Buffet music is a way of life, Broadway music is more than just jazz hands and sparkles, and artists who actually write their own lyrics can teach you a lot more than pop singers who lip synch. My dad loves all genres of music, and he made sure I was well versed in them as well. It was pretty much a requirement that we know the majority of Jimmy Buffet’s albums growing up and that we understood the idea of “island time.” And when I was 12, my dad took me to see Les Miserables, showing me that Broadway musicals could be beautiful works of art, and not just a bunch of people dancing around in feather boas. And as I grew older he introduced me to Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro and I discovered the wonderful world of singer song writers who seem to paint pictures about life with their words. And soon “Both Sides Now” was on repeat rather than some of those ridiculous 90s pop songs. Thanks, Pa.
- If it is nearly impossible to embarrass your children, you’ve probably done a pretty good job with the whole parenting thing. Whether he was dancing in the grocery store aisles or singing while walking down the street, he just never really managed to embarrass us. Lord knows he tried, but even in the peak of my angsty teenager stage, my dad was never a source of embarrassment…he was just funny. He taught us how to make fun of ourselves and that it was actually pretty enjoyable to look stupid. So when most fifteen year olds would hide behind the cheese display when their father cracked out the dance moves in Kroger..I always just joined in. Life is just more fun that way.
- Enjoy every day and never stop having fun. From the moment he wakes up in the morning to the seconds before he falls asleep, my dad is as peppy and as cheery as can be. Of course we have mocked him throughout the years for his constantly chipper demeanor, but its an attitude towards life that I strive to adopt as well. Everyone who knows him, knows he likes to have fun. He always led the “night before Halloween” tradition of ding-dong-ditching our neighbors, and he has transformed people watching into a sport. My dad is a guy who has always been surrounded by good friends and is one of those people where good times just follow. And honestly, if my 60th birthday party is as rockin as his was, I think I’ll consider my life a life well lived.
And these bumpy cake cupcakes is a nod to my dad’s ever-chipper temperament. He recently had some oral surgery which has temporarily wiped some food groups from his diet. But rather than complain about the absence of some of his favorite dishes…he merely replaced those hard to eat foods with Bumpy Cake. He started picking up a Sander’s Bumpy Cake once a week and eating it piece by piece. So because of this new “When in doubt, eat cake” theory that he has put in place, I thought I would make him a batch inspired by his new favorite food group. So go ahead and make these for your dad, because if you are as lucky as I am, he has probably taught you quite a bit over the years. Happy Father’s Day Pa!
Ingredients: Makes 24 cupcakes (from Foodbuzz.com)
- 1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix or this Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
For the “Bumps”
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Ganache
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons + 4 teaspoons water
- 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Prepare cupcakes according to package instructions, let cool completely
- For the butter cream “bumps” place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until light & fluffy
- Slowly beat vanilla & heavy cream into butter mixture until well incorporated
- Place buttercream in a piping bag and pipe two thick stripes on top of each cupcake, place cupcakes in freezer and freeze for at least 30 minutes
- For the ganache, place first 4 ingredients (cocoa through corn syrup) in a saucepan over medium high heat and stir until mixture is hot
- Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar
- After cupcakes have frozen, dip them into ganache and set on a cooling rack for chocolate to set completely