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I'm Dad."

But you can call me C.J. if you want

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On December 29, 2019, I became a father at 27. Most folks my age are gobsmacked that I, a millennial, became a father on purpose. In this economy?? But we did it, and we are thriving. I'm still coping with the fact that my wife gave birth to a capricorn, but it could be worse. Could you imagine a household with two geminis*? (*I'm a gemini.)

I grew up in Tampa, Florida: the land of the heat and a home of the heat wave. So when it was time to apply for theatre colleges, I opted for a city with four seasons: Philadelphia. One BFA in Musical Theatre and an Equity card later, I decidedly put my performing career on a hiatus to focus on my family and a more sustainable income (re: drama teacher). And food. I love food. I have friends that don't love food. And I judge them. Harshly.

Philadelphia is a food lovers dream. There are dozens of farmer's markets in walking distance. Obscure spices and specialty ingredients can be found blocks from your brownstone. And the restaurants dish out some serious grub at semi-sensible prices that would make New York outwardly jealous. So we planted our roots in the city of high walkability scores, public art, killer food, and a summer of Jason Segel sightings.

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My interests in cooking blossomed when my now-wife and I first moved in together. We were popular party hosts because we stocked a liquor bar and served hors d'oeuvres so the hangover was at least somewhat manageable the next day. At the time, we had a calico cat, and would leave the Food Network on for her so she could hear the soothing sounds of the Barefoot Contessa and good olive oil while we were out. Nowadays, I own almost every kitchen gadget that's worth having, plus a few that aren't, I spent an exorbitant amount attending multiple events at Bon Appetit's Best Weekend Ever (it was a birthday gift, okay?), and I'm still mourning how quickly the Baby Bullet was put away after we started using it. While I've focused a lot of my time at the beginning of quarantine on baking and desserts, I also cook dinner most nights of the week for my family.

Recently, we bought a house in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Philadelphia. We are surrounded by neighbors who also have young kids (though Finn is admittedly the oldest by about a year and a half). My wife is the primary breadwinner, whereas I am the primary bread baker, and I am decidedly not emasculated because it's the 21st century, dammit.

 

After what felt like forever, my son is finally going to sleep at a decent hour. My cat is delightfully judgmental, and the newest edition, a puppy that we were promised would not exceed 45 pounds, is currently a 60-pound-and-counting running tornado. As for me... I like to make food. My parents live across the country; my in-laws live practically across the street. This blog is dedicated to navigating feeding the modern family as a 21st century father, and general musings on life as a home cook in my favorite city in the world.

~cheers

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