Learning to bake with daddyPrimate: Cinnamon Rolls (explicit language)


The U.S. presidential election has left me bitter and my language this post will be spicier than normal. Who knew that half of the country was so hateful, or at least so indifferent to hate? We need sweetness right now. Sweetness and kindness. The kind of basic sexual healing that can only come from a fucking warm ass pan of cinnamon rolls.

I had never made cinnamon rolls before. They always seemed way too motherfucking labor intensive. When I started baking about a year ago, I never really considered them. They’re not my favorite thing. There’s really nothing glamorous about a cinnamon roll. They’re the pumpkin spice latte of pastry, in the sense that they smell nice and I want them about once a year, but when I get them I realize it’s too sweet and I never really liked it in the first place.


So, daddyPrimate, what the fuck is with the post about cinnamon rolls if you don’t even like them. What the hell kind of moron are you? Cinnamon rolls aren’t about the taste, or the smell, though both of those are nice. Cinnamon rolls are something you bake for someone else. You bake them for someone else because they’re fucking labor intensive, a total pain in the ass, and going to that much trouble says “I really love your ass.”


It happened to be mommyPrimate’s birthday a week ago. You know, before the election instilled the bitterness of a thousand grapefruits in me. I wanted to say “Hey babe, for breakfast I made you a big plate of I LOVE YOU” and I knew damn well that meant cinnamon rolls. I distinctly remember one birthday where I woke up and mommyPrimate was making cinnamon rolls and I was like “THAT IS LOVE.” So I found a recipe, and got to work at 11pm. We get up earlier now, so I started earlier.


Making the dough was easy. It rose well. It rolled out just fine. The filling was super simple. Cutting it and putting it in the pan was a little messy but whatevs. I was afraid it would overprove as it rose overnight, or that it wouldn’t prove because it was going to sit in the fridge. When I woke up in the morning though, it had filled the casserole dish with delish looking, perfectly plump cinnamon rolls. I let them sit on the counter for a bit as I made coffee, and popped them in the oven.


When they came out they were beautiful. I iced them with a quick homemade cream cheese icing and we nommed right into that shit. Easy. Peasy. If a bit tedious. I’d say this world could use a little more love right now, so maybe you should get up off your equally bitter ass, get your mixer ready, find an easy recipe for cinnamon rolls online, and make them for your S.O. for breakie tomorrow. Let’s sweeten this world up together.



Who do I think I am? Well I’ve got answers now.

My AncestryDNA results came back, and I was a little surprised by the result. If you read the post I made when I put the tube-o-spittle in the mail, you’ll see that my original guess was

  • England/British Isles I’m guessing 55-75%
  • Ireland 5-25%
  • Western Europe (German) 10%
  • Southern European 0-5%
  • Native American 0-5%

The actual results were:

  • 43% Ireland
  • 35% Great Britain
  • 5% Europe West
  • 5% European Jewish
  • 5% Finland/Northwest Russia
  • 2% Scandinavia
  • <1% Italy/Greece
  • <1% Europe East
  • <1% Iberian Peninsula

My top two guesses were pretty close. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of Native American heritage – not because there is anything wrong with Native American Heritage, just that it would mean I screwed up on my family tree somewhere if there actually were some, as the rest of the family seems to believe. Mostly the rest of this makes sense, although I have some new questions:

Where is the Jewish connection in my family? I’m really curious about this.

The farthest back I can get in my mother’s paternal line is a guy named Lorenzo who lived in Liverpool, England at the height of the Atlantic Slave trade. Was he perhaps descended from Portuguese slavers?

I’m clearly descended straight from Socrates and Alexander the Great since I’m <1% Italian/Greek, however I’m wondering if this has anything to do with my 15th great grandfather being a papal notary. Or does it have to do with the Romans and their conquest of the Celtic peoples long, long before that?

Finland/Scandinavia fit in well with the stories of England/Scotland being invaded by Vikings. Specifics pls.

The cool thing is that Ancestry found like 50+ 3rd and 4th cousins of mine genetically, and our family trees all look eerily similar. It makes me think the records at the very least point in the right direction. Hooray!

Who do I think I am?

Did you ever watch that TLC series “Who do you think you are?” where they take a celeb and Ancestry.com the fuck out of them and find out that they were related to xyz famous historical figure? It caused us to get an ancestry.com membership a few years back and I found out a lot about my family and heritage. I think.

For father’s day my wife and daughter gave me an Ancestry DNA kit, which is either going to validate my results or point us in a different direction altogether. I thought it might be fun, before spitting in the tube and whatnot (if I spat in the tube right now I’d come up 25% avocado, 50% coffee, and GMO chicken) to take a guess at what I think the results will be in 6-8 weeks.

YES, this isn’t a post about baking. YES I’ve continued to bake. NO I haven’t written about it because frankly we’ve been doing yard work and playing in the inflatable pool and such. We even started going to an Episcopal Church. Perhaps we’re trying to live a little more of an Unplugged life.

I think we’re going to find the following trends in my bloodline:

  • England/British Isles I’m guessing 55-75%
  • Ireland 5-25%
  • Western Europe (German) 10%
  • Southern European 0-5%
  • Native American 0-5%

If my ancestry.com work is at all correct, my people came to the Americas from Scotland 250 years ago, with some late mix-ins from Prussia. There is rumor of native american blood in my family, but no one seems able to prove it, and when we were traveling through the Mediterranean I felt like I looked like I fit in WAY too well, but I have not familial records to prove it. I wouldn’t be surprised to find some Iberian/Italian/Greek DNA in the mix somewhere, but if I’m judging based on complexion that could also be Native American giving me an olive-y tone, right? Who knows. This is so fascinating. At any rate, when I get my results I will share here and see just how far off base I am and how little I really know about my family history. 😀

Learning to Bake with daddyPrimate: Baklava – a favorite from Greece


Almost 3 years ago (we’re coming up on our anniversary) mommyPrimate and I took a trip across southern Europe, and 10 of those glorious days were in Greece. I think we both agree that our favorite place we’ve ever been in the world together was Greece. The people were friendly and jovial (which says a lot given their economic situation), the land and sea were stunningly beautiful, and the food. OMG, THE FOOD.

Anyway, I think anyone who has ever eaten at a Greek diner or even a crappy food court “greek” option at the mall has had the chance to indulge in baklava. The flaky multilayered sweet treat with nuts and honey and spices and all. It’s so delicate, it seems like it would be really, really difficult to make. So I tried it.

You see, we had my mom and her husband over for dinner, and our main course was a moussaka, served with a Greek salad, so what better dessert to make than the ubiquitous Greek dessert favorite of non-Greeks? I found an excellent Greek food blog called MyGreekDish.com and got cracking. Of course, I didn’t follow their instructions and make my own phyllo…I could never get it thin enough without crying.

Anyhow, it wasn’t too difficult, if it was a bit tedious. Lay the phyllo, butter, lay the phyllo, butter, lay the phyllo, butter, sprinkle nuts. repeat. repeat. repeat. Until finally:

It was beautiful, it was delicious, it was a hit at dinner and the next day in the office…and it made me want so badly to go back to Greece with my (now larger) family to enjoy the sun, surf, and joy of simple pleasures.



This weekend, Mrs. Primate, babyPrimate and I loaded into the car (on Thursday, actually) and drove 3.5 hours or so over to my father-in-law’s place in Houston for the Easter holiday. I love going to visit he and his wife. They’ve got interesting opinions, are fun to talk to, and they live in a really cool (and heavily Korean) neighborhood.

grandpaPrimate and yiayiaPrimate were eager for some time alone with babyPrimate it seems, because at nap time for a first two days we were there they kicked us out of the house with a “don’t you worry about the baby we’ve got it from here, go out and enjoy yourselves.” So we did.


Our first big adventure was IKEA (read: meatballs) where we got some stuff we’ve been eyeing in the catalog for the kitchen and some containers for our growing flour collection. I also picked up a new Lingonberry jam, and a Cloudberry jam because I thought “it’d be fun to put a Scandinavian twist on macarons!” That’s next week’s baking project, I think.

Anyhow, after wandering through IKEA where I took like 8,000 steps according to my Fitbit, we drove over to Super H Mart…a Korean mega-grocer. IT WAS TOTES LEGIT, BITCHES.


So when you walk in the first thing you might notice is the LOUD K-Pop blasting from the speakers, and the fact that there is a cosmetics booth at the door. Every big store in Korea has cosmetics up front, I’d say. The produce section was beautiful, and damn that bok-choy looked good. All the labels were in Korean with smaller print for English descriptions on some items. Definitely helpful to know how to read Korean and what they call things.


Anyway we just picked up a couple basics. You know, sentimental favorites from a bygone era.



There’s no continuation to my baking series this week because I took a new position at work and decided to relax in the evening each day this week instead of plan and bake. That series should resume soon.


One thing I did manage to do this week though, is get out into the garage and lift, lift, lift. All in the pursuit of looking and feeling better. I’m already fitting into my clothes again (there was a minor issue where I recently needed to wear a suit and spent the day fearing that my ass was going to explode out of the pants like store-bought biscuits out of a can), and I think I’m on track to look as good as or better than I did on my honeymoon by summer.

Which leads to the #goals revelation I had planned here. Here are my goals for this summer:

  1. Jump into the ocean
  2. Stand up paddleboarding
  3. Just hang out on a beach
  4. So yeah, that’s basically it.

Lazy Man’s Wonton Soup

It feels like a million years ago, a lifetime away, and like it was maybe in a different dimension or something, but one time mommyPrimate and I spent a week in Hong Kong. We wanted to go to China before we moved back from South Korea, but not China China…the cool China from Kung Fu movies and organized crime movies, and movies in general.


See? I’ve been to Hong Kong. I drank a milkshake thing that had to be chewed in Mongkok. I loved Hong Kong. I wanted to move there. I wanted to be a salaryman for a big crazy international financial company and commute to work on an escalator. Well, that hasn’t happened yet, but today something happened that made me think of those few days we spent walking the streets of Hong Kong and slipping into some greasy but Michelin starred restaurant for a big bowl of delicious.

I totally made the laziest freaking bowl of wonton soup you can make. Here’s how I did it.

I put a tiny bit of oil in a heavy bottomed pot, then tossed in some minced garlic and ginger and sautéed it for a bit, then added in like 64 oz of chicken stock and a couple green onions, and a little splash of soy sauce. Then once it was tasting nice and garlic-ginger-soyish I tossed some super basic store-bought frozen “asian” dumplings in and let them cook until they were at the “hahaha yeah right try and pick these up with chopsticks and you’ll drop boiling soup broth on your crotch idiot” stage of texture.

It reminded me somewhat of something I ate at Food Republic in Kowloon, but made with chicken stock instead of fish stock and you know, not quite as awesome. So basically, I cooked something that vaguely reminded me of how awesome Hong Kong is and how I don’t live there. Wah.