Three cheers for all of the great fathers and the amazing men who represent ‘dad’ in our lives. I thought Father’s Day would be a good time to give a little shout out to an awesome dad, wonderful friend, and great partner - my husband Brad.
Brad and I met 20 years ago. We always tell the story about the first time I went to dinner at his family’s home and I couldn’t believe that there was no salad or bread on the table (a staple at my house). Little did I know that years down the line Brad and I would be sitting down at the table with our own family, starting our own traditions (we’ve kept the salad and ditched the bread).
Brad is a huge support to me and Cassandra’s Kitchen. He really is my partner at home and in life, 50-50. I grew with 'traditional' family roles - meaning my mom was responsible for everything regarding the kids and the home. I decided long ago that I didn't want that same family dynamic. Brad was (and is) my breath of fresh air. He sometimes works long hours at the hospital (he’s an orthopaedic surgeon at Mount Sinai) but when he’s home, he’s all there. I love that our girls get to see him in action - whether it’s in the kitchen, tending to the house, at his job, or just making the everyday things more fun and interesting.
Brad is definitely the life of the party. And he’s loud, in the best possible way. He wants everyone to enjoy themselves and have fun. His positive attitude is infectious. I remember one weekend years ago, trying to get things done around the house. Brad got super excited and yelled, ‘Guess what girls? It’s time to clean the basement.’ And they both jumped up and down and said, ‘Yey, daddy. Fun!’ That is magic.
He’s also a gifted teacher - with lots of patience. When the girls were small he wanted us all to go skiing – he grew up in Vermont, so it is his thing. I hadn’t skied in years and the girls at 4 and 6 years old were not thrilled about being up on a freezing cold mountain with snow in their faces. That didn’t discourage Brad. He lugged all of our ski equipment and had such enthusiasm for every (small) accomplishment that we all went on to love skiing. Now ski trips are a huge part of our family time, we ski a ton in the winter and go on ski trips once or twice a year. I’m so thankful for Brad’s positive determination because having a family hobby has really bonded us and I’ve had some of the best times of my life.
When we met, Brad was an East Hampton Ocean Lifeguard and in his first year of medical school. Now, 20 years later, the beach is still a huge part of our lives. Brad is still an ocean lifeguard (he re-certifies every three years, even though he's no longer works as an actual guard), and he's a junior lifeguard instructor; running drills and teaching ocean survival to the soon-to-be lifeguards. Our girls are part of this program - they are all out there navigating rip tides and running drills on the sand. We'll pack everything up in the morning and just hang on the beach all day with family and friends - it's our perfect summer routine!
As for cooking, Brad has become the grill master. We love to entertain often and we’re a great team when it comes to cooking and entertaining. For the most part, we enjoy straightforward meals like steak, chicken or fish – with healthy sides and potatoes (Brad loves potatoes). And since Brad is from Vermont, weather doesn’t really phase him. He’ll man the grill in the cold, rain, sleet – all with a smile on his face. He’s also a master at margaritas, and nothing goes better with grill meat and veggies than a killer margarita!
So thank you Brad for being a great friend and motivator, an awesome partner and a wonderful father and role model for our girls. Happy Father’s Day!