Rendering beef fat to soothe the sad heart


If you follow me on Twitter, you most likely are aware that my Grandmother died on Christmas Eve. She was 100 years old and the most magnificent woman in the world. And that is not an exaggeration. She was truly amazing. She was the first person I remember telling me how important it was to get an education and engage in a fulfilling career. She was the person who taught me to cook, taught me to pray and taught me to be proud of my Lebanese heritage. She taught me to be progressive, never stagnant. Despite her age, she never rested on her laurels. Always moving with the times, trying new thing and embracing change….all the while holding on to her faith, heritage and traditions passed down from her parents. She was the youngest of four sisters, daughter of Lebanese immigrants and a pioneer in this city. She and two of her sisters owned and operated a restaurant and tavern in North St. Louis at a time where not only women didn’t own business but rarely worked and had just earned the right to vote. She was generous and philanthropic, continually giving to charities close to her heart such as St. Jude’s Hospital and American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities. She was a devout Maronite Catholic and a champion for her parish, St. Raymond’s Church. But above all, she was most proud of her family and harbored a love for us that saw no end. It was a love that I will cherish until the day I die…and one that I hope to shower upon my children and grandchildren someday. Continue reading

Farmhouse Kitchens


In our teeny tiny farmhouse, the kitchen is by far the largest room. I have been rummaging through magazines, design blogs and books looking for inspiration. Below are pictures of kitchen that have caught my eye. There isn’t one specific picture that makes me say “THAT’S IT! THAT IS THE KITCHEN I WANT!” However, each picture holds something that speaks to me and a small idea that I would like to incorporate into our farmhouse kitchen. We are not going to do a complete renovation. Just going to ‘spruce’ things up a bit….or at least that is the plan as of now….who knows what will happen if I keep perusing these magazines and design blogs!?!

Above: Courtesy of This Old House

Above: Courtesy of This Old House

Above: Courtesy of This Old House

Above: Courtesy of This Old House

Above: Courtesy of This Old House

Above: Courtesy of This Old House

idyllic dreamhouse


Since we have a itsy bitsy farmhouse to renovate..or should I say ‘update’, I have been scouring cottage living magazines and design blogs. I even have a friend searching for my perfect modern kitchen online. From time to time, I come across something that is PERFECT for the farmhouse. Today is one of those times. Behold…I give you indoor sheep!

Above: Photo via the Living Agency.

 

American Artisanal Cheesemakers: Introducing Baetje Farms


**cross posted at Menuism

Artisanal cheese can be found in pretty much every state in the union. I dare you to try and name a state that doesn’t have at least one dairy or creamery. Even the island of Hawaii is home to some great cheesemakers! Over my next few posts, I’ll talk about some of these great American cheesemakers, starting with my home state of Missouri. Continue reading

Baa Baa Black Sheep….


Well, things are still moving along with the farm, albeit in slow motion. This cold, snowy winter has put the kibosh on any farmhouse remodeling until the spring thaw. All of the technical/legal stuff that goes along with this farm is on track. Life is busy for us right now, that if for sure. Continue reading