Tallow? Is It Me You’re Cooking For?


When I’m not sitting around eating bon bons or catching up on Povich “You Are NOT The Father!” montages, I make busts out of tallow.

Otto thought this guy looked like Boo, the ghost in Super Mario Bros 3. I think it looks creepy yet delicious. I love working with tallow because it is really hard when chilled, similar to foie gras.  And McDo’s was on to something there, it makes the BEST chips/fries/les frites.

Tallow is very easy to make. It is also very healthy for you. Here’s how:

Hug your local beef farmer
After two ManPats™ on the back, ask them for beef fat
They probably won’t give it to you, but if they do
Cube the fat
Stick in heavy pan
Slowly cook those puppies until it surrenders into liquid gold
Stick in some jars
Laugh and giggle about how great your frites will taste

Then hum this song for the rest of the day:


Thank you, Brent, for suggesting this blog title thus kicking off some horrific cerebral process to sing this song every time I make tallow.  

Tell me how to win your heart
For I haven’t got a clue
But let me start by saying, I can’t believe you stuck that song in my head!

Teen Makes Croissants Old Style


We’re lucky to have an organic old, old, old wheat farm down the road from us. We aren’t big wheat eaters, but sometimes you need to have pancakes on Sunday and that cream sauce needs a little help thickening. Normally we use Einkorn. Lately, we’ve been playing around with blé ancien ( there’s a long story in there, but it’s been a long day at the pool and I don’t want to go into it right now ). This ancient wheat is absolutely perfect for bread. It has flavor. It has texture. It makes you want to genetically alter it to produce higher yield and then mass sell it to the people to solve world hunger mwah hah hah! No, but it’s old. Hasn’t been tampered with and sits easy on the belly and system.

Our resident teen took initiative to make puff pastry with it. I’ve avoided making puff pastry because it’s like having a fifth child. You need to play with it, then let it rest, then play with it some more and then feed it. Then more rest. Then more play. The day goes on an on. I can’t be bothered. It’s summer vacation, teen grabs an idea and goes with it. Her puff pastry was a success. We agree, there are improvements, but simple tweaks to work out with repetition. Take puff pastry, add some yeast and voila! zee croissant! Two days in the making, which is more like an ex-wife than a fifth child, and her croissants came out lovely. Twenty-four little crunchy beauties were admired and devoured by the family. Enter Fraise Bonne Maman ( or “mah-mang” in the Sud Ouest ) to complete a lovely petit déjeuner.


Farm Girl

This is what happens when you don’t provide pre-planned, cognitive brain boosting material for your toddler.  She runs outside while you prepare dinner and plays with dried leaves in a fallen door without windows that should have been cleaned up were we not so busy with said toddler.  Look at her.  Dress unbuttoned.  Trying to balance on the window frame.  Rusty nails.  Nettle.  No shoes.  Who does she think she is?  Where is her mother!


Who counts to eighteen, eyes closed and tries to balance on such wobbly wood?  Her fingernails might collect yuck.  She may step on a bee.  Is that a snake?


I’ve paid money to see modern dances like this.  Her life is so simple.  Her life is so difficult.  She balances her dreams, her desires, her physical capabilities with a brain still working out how to filter her environment.  And she wants the Blue Doggy Cup!!  What don’t you understand?!!


A Beef Tongue No Cheek


Our resident teenager has taken action to cook the crazy bits. This week tongue. Next week cheek. She is also up for tail, liver, heart and any other abats we have in the freezer. Or find new directions with trotters be it veau or pig. Though if she does veau pied, she’ll need to brush up on her French.


As a huge fan of Iron Chef, I can understand taking an ingredient offered to you and making magic happen. Thankfully she has more than an hour to pull it together. Though, the children do put the pressure on as dinner time approaches and things don’t appear to be moving along.

She seems to be enjoying cooking with the local and available ingredients. The family is enjoying tasting her work.



DSC_9760While the kids wait, they brush up on their English reading.  Their French is amazing, so it is important to keep up with their English.  Resident teen helps with this, but she talks a bit funny.  She says, “toe-MAH-toe” and “BAH-zil” and when she vacuums, she “hoovers.”


DSC_9751Oh and it is so hot.  The cows have a lovely forest of trees to chill in.  I do wonder if I should grab some Perrier and go join them.  We do the best we can opening the windows in the morning to let the cool breeze through, then closing before noon when the cool breeze turns warm.  If you keep these old houses in cave-mode, summer sails along.  … except for the poor fluffy creatures.  They are keeping cool the best way they know how.  Laying around, snuggling and getting up to nibble in the cool morning.




Our neighbor’s cat likes to walk and stalk through the brown grass as it brings out that lovely touzelle color in his eyes.



And there is Iota.  The calf that was born up at the pens.  She’s super cute and full of life.  Her mother and sister are very calm.  I’m sure she’ll settle down.  It’s all very exciting when one can pop out of mom and walk a few moments later!


All Balloon Relationships End In Tears


I learned these words of wisdom from a friend, we’ll call him “M. Shane.” but it is true. Oh the kiddies live and love for the life of the balloon. Yet, its joy rests on your attention and care. Because balloons pop, you see, on things like fire or grass or big brother’s foot.


These beauties enjoyed their special purpose for a fantastic hour. As it is close to bed time, I feel the friendship extending until tomorrow. I wait, patiently with tissue for this friendship to suddenly and loudly pop. Thank you China for making balloons cheap. Thank you bubbly for learning that some great things must come to an end.


… and this is Minty. She had her hairs cut. Then she pulled this wax figure move.