10 Reasons to Bring LARD Back

I know, it took me a while to change my mindset about this fat… After being harassed by the media telling you not to eat animal fat, you’re now saying it’s good for me? Well YES it IS! And I get my pigs particularly fat so I’ve got loads of it and we’re now using it every - single - day.

Now here’s a few reasons why it’s so good:

1- Lard is heat stable, which makes it perfect for cooking stir-fries and baking.

2- Lard is Heart-Healthy: The “diseases of modern civilization” including heart disease and diabetes skyrocketed as animal fats were replaced with factory fats including vegetable oils and margarine. So no, you won’t get a heart attack from eating Lard!

3- Lard is neutral flavored. Yep, hubby is not fond of coconut oil and the flavor it gives to dishes. So Lard it is!

4- Lard is economical. You can even render your own for a fraction of the cost. Compared to coconut oil or butter, lard is the cheaper option.

5- Lard is high in Vitamin D: One tablespoon of lard contains 1,000 IU’s of vitamin D. Also important, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin so it requires fatty acids to be absorbed and utilized in the body. But only if it comes from pigs raised outside!

6- Lard is sustainable: Even though I’d love to be able to grow my own palm trees here, it’s just not gonna happen! So pig is a better option to sustainably produce a high quality fat, under our slightly Oh-so-cold climate.

7- Lard is Local and anybody can try their hand at raising some 😉

8- Lard is great for baking: Talk about a flaky pie crust! Substitute lard for coconut oil, vegetable oil, shortening or butter in your baking recipes.

9- Lard is a healthy source of cholesterol. Isn’t cholesterol bad for you? Guess what? It never was… (I’m one with high cholesterol numbers since I was teenager, which is actually good!) Studies show that cholesterol consumption does not carry a cause-and-effect relationship with blood cholesterol levels. This is because the body produces the cholesterol it needs. Providing cholesterol through good quality fats, however, reduces the burden on the body to produce cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol from whole foods like lard supports inflammation management and hormone production. Pretty amazing what new studies are showing!

10- Lard is traditional: Lard was enjoyed by your ancestors thousands of years ago, unlike canola oil, corn oil and other highly processed fats.

Of course, make sure you know your fat and where it came from. Pastured pigs is always the best source of great lard!

How I use Lard:

- Use it for frying or sauteing, instead of olive oil. Sauteing vegetables, or cooking sausages or ground beef. It’ll add a subtle, rich flavor (it won’t make everything taste like bacon!). Lard is made to cook at high temperatures so it won’t burn. It makes for easy clean up too, because it creates a strong non-stick layer on the pan.

- Roasting: Adding some lard to the roasting pan or tossing vegetables and meat in lard first will crisp it up so nicely without making it greasy.

Estelle Levangie
10 Gift Ideas for the Hard-to-buy Person in your Life

Feeling overwhelmed by Christmas shopping? Don’t know what to get for this hard to buy person? Been there done that…

To tell you the truth, hubby tells me I’m the ‘’hard to please’’ one lol. Plus I’m trying to keep stuff to a minimum in my house (Ha, with 3 young kids, good luck with that!) so I usually end up not knowing where to put all this new stuff we just got!

So if you want more sustainability in your life, I have what you need to get some inspiration and check some people off your list:

1-      Offer Experiences over material things (I know it can be hard to put under the Christmas tree!) but theatre tickets, concerts, hockey game, museum… anything that fit the person’s interest

2-      Gift card can feel a bit less personal but it can be turned into a bonding/fun shopping trip with the gals

3-      For the gardener: House plants or seeds – Might as well choose one that’s really beneficial like Aloe Vera or one that purify the air (spider plant…)

4-      Dried Herbs to spice up meals when the fresh stuff is not available

5-      FOOD: everybody needs it so it can be the go to gift! Real whole foods are best or any prepared meal ready to be served is always a good idea. Enjoy friends and family’s company around the dinner table is always the best of gifts. I’ve had people buying whole chickens to give as Christmas gifts to their grown-up kids. Can’t go wrong with that, and if they don’t know how to cook it, well it’s never too late to learn!

6-      New Year’s resolutions are always a great time for shaping up. Gym cards/subscription, swimming pool card, starting yoga (include a yoga mat with that one!) or just planning on going for a walk once a week with that special person

7-      For the avid reader: books, magazine subscription

8-      A robotic sweeper for the person who doesn’t have time to clean their house (anything invented yet for picking up toys, books and other things left on the floor? I could use that one…)

9-      Home made gifts are always nice, especially made by the kids. If anything, it will get them to learn about giving and will be a great excuse to spend quality/creative time with them.

10-    Start a tradition. Tuck some pretty paper inside a glass jar. Tie on a tag instructing family members to write down one thing they loved about each day, then read them aloud every holiday season.

Let me know which one is your favorite! Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas


Estelle Levangie
How to Grill a WHOLE CHICKEN on the Barbecue

How is your summer going so far? We managed to squeeze in some beach time between weeding and feeding animals, so that's good! Summer will be over before you know it so we made a commitment to spend the hot days with the kids. It's just too hot for working anyway!

One thing I haven't feel like doing lately, is cooking... Especially on these really hot days, my appetite is just not there. So I have a solution to the ''Feeding the kids'' problem. I get hubby to cook a whole chicken on the barbecue! A big one with that, so there's lots of leftovers...

Here is a recipe for that delicious grilled chicken on the barbecue (Marinade is not necessary with our chickens because they taste delicious just on their own!):


  • 1 whole Thyme for Ewe Farm chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds) spatchcocked
  • For the marinade:

             - 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

             - Juice of 2 lemons and zest of 1

             - 3 garlic cloves, finely grated

             - 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

             - Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

             - 2 scallions, sliced

             - 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh dill


Special equipment: Strong scissors or poultry shears

To spatchcock the chicken, use strong kitchen scissors or poultry shears and cut down either side of the spine. Pull out the spine, turn the chicken over and press down on the breast of the chicken to flatten it out to one thickness.

Marinade:(Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Put the chicken in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag in a rimmed dish. Pour in half of the marinade, reserving the rest for serving later. Seal the bag and rotate it around to evenly distribute the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season generously all over with salt and pepper.)

Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Prepare a grill for medium indirect heat: turn all the burners to medium-high heat; after about 15 minutes turn off one of the middle burners and turn the remaining burners down to medium. Make sure to avoid flare ups by turning off the burner directly under the chicken.

Place the chicken skin-side up on the indirect side of the grill with the legs facing the hotter side. Cover and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (avoiding the bone) reads 150 to 160 degrees F (almost cooked through), about 50 minutes.

Move the chicken over to the direct-heat side of the grill. After 2 minutes, flip the chicken to char and crisp up the skin side, another 3 or 4 minutes. Check that the temperature in the thigh is now at least 165 degrees F. If it is not, then move the chicken back to the indirect side, cover and cook until the final temperature is reached. Remove from the grill; let rest 20 minutes before carving.

Stir the scallions and dill into the reserved marinade. Drizzle over the chicken or serve on the side.

Now that brought my appetite back! Hoping you spend lots of time with friends and family on this beautiful summer in Cape Breton.



PS: Your only chance at getting FRESH grass-fed BEEF this summer is this Saturday July 21 at the Farmers Market! There will be lots of steaks for the barbecue as well, but they won't last long. So come on and stock up for the summer.

There will be half and quarters of beef available in the fall.

Estelle Levangie