Kate Taliaferro Finds God in Cooking, Cleaning and Everyday Ordinary
Taliaferro follows the counsel of St. Frances of Rome to spend time before the altar, and to cherish the duty of the moment.
Showcasing her Catholic faith and her cooking zeal, Kate Taliaferro has established a stunning website, Daily Graces. Its main focus is, “Finding God in cooking, cleaning and the everyday ordinary.” An Air Force wife and mother of six, she spends her day dedicating her life to serving God in humble daily activities, including preparing family meals.
Born and raised in the Chicago suburb of Lombard and now living in Wichita, Kansas, Kate is the oldest of four children. She attended a Catholic high school and then went to the University of Dayton, majoring in religious studies. This solidified her faith, but her love for cooking came into play during her childhood.
“My mom was a good cook,” she said, “and she was raised with her grandmother living close by for almost her entire life. It was a Southside Italian family, so all was about quintessential big family meals. … That is what she brought into our home.” When Kate was older, she and her siblings were around her grandmother more, and she knew their favorites. “There was not much daily cooking then — just special occasions.” Kate remembers her mom even asking for her help to make rice balls for Christmas, a once-a-year treat for the whole extended family.
When she got to college and realized she didn’t know how to cook many different dishes, she asked her mom to share recipes and to explain how to prepare the dishes well. When she married, of course, she ended up cooking for two, and really had to learn more basics so the couple would not go hungry. “And then when my kids came quickly,” she added, “I needed to feed more people.”
She prepares classic Italian dishes, and because her husband has traveled often to Asia, she now incorporates some of those flavors into her cooking. “He has been to Guam, Japan, Thailand and Australia,” she said, “and when he deployed to the United Arab Emirates, we made shawarma. We do make that periodically, and we make milder Japanese curry and Moroccan chicken with couscous, leeks and carrots seasoned with turmeric so the ingredients turn yellow. The kids all eat these dishes.”
Kate also bakes with her children, making birthday cakes and muffins. “The children ask what we are baking,” she said, “because they want to lick the spoon.” Her muffins range across the flavor spectrum, from banana nut and blueberry to zucchini with orange zest.
But her blog seems to be where she finds her niche in life. She started the blog in 2013 to publish for the public where God is in life. “I have all this theology background,” she said, “and I started writing monthly for Catholic Mom.” She also currently writes for Diocesan.
Kate noted that St. Frances of Rome, the patron saint of her blog, said that the homemaker should spend time before the altar, and should spend time at home to honor and cherish daily tasks. “I do,” she said, “and choose to love my family and neighbors, and care for our home.”
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A popular family recipe. Serves 4 to 6.
- 2 pounds ground chuck
- 1/2 cup chopped onions (or 1 can dehydrated onions)
- 1 to 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup crushed ritz crackers — about 10 crackers
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ketchup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix them together well. Shape the mixture into two small loaves and place on the sheet pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and eat.