About the Author

Rita Heikenfeld

Rita Heikenfeld

First and foremost, I'm a wife, mom and grandma. And trying to tell you a bit about myself is not something that can be done in a few words - after all, I finally have the wisdom of a good many years! So I'll just start chatting...

We live on a little patch of heaven outside of Batavia, Ohio. Our property overlooks the East Fork of the Little Miami River. Just walking down the ancient stone steps to the river fills me with peace.

I was raised with my 8 siblings in a teeny tiny home in suburban Cincinnati. Less than 900 square feet. My Dad said we had the best house on the street because we lived on the corner. Positive attitude!

My Mom grew enough herbs for our family of 11 in a big black iron kettle outside the back kitchen door. I inherited that kettle and it stands in a place of honor in my herb garden.

Growing up, food was an important and inexpensive way of showing love. Every Sunday my Mom would prepare a Lebanese feast.

And restaurants were part of my family heritage, as well. My Aunt Norma had a store here in downtown Cincinnati. When we would go to the Findlay Market, we'd stop at her store, and the aroma of fried kibbi coming from the little kitchen in the back was intoxicating.

When I was still in grade school my parents opened a diner a few blocks from our home. It became a much loved eatery in the area. Mom also cooked her Lebanese specialties for local restaurants.

I , too, followed in her path when I became a stay-at-home Mom. While raising our 2 sons, I created a catering business with my good friend, Bert, who lives down the road. My boys remember well helping pick produce in the garden, apples from our orchard, and shucking lots of corn in the summer.

Currently, we have a small flock of chickens who are generous with their egg laying, a way too big vegetable garden, and my teaching herb garden divided into household, culinary, medicinal and Bible sections. It includes well over 100 varieties of herbs, both common and unusual.

Professionally, I am a food/lifestyle/family journalist, author, educator and media personality.

I have been blessed with amazing mentors, some well known and some unknown. Some older, some younger. And I am still learning!

I believe in the law of abundance: sharing my God given talents to all souls who cross my path so that a full circle is made.

I am proud to be part of the Countryside magazine family, and love the camaraderie that comes from being in the fold of writers who are also part of the "family".

You'll find lots of interesting, unique stories, along with recipes, "potions" and videos on my website Abouteating.com

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Articles by Rita Heikenfeld