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I first became acquainted with this month’s One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks when Stone Hearth hosted a “Mama and Me” brunch. That’s when I met Faye Fehnel, a cook at the Elizabethtown restaurant.
Her love of cooking began working with her mother on the family farm and preparing meals for farm workers.
Faye has worked at Stone Hearth for 23 years and has seen lots of changes in the restaurant industry. She enjoys her profession as the kitchen manager and head “country cook.” Restaurant staff members are amazed at her preparation of dishes without looking at a recipe, some of which are her secrets.
Along with the staff, Fay creates dishes for lunch, Sunday brunch and the desserts. “Faye’s Feature” is a lunchtime favorite of many.
“I consider Faye the ‘mother’ of Stone Hearth,” said Judy Logsdon, owner of Stone Hearth. “She has always treated this restaurant as if it was her baby and that to me is a priceless blessing.”
“She thinks nothing about coming in at 4:30 a.m. to prepare an early catering, in-house breakfast, or staying late to make sure caterings get out the door on time,” Judy said. “Sometimes she’ll just show up at a catering, after she’s worked all day, because she thinks we may need more help.”
Judy said when she came back to the business several years ago, Faye was cooking on a small four-burner stove.
“We reminisce from time to time and she, herself, doesn’t know how she managed 400-plus people, but she did it with a smile,” Judy said, adding Faye now has a 10-burner commercial range, four convection ovens and a new slicer.
When Faye isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She also enjoys raising a garden and canning vegetables.
Congratulations, Faye, and thank you for sharing some of your recipes.
If you know a great cook, nominate them as One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks. Email your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to The News-Enterprise, 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.
Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,” is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at email@example.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.
Devil’s Food Cake
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, then add warm mashed potato, cocoa and nuts and stir well. Then add alternately milk and dry ingredients. Fold in beaten egg whites. Bake 25 to 35 minutes at 325 degrees.
Combine first four ingredients and cook until it forms a soft ball. Remove from heat; add marshmallow cream and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Spread on cooled cake.
Barbecued Oven Fried Chicken
Dip chicken in mixture of flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Melt butter, add chicken. Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven and add sauce (recipe below). Cover and bake another 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Combine in sauce pan and simmer for 15 min. Add to chicken and cover and bake 30 min. at 350 degrees.
Mixed Vegetable Casserole
Cook Vegetables for 2 minutes in ¼ cup water. Drain and add butter. Mix all other ingredients in baking dish. Mix with vegetables. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown.