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QUENCH

 

HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • Asheville area folks: Come on over to @forvillagers at 7 pm tonight to hear @gardenbetty talk about her new book,
  • When dinner is served al fresco on the patio, at sunset, in a watermelon bowl, then my heart smiles. || Egg noodles, NC shrimp and pea shoot-arugula-basil pesto topped with nasturtium leaves, sage flowers, and chive blossoms. Nearly summertime and the living is easy.
  • When your afternoon involves chilling inside the Asheville Salt Cave with 7 of your nearest and dearest and your collective 4 kiddos, and your night involves celebrating one of their birthday's with a fajita feast and @glennbenglish's phenomenal spring sangria (with watermelon and strawberries and honeysuckle blooms that I picked), then you know that today has been an extraordinarily good day.
  • Spicy pork dumplings from @ganshanstation, I love you. While everything I've tried here has been seriously stellar, @procain's dumpling situation is worth the visit alone. So, so good!
  • Here's what I did today: hopped in the car, drove about a mile over to Hominy Valley Organic Farm, and got down to strawberry-picking business. I filled a flat for $18 (at $3/pound). If you live in the area and are looking for delicious, organic, U-pick strawberries, come see Farmer Tom Monday-Friday after 2 pm. Tell him I sent ya! Now, on to jam, and Popsicles, and pie, and galette, and pickled strawberries, and more! ??????
  • Pretty much ANY time is a good time for pickles, especially now that I've added @foodinjars delicious Quick Pickled Strawberries to the mix. Sublime!
  • You're in my heart, you're in my soul.
  • A testament to the power of social media: saw @holedoughnuts post an image of their Buttermilk Cardamom Black Pepper donut this morning, ate lunch, and then made the 20 minute drive over to enjoy some in person with @glennbenglish and Huxley!  Completely worth it. So, so good!!!
  • It's not a significant thing, nothing major. Just a walk down the driveway to gather the mail. But when I do it with Huxley, and we stop to say
  • Hominy Creek, doing its spring thang. || View from our mailbox.
  • Attended my first ever handmade/homemade swap yesterday, at a friend's sweet home in Black Mountain. SO much goodness, all thoughtfully and lovingly made. Huxley came with me and ran around with the kiddos while the swap took place. I contributed these little jars of rosemary honey, which @glennbenglish artfully topped with straw-blown watercolorings. Such a great afternoon with like-minded friends and fellow mamas! Thank you so, so much for hosting, Amanda!!!
  • Saturdays are for French toast on the porch with @glennbenglish and Huxley Wild while rain showers wash over the cove. || Used @farmandsparrow's Heritage Corn Bread and @oldworldlevain's Double Raisin & Flax Bread to make cardamom French toast, served alongside butter, maple syrup, and Hominy Valley Organic Farm strawberries, all washed down with hibiscus iced tea (our warm weather cold beverage go-to).

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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Sharing the Load

It’s official. We’re now sharecroppers/land-sharers/what-have-you. Yesterday we walked the property for several hours with Jonathan, a young experienced organic farmer looking for somewhere to put down roots, literally. In exchange for the use of our land, he’ll help out with grounds-keeping and property stuff 5 hours a week . 
We’ve actually had the idea to do this for some time, but the right moment hadn’t really presented itself. Where we call home is situated on 12 acres, down a dirt road. While much of the property is made up of a wooded mountainside,  there is a 1 1/2 acre parcel that can be farmed.  Inspired recently by British chef/teacher/gardener/t.v. personality extraordinaire Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his campaign for landshare in the U.K., I posted an a.d. with a local agricultural non-profit and began the search for the perfect person. 
Here’s the greenhouse Jonathan will be using in its current state. The previous owners ran an organic herb and edible flower farm out of here (in addition to another 2 greenhouses up closer to our home). 
He’s planning on putting up new plastic sometime around the end of February and installing a pump in the creek running adjacent to the greenhouse. Tomatoes will be grown indoors and peppers will be grown in the field, in addition to other crops. 
I couldn’t be more thrilled. With no money being exchanged, he gets a place to toil the soil while I have a real live farmer to direct all my questions about soil composition and irrigation and tomato hornworms at. 

Heaven, I’m In Heaven



This box of citrus delights greeted me at the post office yesterday. Thanks to my Pop for mailing me the hefty package and thanks to my step-mom, Gail, for doing the picking. I usually pilfer with permission a whole mess of kumquats from my dad’s neighbor’s tree (got that?) in Florida when I visit during the holidays. I didn’t make it down this year, though, and dad and Gail very, very generously complied with my request to send me some in exchange for a jar of something. That something, I’ve decided, will be kumquat marmalade, the recipe for which will also be featured in my book on Canning and Preserving, (shameless publicity alert!) due out in print March 2010. Last year, I candied the kumquats I picked off and topped a ricotta cheesecake with them. Delish!


P.S. My new favorite thing is/are the Groovaloos! Amazing! 

The Taste of Victory


I was doing some research on Victory Gardens for the Canning & Preserving book and came across this inspiring video. The before and after photos of the White House are so telling.

All Hope Is Not Lost!

This makes me laugh and cry at the same time; we’ll call it “laurying.” Weird, yes, but decidedly better than “craughing.” Have a lovely weekend!
Yes, it’s an ad. Yes, I still love it. To learn more about real flash mobs, check out this and this.

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Morning





The chickens weren’t too sure about all this white stuff. They refused to move out from their patch of dirt. This is the first significant accumulation (don’t laugh, Northerners!) we’ve had this season. It’s at about 1/2 inch and still coming down. Perfect for holing up indoors by the wood stove, creating recipes, drinking hot beverages, and welcoming in the next president!