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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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  • This guy right here? While he might be growing bigger every day, the truth is that becoming a mother has helped me to grow. To be more present. To be more patient. To be more empathic. As I tell all my soon-to-be-mama friends, parenthood is the toughest work you'll ever do, with by far the biggest payoff. The lovin', and the learning, are so, so good. Happy Monday, friends.
  • Today was a good day. This view, from the top of our road, certainly helped make it so.
  • I think the 48-hour flu I've been fighting has finally succumbed to my assault of grapefruit seed extract, osha root, propolis, elderberry syrup, Oscillococinum, apple cider vinegar, rose hips, hibiscus, ginger/lemon/honey/cayenne tea, and neti pot with goldenseal tincture. I don't take getting sick sitting down. And now, a winter storm, possibly. Bring it, I say. Happy weekending, friends!!!
  • This guy.
  • I've been waiting, for a book like this, to come into my life. Whoa. Picked this up a few weeks ago at @screendoorasheville as a New Year's gift to @glennbenglish. Just started reading it myself and it couldn't possibly be more of what I need to see, right now. Completely on point, wholly attuned to what I'm presently sensing and curious about and inspired by, and infinitely humbling.
  • Warm enough today to play soccer down in our lower field, do a bit of weeding in the garden, and push a nearly-too-big 4 year-old in his
  • New year, new moons, new calendars. Right on, right on.
  • @shelterprotectsyou has been posting images of the wedding she and @sheltercollective had here in September all week. They built this altar for the ceremony, and it's still here, just past the house, on the way to the chicken coop. We pass it every day. Some days, I casually note its beauty and the way it feels like an outdoor church here in our forested cove. Other days I barely register it as I scurry about, doing this and that around the property. Today, though, in the stark, grey, drizzly setting, it was quietly regal. Happy to have had her visuals prompt me to stop, look, and listen to this physical testament to love.
  • The chickens told me they much prefer the rain this week to last week's frigid weather, thank you very much. I couldn't agree more.
  • These potatoes @tableasheville changed my culinary life. They called them hash browns, but they were unlike any I'd had before. Par-baked perhaps, smashed into halves I'm guessing, and then roasted and maybe finished with a quick fry in the skillet and scattered with large sea salt granules? Whatever the method, the result was a creamy, yellow center and a crispy, salty exterior. Quite possibly the best hash browns I've ever had.
  • This caramelized cinnamon citrus
  • I went on a kid-free date today with @glennbenglish! And we talked about grown up things, without interruption from a 4 year-old (except for when Glenn was talking about something important and I interrupted to tell him a man had just walked by with two hooks for hands, because, hooks for hands)!! And we went to @tableasheville and it was completely delicious!!! So many !!!! Brunch date might just be my new favorite thing.

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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!