books

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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  • Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. @biltmoreestate
  • I had the most profoundly memorable experience today. The cookbook club at Haywood County Library (the county adjacent to mine) hosted me, and by hosted, I mean 12 ladies selected recipes from my book
  • What better way to clear out a case of the Mondays than a giveaway?! See that lovely locally-made wooden bag dryer there on my wall? Want to win one of your own (you do, trust me)? Pop on over to small measure to enter. Link is in my profile.
  • 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.

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Monthly Archives: February 2009

Chillin’ With the Peeps



These are from a photo shoot done this week for the chapters in the “Raising Chickens” book on incubating, hatching, and raising chicks. It was a pretty magical day. A chick even pipped its way out “for us”, as though on cue. The setting was the gorgeous Double G Ranch, stewarded by the imminently gracious and hospitable Lance and Valerie Graves. If you’re in the Asheville area and are looking for organic feed or chickens raised organically, give them a call. They’ll hook you up. They’ve also got a host of adorable pygmy goats, horses, and pigs, which although not for sale, are worth the trip out to their place alone. BABY PYGMY GOATS! If you’re looking for the cute threshold, look no further. 


I’ve got to tell you, folks, the photos for the book are truly stellar. Lynn Harty is an immense talent. She’s doing both of the first two books in the series and is the sort of photographer that, even if you are the type of person who only gets up close and personal with chickens and vegetables when they served to you by a waiter, will have you ordering chicks and mason jars faster than you can say “Buff Orphington.” She’s a treat, and I’m lucky to have been paired up with her. 

*Images by Lynn Harty courtesty of Lark Books

A Humble Cabin In The Woods

This cabin in Northern Idaho, designed by architectural firm Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen, is blowing my mind. In the sage words of Tina Fey, I want to go to there. I’ve looked at it just about every day for six days now. Check it out yourself. Be sure to move through the thumbnails and watch the short video of the giant window being cranked open. Talk about ventilation. I think I’d like something similar for my birthday. It’s only a ‘cabin,’ right? 


*Image provided by Tropolism

That’ll Do, Pig!


It’s Dexter’s birthday today! He’s one year old! Although he has terrorized countless throw pillows, several dog beds, the rug in this picture (LONG since replaced), all five of the cats, and even the windowsill in the guest bedroom, I wouldn’t trade him in for any other dog in the world. 


Over the year, he has acquired the following nicknames: Pig, Piggers, Fat Pig, Pigger Do, Squishy Pig, Noodle, Fuzzy Noodle, Monkey, Monkey Pudding, and Monkey Pudding Pants.  He totally deserves every last one of them. He snores, growls gently when he is happy, will wake from a deep sleep and come running for hugs if he hears me talking sweetly to Fly (aka “The Competition”), passes wretched gas with abandon (and suspected delight), moves his body in opposing directions when he is excited (like a Pig dancing  Jig!), and has an oral fixation, wherein he must put a bone or chew toy or plush toy in his mouth after any prolonged absence from us and keep it there for the next 10-15 minutes. 

He’s the best and I adore him. I put him to bed with me every night, unless he does so himself. Before I turn in, I give him a kiss on the head and feel my hope restored. Happy Birthday, Pig!

It All Comes Down To This

It’s been a rough week. My dog, Fly, has been obsessively licking and gnawing at the injury she incurred last week when she ran over a nail sticking out of the end of one of the greenhouses that we sold. I had to cancel a much desired vacation in the interest of being a responsible adult and saving money. The anti-inflammatory Fly has to take gives her gas, the rankness of which I had not known dogs were capable of achieving. It’s cold and the firewood won’t stay lit.

Never one to take life’s mishaps sitting down, I’ve turned to Nora as a beacon of hope. If something so small and fuzzy can rise to the challenge and say, “Oh, so you don’t think cats can play the piano? PUH-LEEZE! Small-minded peon!”, then so can I. Enjoy the show!

Relishing the Thought

I’m up to my elbows in jam, curd, and relish-recipes, that is. It’s down to the final month of writing before the first two books in the series make their way officially out of my computer and on to the rest of the publishing process luminaries. In the meantime (not that I really have much of a “meantime,” what with bee-keeping school and my dog injuring her paw on a nail from the old hoophouses, and a medley of other concerns; more like “in the leantime”), I’ve hooked up with the local Slow Food chapter and their fledgling Education Committee. Apparently, the mandate from this years Terra Madre in Turin, Italy (the big dog international meeting for Slow Foodies) was to emphasize the social justice part of Slow Food, as envisioned by it’s founder, Carlo Petrini. What that means on a practical level is making sure that everyone, everywhere has access to delicious, fair, sustainable foods. 


Here in Asheville, the Education Committee will be working with low-income communities to teach cooking classes on preparing food that is Fast, Easy, Affordable, Sustainable, and Tasty (FEAST). Soon as I send the books off, I plan on helping out, teaching cooking classes, picking veggies out of the community garden, showing folks how to can and preserve the foods out of that garden to keep in a community-specific food bank, and anything else I can do to assist. For now, though, I’m going to seriously pump up (or more aptly, “out”) the jams!

*Image from Lavazza