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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  • 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).
  • A visit today to farmer Tom Kousky of neighboring Hominy Valley Organic Farm yielded: flats of flowers (geraniums, celosia, and marigolds); starts of pickling cukes, zucchini, and yellow squash; 12 basil plants; two bundles of asparagus; a bunch of spinach; a bunch of radishes; two bunches of beets; and two pints of strawberries. The obvious way to celebrate all of this goodness was to blend up some strawberry milkshakes. Happy weekending, everyone!
  • Happy Friday, friends! New
  • This was work today. Sweet, delicious, patio-consumed work. Shrimp & grits, for the win.
  • It's the time, of the season. || Recipe for my
  • Ah, multiflora rose. Making the cove smell absolutely AMAZING right now, but an invasive, still. Every rose has its thorns, yes?

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Monthly Archives: February 2009

How We Do

This week was wild. Too much to detail at length, so I’ll leave you with a brief overview: got over my cold, had the greenhouses disassembled and hauled-off, completed bee school (where I learned a wealth of apiary knowledge), had my honey serve me up an incredible Valentine’s Indian dinner (as well as festoon me with an adorable dress and coat, amazing tights, woodcut birch earrings, and locally made all-natural chocolates), went to a cupcake and craft lab promoting the release of Suzie Millions new book at Lark Books (my publisher!), ate Jamaican food out with friends, and finished up several sections of the Canning & Preserving book. I think Bucky would approve of my systems approach to socializing, learning, and working. 


*Big up to future man David at Elumenati for the image. 

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello


I caught a cold. First one in years. Perhaps that’s on account of my being away from people now more than ever as I work on my books and my recent bee-keeping foray brought me into close contact with some nasties. I don’t know. I just know that I don’t take getting sick sitting down and, packed with an herbal arsenal, hot baths, and loads of tea, I’m beginning to feel back up to snuff. 


On a brighter note, we sold the two 20′x50′ hoophouses nearest the house yesterday. A young, enthusiastic farmer from South Carolina will be coming this weekend to disassemble and haul them off. I’m so excited about that because they have been sitting dormant since Glenn purchased the property 4 years ago. The previous owners ran an edible organic herb and flower farm out of here. They’re in great shape, but are much too large for our needs, which is simply a small space for some veggie starts. We’re thinking of going for something like this or this as a replacement. After the hoophouses come down, I’ll till up the soil, put in some raised beds, and get busy with a large veg plot. Spring can’t come quickly enough!

My Life In Bees

So, I started bee-keeping school yesterday. We had another session today and will meet again next Saturday and Sunday. It’s fascinating, although still a bit overwhelming. The fellow above was holding a handful of dead bees for identification, but I guess that goes without saying…
What a bee wants, what a bee needs-bee accoutrements for keeping the hive abuzz, including a spray bottle of sugar water, a hive tool for prying apart the frames inside the hive (to remove honey, as well as check on the general health of the hive-I’m learning that things can change in there pretty quickly, so it’s important to stay on top of things), and other assorted and sundry apiary things. 
These are burlap sacks a local coffee roaster generously donated. Apparently, the burlap smokes well inside the bee smoker, creating the highly desirable “cool smoke” which calms the hive. A bit of smoke causes the bees to become alert, worried there may be an impending forest fire, which would then cause them to flee, or in bee nomenclature “abscond”, from the hive. This alertness is desirable because it also temporarily impairs their chemical messengers, or pheromones, which would otherwise tell them there was an intruder in the hive and to attack (so, so, so not what you want to happen!).
My trusty gal-pal Rachel (whom I refer to as “Ladypants” and who, in turn, refers to me as “Ladypants”) doing her very best “Vanna White, in the bee yard, with the smoker” act. Well done, Ladypants, well done. More to come next week!

Oh, Honey Honey!


As a nod to bee-keeping school, which starts this coming Saturday, I thought I might share with you a homemade honey bodycare product I recently whipped up. I read somewhere that Catherine Zeta-Jones keeps her skin so supple and plump-looking by slathering it in a honey and sea salt mixture. I figure, if it’s good enough for CZ-J, it’s good enough for me. Enjoy, and stay moist!

*In a jar with a lid, mix 1c. honey, 1 c. sea salt, and 1/2c. apricot, grapeseed, or sweet almond oil. Stir. Rub onto your face and body in the shower. Let it stay on for about 1-2 minutes, then rinse off. Be careful, as the bottom of the shower will be slippery from the oil. You’ll smell like a big honeypot while you’re showering!