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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  • 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.
  • 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.

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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!