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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  • Scotch eggs of supreme deliciousness can be had on the regular at @kingjamesavl. @glennbenglish and I savored these beauties today alongside dirty rice fritters, gumbo with poutine, and @sunbursttrout smoked trout dip, all wonderful. There was also a pint of Appalachian Brewery porter that I have to have more of. Oh, and old school White Stripes on rotation. Great food, great atmosphere.
  • Confession: until last night, I had never had honest to goodness snow cream. @glennbenglish whipped up a tasty batch with vanilla and nutmeg, and we enjoyed it alongside @oldworldlevain's heavenly frangipane tartlettes with fresh cranberries, orange peel, and cinnamon. Snow-pretty AND tasty.
  • Scattered, smothered, and covered. Snowy day in the cove!
  • We three Englishes do so very much love snow. Forecast to receive between 3-6 inches tonight! @glennbenglish captured Huxley and I taking in the view on his way back to the house after locking up the chickens.
  • Woke up to overnight snowfall, always a treat. Then heard from my neighbor Lynn, a licensed massage & bodywork therapist, that the snow was preventing her from getting in to her clients in town and, as a result, she had an opening in her schedule and could give me a massage. Whenever she travels, I pet-sit her cat Sophie, and in exchange she trades me a massage. Not only is she a seriously stellar masseuse, she also is an aromatherapist, a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner (a kind of Japanese acupressure technique), and is certified in neuromuscular therapy. So when I get a massage from her, I receive this healing trifecta involving scent, body, and spirit. Plus, in all honesty, I feel like this woman is actually imbuing my body with love when she works on me. I left her house feeling light and bright, and nourished. She has offices in Asheville and Johnson City, TN (the home massages are reserved for family and neighbors!). If you're looking for a rich, wonderful, deeply healing massage, please consider Lynn. You can find her information at www.lynnbernatsky.com. || I passed our bamboo grove and its tiny creek on my walk over to Lynn and Steve's; it somehow spoke to me of good things in store.
  • Woke up to this view. Some kind of wonderful!
  • Spotted Quench in the wild today.Always a thrill to see my books out in the big world, and rubbing elbows with friends @thejoyofcooking, no less!
  • Good day to be in western NC. View of Mt.  Pisgah from the top of our road.
  • You will not pass! || Our shorty with his soul sister Raeglan, adventuring in our woods two days ago. @thebriere4
  • Batman Begins. You ought to hear his 4 year-old take on Batman's gravelly, husky whisper.
  • Post meal, pre-hike to the frozen
  • Yesterday marked the very last photo shoot for my upcoming picnic book. 20 picnics, showcasing all 4 seasons, DONE! Snow, the necessary

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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Eggstra Benefits

For those of you out there who still haven’t sampled eggs from free-range/pastured hens, there’s no time like the present to start. Not only is the flavor of pastured eggs far superior to those of their caged kin, research also indicates that their nutrient profile is considerably more substantive. Consider this nugget of egg info:


“For every one egg you eat from a pastured hen, you would also have to eat three factory eggs to get the same amount of vitamin E and five for as much vitamin D. All the while, each additional conventional (factory-raised) egg you eat will be giving you one third more cholesterol.” 

That comes from a recent online article in Gourmet magazine, detailing the hidden costs of purchasing, and consuming, factory-farmed eggs. While it might initially seem like pastured eggs are costly, it is quickly apparent that the real costs of many foods aren’t often accounted for. Humane treatment of animals, fair and living wages for farm workers, natural grain (preferably grown nearby), and hand-gathering of eggs add time and labor (not to mention ethics!), and produce a more nutritious egg in the end. It’s basically a form of health insurance, fantastic news for the uninsured! I’d love to hear some of your own adventures in Eggland. 

*Small measure: Eat pastured eggs. Astounding flavor? Check. Laudable nutritional profile? Check. Good way to support small farms? Check. Visually interesting on account of color variation? Check. Need I convince you any further?

Yes They Did!

Here’s a schematic of the new First Garden. Is it just me, or is it ginormous? I am SO inspired! For great tips on starting up a kitchen garden of your own (albeit on perhaps a slightly more modest scale), check out Kitchen Gardeners International. Their motto is “Promoting the ‘localest’ food of all, globally.” Now, perhaps the Obamas will get some chickens, Michelle will read my book, invite Glenn and I over for dinner, and we’ll all play with the girls and the First dog, pick sugar snap peas, and tell the President jokes of staggering hilarity and genius. 


*Small Measure: Eat a rainbow of colors at each meal. I realize that while this isn’t always achievable, it’s definitely goal-worthy. Different foods pack in different nutrients and eating a variety of hues at each meal goes far in offering an assortment of essential vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Plus, they make meals more visually arresting, and I think we could all use a bit more visual arrestment in our lives, no?

*Image from farmfed.com

Put A Lid On It


The mason jar, to which I am clearly eternally indebted, recently celebrated its 125th anniversary. Those of you in East Central Indiana might want to stop by the Minnetrista Center for their new exhibit, “Can It!”, an homage to all things tempered glass-screw band-and-lid related. According to the Center’s website: 


“This highly interactive original exhibit not only looks at the historical production of the Ball jar and its influence on Muncie and surrounding communities, it engages visitors in exploring their personal connections with Ball.”

And if that weren’t enough to tempt you to book the next flight to Indiana, consider that the first 125 exhibit visitors will receive the Anniversary Edition of the Ball Book Guide to Preserving. If you’re unable to make the exhibit, consider whipping up a batch of rhubarb jam or pickled asparagus instead as a gesture of gratitude to John Mason’s laudable invention. You could also just fill an empty jar with beer, wine, whiskey, or, for the kiddos, apple juice, and hoist it high in thanks! Do any of you can? I’d love to know what goodies you’re putting up in your kitchen.

*Image by neuralstudios.net

If You Like It Then You Shoulda Put A Lid On It


This Slow House

I just read a very thoughtful article about applying the principles of slow foods to home design and decor. The article, which can be found on the design blog designsponge, highlights ways to make conscientious, sustainable choices in a time of economic and environmental uncertainty. Here’s an excerpt that really called to me: 


Much like the slow food movement that promotes using sustainable organic foods that are in season, we need to commit to a ‘slow home’ ideal. To me, much of the same philosophies in slow food apply to slow home-buy sustainable, efficient products that make as small of an impact on the environment as possible. Like the slow food movement, a slow home can seem expensive and time consuming. But just start small and don’t cave to the idea that you have to live off the grid to make a difference. When we buy slower, we buy better. Since no one is rushing to spend money on all new furniture or replace their entire kitchen these days, let’s use this time to get to know where the things we own come from.”

The author then goes on to suggest shopping for vintage or re-purposed items, buying from an online crafter through sites like Etsy, or learning of local craftspersons in your area making everything from blankets, to ceramics, furniture,and  glass. Where I live, in Asheville, N.C., the ability to support the crafting community is enormous, with biannual craft fairs, ongoing studio strolls, and even the local state university outpost, UNC-Asheville (my alma mater), getting in on the action with an annual ceramics sale by students in the ceramics department. And Asheville isn’t that big. Who knows what might exist in larger locales. 

*Small Measure: Make slow purchases. Take your time when opting to bring something new into your home, whether it be an armchair, a drinking glass, a canister, or pillow. See what might already exist in your community. Find ways to repurpose items gathering dust in your basement, spare room, or nearby antique store. Check the local paper for estate sales and auctions (a riot of fun, especially here in the south-I mean, have you ever actually heard an auctioneer do their thing? It boggles the mind.) You could even simply rearrange your furniture if you’re anxious for a quick, albeit “slow”, fix, which my mom did ALL THE TIME when I was growing up. Whatever you do, just do it thoughtfully. Speed isn’t everything. Like the Aesop fable “The Tortoise and the Hare” indicates, “slow and steady wins the race.” Ready? Set? Mosey…..

*Image from treehugger.com.