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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  • Good people, it is 73 degrees today! I've opened almost all of the windows in the house and am spotting daffodils triumphantly ready to unfurl all over the knob our house sits on. @glennbenglish served this reuben with @chopshopbutchers pork pastrami, homemade Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut for lunch as a strong breeze swept thru the house and shook things up. YESSSSSS!
  • Clowning around. || Huxley tried out Tiny Tots Circus Playtime at Toy Boat Art Collective today and really enjoyed it!
  • Chatting about existentialism, and contradicting ourselves, and winter over on small measure today. || Into the woods behind our house.
  • Players gonna play. Huxley and his buddy Bay, doing their little guy thing today at the perennially lovely @thencarboretum.
  • The garden got blanketed with what I'm hoping was winter's last gasp this past week. I'm ready for those snow-covered strawberry beds in the foreground to start putting out juicy fruits, for Huxley to dig in his sandbox again, for cocktails at sunset on the pergola, and for conversing with soil and seeds once more. Spring is coming. Really started to feel it this weekend.
  • 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!

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Monthly Archives: May 2009

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



Sometimes, the simplest ideas are often the most revolutionary. Yes We Can, a community canning project in San Francisco, offers a win-win scenario for farmers and consumers alike. Apricots (in June), cucumbers (in July), and tomatoes (in September) are bought from area farmers. Those items are then transformed into canned delicacies. Yes We Can members opt to either purchase a box of completed apricot jam, pickles, or whole & chunked tomatoes, or join in the prep and production at La Cocina, a shared use, incubator kitchen. 
While we’re on the subject of community canning, here’s a way, way early head’s up that yours truly will be demonstrating the pleasures of all things water-bath-canned on July 11th and 13th. Any of you Ashevillians who’ve always had a hankering to learn about the alchemy of transforming fruit into jam and veggies into pickles, come check me out at Earth Fare in the Westgate shopping center. More details forthcoming….
Oh, and be on the lookout for behind-the-scenes photos in the “Canning & Preserving with Ashley English” book, part of the “Homemade Living” series. We’re shooting on Tuesday and Thursday this coming week. Food-tweaking, clock-watching, and cat-lounging are all but guaranteed.
P.S. Small Measure is getting a new look…Let me know what you think once you see it, later this week….

Even Dogs Get the Blues


There’s rain, and then there’s RAIN. We’ve been experiencing the latter, along with much of the country. This fact, coupled with
Fly’s injury, has reduced Dexter to a moping, bored, chewing mess. Right on the heels of my mentioning to Glenn, “Hey, have you noticed it seems Dexter has finally outgrown his chewing phase?”, the Black Mass of Terror chewed up 2 blankets, a tribal rug, a top sheet, and, this morning, a corner of our duvet and its down comforter inside. Good thing I love him so much. And good thing I’m not attached to my things.

 
To add insult to material injury, Cleo, one of our “sister cats” (not because they are Mormon wives, but because they are, in fact, sisters), decided Dexter was hogging the attention and projectile vomited all over my open laptop yesterday, inducing in me EXTREME HEART POUNDING. Mind you, this is the very same laptop I’m using to pen my book series. Her timing couldn’t have been better, though, as I’m between books. Well played, Cleo. 

Chewed up textiles, regurgitated-upon laptops (it’s in the shop for who knows how long-borrowing Glenn’s laptop in the meantime-thanks G!!!), grandmothers in hospitals (she’s home now), mothers needing double knee replacement surgery, and then a flooded-out chicken run this morning make for many a heavy sigh around the ‘ole English estate. There must be a statute of limitations on bad things that can happen to one household, right? 

The good news, however, is that books number 3 & 4 have been approved, as of yesterday! Comin’ atcha Spring 2011 will be “Home Dairy with Ashley English” and “Beekeeping with Ashley English” in the Homemade Living series. Tell your friends! Tell your readers! Tell your grannies and grandpops and aunts and uncles and second cousins! And tell me some good things happening on your end in the meantime. I could use some tales of bliss and joy and revelry!

*Please pardon the “Hounds of the Baskervilles” glow in my pooches’ eyes. The aforementioned rain has made our already darkened hamlet in the forest even more dim, inducing the need for a flash. Although, Dexter does now look like the Devil Dog he actually is……

Chicks and the City

Did you happen to catch the story on NPR’s “All Things Considered” the other day about the rise in urban chicken-keeping? If not, I highly recommend it. Research for my own book can attest to the steady march forward of backyard poultry enthusiasm. “Chicken tenders,” as I like to lovingly refer to them, cover a wide range of ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and geographic areas. 
As the ATC story shows, chickens aren’t just for overall-sporting-multi-acre-owning- farmers anymore. They’re simply another component of increasing interest in re-directing food pathways, creating sustainable food networks, and exercising a bit more control over where our food comes from. 
Are you keeping chickens, or do you have plans to do so? Do you have any friends with a hankering for two-legged, winged, and feathered friends? 

*Image from here. The “Chicken Whisperer” mentioned in the ATC story, keeps a regular column on Grit. Atlanta peeps, the whisperer is the man to seek out if you’re looking for some chicken love. Ur, you know what I mean…

I Just Can’t Get Enough

I really love this. By the end, without even realizing it, tears were rolling off my cheeks. Happiness tears. Unexpected tears. The best kind!

What’s Going On

A bench for contemplation and resting weary bones. 
The decorative items festooning my neck are dog leashes because, that’s how I roll. 

We’re thinking this is a pear tree. The jury is still out, though. 
Super Dexta will hopefully bring us some super $$$.