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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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  • When dinner is served al fresco on the patio, at sunset, in a watermelon bowl, then my heart smiles. || Egg noodles, NC shrimp and pea shoot-arugula-basil pesto topped with nasturtium leaves, sage flowers, and chive blossoms. Nearly summertime and the living is easy.
  • When your afternoon involves chilling inside the Asheville Salt Cave with 7 of your nearest and dearest and your collective 4 kiddos, and your night involves celebrating one of their birthday's with a fajita feast and @glennbenglish's phenomenal spring sangria (with watermelon and strawberries and honeysuckle blooms that I picked), then you know that today has been an extraordinarily good day.
  • Spicy pork dumplings from @ganshanstation, I love you. While everything I've tried here has been seriously stellar, @procain's dumpling situation is worth the visit alone. So, so good!
  • Here's what I did today: hopped in the car, drove about a mile over to Hominy Valley Organic Farm, and got down to strawberry-picking business. I filled a flat for $18 (at $3/pound). If you live in the area and are looking for delicious, organic, U-pick strawberries, come see Farmer Tom Monday-Friday after 2 pm. Tell him I sent ya! Now, on to jam, and Popsicles, and pie, and galette, and pickled strawberries, and more! ??????
  • 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!

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Monthly Archives: June 2009

A Package Deal

This demo at Bee Field Day was on installing a mail-order package of bees. Imagine the post office’s pleasure when receiving your buzzing box of 12,000 bees. 
Here’s the interior of a 10-frame hive. 
Edd Buchanan, beekeeper extraordinaire, instructs a young assistant in removing the queen package from the box. 
The intrepid bee-gal places the queen box inside the frames, after opening the candy plug that keeps her isolated. 
Finally, after a thorough smoking, Edd and his trusty gal-pal released the entire package. As I wasn’t wearing bee-appropriate clothing, I hung way back on the edge of the crowd. I have never seen so many bees buzzing overhead in my life. After getting their bearings, and picking up on the scent of the queen and other bees in the hive, they eventually flew into the hive. I’m so excited to learn more about the inner world of bees and bee-keeping! I’ve begun the process of selecting my equipment and its inhabitants. I’ll let you know when my new friends arrive! 

Yes, We Can All Just Get Along


This is absolutely amazing.

Smoke Out

I spent a few hours this weekend at a nearby 4-H Club Western North Carolina Bee Field Day. I won’t complain about the fact that I was one of maybe only four folks crowding the field that didn’t wear white (clad in my standard dark-colored garb, I was essentially the pinnacle of all that is visually threatening to bees). Why mention of donning bee-appropriate clothing wasn’t stressed in the e-mail about the event, I don’t know. Why I neglected to consider this necessary step in advance myself, I don’t know. So, suffice to say, I got close, just not too close. 
Wild times got underway with a smoker lighting contest. 
Here’s the rowdy line-up. 
Contestants had to have their smokers lit in advance, then pick them up, puff them three times, and place them back on the ground. Winners, and losers, were judged according to how well their smokers puffed and the longevity of the smoke. I was actually grinning like a mad woman the entire time. I don’t know why (I seemed to have been plagued with an overarching lack of knowledge that day), I just was. More bee escapades to come…

Good Eats

A few remaining images from last week’s photo shoot for the “Canning & Preserving” book. The fig & thyme jam snuggled up in this phyllo-wrapped baked brie had everyone’s mouths watering, and Jenny, the photographer’s assistant, scheming of grabbing it and running off down the street, with crumbs and gooey cheese and jam smeared all over her face. 
The rhubarb on the right was from a farm in nearby Burnsville, N.C.. The stalks on the left were just-picked from Chris’s yard (Chris is the Art Director at Lark books, and the owner, along with his partner Skip, of the home where the photos were taken). After misting the rhubarb, Nicole, my editor, said it was christened with “garden sweat.” I choose the euphemism “morning dew” instead. Take yer pick. 
Chris torched a glaze over a game hen to make it a bit more crispy. You’ll find this little bird (Chris kept calling it “Max Headroom”) alongside the recipe for Winter Squash Chutney in the book. 
Finally, Nicole juxtaposes the runnyness of liquid pectin versus the powder of dry. We had a blast. One more photo shoot to go on this book, then we’ll take a breather before heading on to bee photos. And speaking of bees, I attended a bee club field day this weekend at the 4-H club. Photos and anecdotes forthcoming. 

Can Do Attitude

Here are a few candid camera shots from Tuesday’s photo shoot for the “Canning & Preserving” book in the “Homemade Living” series. As predicted, Ned kept us all in line. 
Artful and expert sandwich arranging (this one was for Cranberry, Rosemary, & Juniper Relish). 
It was necessary to raise the roof to get the light just so. 
The money shot. 
Are you licking the screen yet? This shot was for Blood Orange & Port Sauce. YUM! More to come on Thursday!