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: 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!