books

QUENCH

 

HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


Instagram

  • Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. @biltmoreestate
  • 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.

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Monthly Archives: December 2009

At Any Given Time

I’m a bit of a philanderer when it comes to books. At any given time, my nightstand contains a multitude of texts, all at various stages of mid-read. A dog-eared corner there, a bookstore-issue book mark there. I’m all over the place. The subject matter, book length and tone are highly variable. And that’s just fine by me. That’s how my mind works, jumping from mental vine to mental vine, following the rabbit hole where it leads. 


Here’s what’s currently weighting down my nightstand: 
-Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate, by Wendy Johnson
-Intelligence in Nature, by Jeremy Narby
-The Spell of the Sensuous, by David Abram
-Interworld, by Neil Gaiman
-The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver
-The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, by Kathleen Flinn
-Food Inc., by Participant Media & Karl Weber
-The Good Life, by Scott and Helen Nearing
-Mindfully Green, by Stephanie Kaza
-The Edible Schoolyard, by Alice Waters
-The Sustainable Vegetable Garden, by John Jeavons & Carol Cox
-Will Write For Food, by Dianne Jacob
-The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen 
-Second Nature, by Michael Pollan
-How to Cook a Wolf, by M.K. Fisher
-Sufficient, by Tom Petherick
-Easy Green Living, by Renee Loux
-Rodale’s Vegetable Garden Problem Solver, by Fern Marshall Bradley
-California’s New Green Revolution, by Desmond A. Jolly & Isabella Kenfield

What about you? Are you a book monogamist? Or do you wander, like me? And, more importantly, what are you reading? 

*Image from here. 

And the Spiced Pear Chutney Goes To…

Betsy D.! Thanks to everyone who entered. Welcome new readers!


I’ll be back in the new year with yet another delectable offering. And with each passing month, we’re moving closer to the release of the first two books in the “Homemade Living” series. “Keeping Chickens” and “Canning & Preserving” are on the very near horizon (coming this spring!), while “Home Dairy” and “Keeping Bees” (which I’m busy penning now, having wrapped “Dairy” last month) will debut in Spring 2011. 

I am tremendously excited for what the future holds and am so glad to have you all along for the adventure! 

Nature’s Operating Instructions


I first heard chef
Dan Barber relay this account of natural foie gras at the Slow Food Nation “Come to the Table” conference in San Francisco August 2008. It’s a bit long, just over twenty minutes, but the message relayed is astounding. It’s actually something I find myself increasing drawn to lately, this notion of “listening to nature’s specific operating instructions.” As Dan relays in his talk, if we find ways to work with the other sentient creatures we share the planet with, instead of in opposition to them for our own purposes, we often find mutually beneficial solutions. As he concludes his speech, he relays: “The most ecological choice for food is also the most ethical choice for food, whether we’re talking about brussels sprouts or foie gras; and it’s also almost always the most delicious choice, and that’s serendipitous.”

Another Way of Giving

My post is up this week over at Design Sponge. It’s on “stuff”-free alternatives to holiday gift-giving, including donations to charitable organizations and gifts of “time” and “experiences.” Come check it out! 


Hope you’re all weathering this week’s primer to winter well. It’s cold, cold, cold here. Fortunately, I’ve finally begun to perfect and implement the art of well-appointed layering. Two thermal long underwear shirts, covered by a wool cardigan, accompanied by corduroy pants and two layers of wool socks (including one purple thigh-high wool/acrylic number that is the best $7 I’ve ever spent) seems to be the secret to staying warm. That and a wood stove, hot tea, a sweet husband, 5 cats and two highly affectionate dogs. 

Have a lovely weekend! A power outage on Wednesday, coupled with a corrupted Word file yesterday, got me  a bit behind on writing. I’ll be catching up on odds and ends, while hosting my friend Katrina Saturday night (she’s preparing to move to southeast Asia to teach ESL for the next few years!). Hot toddies, homemade dinner and much needed hang time with a dear lady will help make the house all that much warmer! 

*Image from here

No Place Like It





I’m a daydreamer, suffering occasionally from “grass is always greener” syndrome. I’m hit the hardest with entertaining ideas of living elsewhere. The highlands of Scotland. The south of France. The redwood forests of northern California. Most recently, the coastal regions of the Pacific northwest. 


And then I’m greeted with mornings like this one. I’m growing increasingly convinced that there is no better morning here on Sunray Cove than a fog-drenched morning. The forests are cloaked so mysteriously, the mist moving so fast across my face as I walk to the chicken coop. This beautiful plot of Earth becomes the most enticing place I know then. There really is no place like home.