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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  • Alan Muskat, master forager, sharing his vast wild world wisdom at yesterday's foraging class here.
  • The gleaners. || Yesterday, our land served as the location for a foraging class led by wild foods expert Alan Muskat. So many edibles here, constantly changing with the seasons.
  • Asheville area folks: Come on over to @forvillagers at 7 pm tonight to hear @gardenbetty talk about her new book,
  • 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.

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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.