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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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  • 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!
  • Happy Friday, friends! New
  • This was work today. Sweet, delicious, patio-consumed work. Shrimp & grits, for the win.

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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Sublime Ginger Lemonade


Our home has no air conditioning. Living in the mountains as we do, this generally poses no problem. That said, on especially humid days, or days that incur a good deal of physical labor, or even just days when this preggers lady needs something cold and refreshing and zesty and needs it stat, nothing beats Hubs’s Ginger Lemonade. Zippy and zingy and puckery and sweet and perfect in all the right ways, this lemonade puts the kibosh on whatever ails you. From our home to yours, I seriously encourage you to incorporate it into your hot weather beverage repertoire, a.c. or no a.c.


Sublime Ginger Lemonade

The Goods:
-Juice and pulp of 5-6 lemons, with the seeds strained out
-3/4 c. sugar
-1/4 c. sourwood honey (or whatever kind you like)
-1 Tbsp. minced ginger
-Water and ice
-Lemon peel for garnish

The Deal:
-To 4 c. cold water, add the sugar and ginger.
-Microwave on full power for three minutes*.
-Stir, and microwave for two more minutes.
-Remove from microwave, and stir in the honey.
-Let the hot mixture cool for a couple minutes.
-Meanwhile, juice lemons and strain seeds.
-Strain the hot liquid (to remove the ginger) into a large pitcher.
-Add the lemon juice (including the pulp if desired).
-Fill the pitcher about 2/3rds the way up with ice; stir.
-Fill the rest of the way up with cold water; stir.
-Serve with a little curl of lemon peel garnish, if desired.

*Alternatively, you can heat a few cups of water in a teapot, stir in the sugar and honey, and steep the ginger in the mixture for a few minutes.

This Just In

Good morning! I’ve got a few newsworthy bits for you today.


To begin, I learned yesterday that my “Canning & Preserving” book received an honorable mention in the “How-To” category at this year’s Green Book Festival in Los Angeles. I’m so humbled. What an honor!

Secondly, there’s now another online resource available for purchasing my “Keeping Chickens” book. Derek over at My Pet Chicken wrote to tell me that his online store (which, in addition to carrying loads of equipment, as well as actual chickens, is also a PHENOMENAL resource for chicken-tendering chats with other like minded folks) now carries my book! You can order it here.

Come back later in the week for a recipe guaranteed to whet your springtime-parched whistle!

*Image from here.

Biodegradable Disposables

My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up over on Design Sponge. Today’s topic discusses “biodegradable disposables.” With spring in full swing and summer swiftly approaching, considering in advance what you’ll do with all of the potential waste generated at family gatherings, cookouts with friends, days at the beach, and other get-togethers will go far towards preventing it in the first place!


What do you have planned for your weekend? Today, I’ll be toiling the soil, working in the yard. I’ve got an interview later this afternoon with French Elle. Tomorrow, Kate from the “Hip Girl’s Guide To Homemaking” will be in town for her younger brother’s graduation from my alma mater and then coming out to the English compound for a chat and a sit. After that, hubs and I will be cooking up some delicious vittles (I’m thinking I’ll bust these old standbys out) and heading to the Bountiful Cities annual Birdhouse auction (Slow Food Asheville will be providing the food; Asheville folks, come out and support this wildly creative and loads of fun event!).

Have a wonderful weekend!
*Image from here.

The Ultimate Homemade Living Project

My husband and I are the ultimate collaborators. With both of us working from home as we do, we see each other a lot. It never gets old. We consult and chat and scheme on everything, from what’s for dinner, to friends, relationships, Project Runway looks, and what on earth is really happening on “Lost” (does anyone know, because I don’t see how it could possibly get tidied up nicely in two weeks). We discuss fashion choices and new dinner plate options and weird interactions with folks at the grocery store. We’re tight, super tight. He’s got my back, always, and I’ve got his. We’re permanently propping each other up, full of unconditional loving support.


And so, when we got a certain suspicion that a certain monumental event was building in our lives, we set about chatting about it. With cautious optimism, we starting reading, and researching, and consulting professionals. Today, I’d like to share with you that our suspicions are in fact completely true: we’ll be adding to the English clan. “Nugget”, as I’ve temporarily dubbed our little nudger, is due on the scene November 1st, an auspicious date as it’s both my older brother’s and a dear friend’s birthday (although, no offense to All Saints Day, but I’d be thrilled if Nugget decided to permanently throw down on Halloween; is there any better birthday, really?).

I’m 15 1/2 weeks along. A visit to our nurse midwife today confirmed, for the third time, Nugget’s strong and fast heartbeat (every time they put the sonogram on my belly in a quest to locate our squirmer, all I can imagine are synchronized swimming movies, a la Busby Berkeley). Nugget is a quick and agile glider, moving around and about as fast as fast can go.

I won’t lie-it’s been challenging so far. An indication of a strong fetus, Nugget has kept me almost constantly queasy, among other things. I’ve taken more naps than I’ve ever taken in my life. I’ve started eating turkey and chicken after over a decade-long hiatus. I’ve had heartburn and weird tastes in my mouth and a superhuman sense of smell and other things too delicate to discuss here. And I’ll take more. Whatever Nugget’s got, I’ll take it, because hubs and I couldn’t be more thrilled. We invited Nugget into our lives at the turn of the year and have been ready for it’s arrival ever since.

And so, if I’ve been sluggish in my posts, or lagging in my social obligations, or just generally AWOL, now you know why. When you’re cooking up another being, you need a few passes every now and then. I’m thrilled for all that’s ahead. We’re planning on having Nugget here, chez English. There will be dogs and cats and autumn breezes and a blazing wood stove when Nugget bids us welcome. There will be Halloween candy and maybe costumes and pumpkins and hard cider. There will be friends and grandparents and loads and loads of love.

For the author of the “Homemade Living” series, I’m ready to celebrate the birth of this project with flair, gusto, and open arms.

*Image from here.

Window Farms

My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up over at Design Sponge. This week’s topic discusses “window farms”, an absolutely brilliant solution to a “growing” urban issue. Take a look here to read the full post.


Whew! What madness this past week brought! What with New York and 8 chapters of copy-editing for my 4th book in the Homemade Living series, “Keeping Bees” (Spring, 2011), coupled with hosting both sisters for the weekend and a baby shower two hours away in Charlotte for my sister-in-law and brother (SO EXCITED!!!), along with work, housework, and otherwise remembering to breathe, it’s been a whirlwind. On top of that, there’s this enormous project I’ve been studiously laboring over since February. I promise to tell you all about it tomorrow afternoon.

For now, I’m jumping off to work (I’m really, really loving it there). Have a lovely Monday and see you tomorrow!

*Image from here.