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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  • 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.
  • 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!!!

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Monthly Archives: June 2010

Purple Mountain Majesties





The Lavender Festival did not disappoint. We enjoyed fair weather, delicious food (now that I’m eating poultry, I sampled the lavender & citrus chicken salad sandwich. Holy wow!), and the company of fine friends. Only 364 more days until purple, fragrant bliss can be ours again (this time, with Nugget in tow!).


*To view more images from the farm, check this out.

Top Of the Pops

To the good looking feller on the far right, here’s to you. A true bar setter amongst Dads. If you lived closer, I’d bake you some rice pudding and we’d camp out and watch “Goonies” and “The Birdcage” (“Come on, Gloria!”). ‘Til then, know that I love you and am eternally grateful to have scored such an awesome Pop.


*My dashing Pop, shown with his seven siblings (he’s the second oldest; Lynn, the oldest of the bunch, is seated on the far right. On the back row, from the left, are Lloyd-one of “the twins”-, John, Pete-the other twin- and Bobby-aka “Rooter.” Meg is seated on the far left, next to Kay. What a great bunch of aunts and uncles! And looking so fly!).

Bug Off!

Happy weekend, everyone! My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up on Design Sponge. This week’s topic discusses all-natural, homemade insect repellents. Don’t be a schmuck like me and wait until after you’ve been assaulted all over the lower half of your body to make my “Mosquito Mist.” Do. It. Now. In fact, make some for Pop to show him you really love him, while you’re at it.


We’re off in less than an hour (with this guy and this gal) to one of my favorite annual events, the Mountain Farm Lavender Festival. There will be goats and chickens and lavender fields and blueberry bushes and labyrinths and mountaintop views and ponds and farm buildings packed with lavender foods (lemonade! cupcakes! ice cream!) and body care items. It’s my fourth year attending and I’m totally pumped.

After that, I’ll dash back into town for the last of the organic gardening classes I’ve been taking with Beth and Christopher out at their farm. The topic is on integrated pest management, which I’m always hankering to learn more about. This awesome buddy will be meeting me there. The day promises to be grand, on all accounts!

Have a magical weekend, and don’t forget to give a shout out to Pop tomorrow. If yours is anything like mine, than you are a very blessed individual!

*Image from here.

One Door Closes…





This week marked the end of an era. We wrapped up photography for the fourth book in my “Homemade Living” series, “Keeping Bees.” That means that I’ve officially toiled (lovingly, of course) through four books in just under two years. Researched, assimilated, experimented with, propped, photographed, edited, copyedited, proofread, and fretted over four books. And now, it’s done. Hear that, eye twitch? You can stop your jumpiness now-or, at least, you can take a breather until Nugget arrives in early November.


It’s wild to think that, from concept to completion, my team at Lark Books and I have pulled this off. It’s been an extraordinary gift, not just in terms of finding work doing something that I love, but one that has allowed me to discover and flourish in something that excites, inspires, and compels me to keep learning, keep growing, keep reaching out to the wider community to find solutions for living a more sustainable, homemade life.

I’ve got ideas galore for more titles in the series. We’re waiting to see how the first two do, though, before signing on for more. In the meantime, I’ll flip through the completed books, smile and marvel at what a committed collective of individuals can achieve, and feel grateful for all that is and all that’s coming. Oh, and get ready for the other door, into motherhood, that’s opening wide in a mere 4 1/2 months!!!

You Never Know



You never know who, or what, you’ll find creeping, crawling, slithering, sliding, pouncing, prancing (mostly just Dexter), hopping, buzzing, or otherwise maneuvering around the English grounds.


We found this prehistoric looking fella Monday evening. We’re quite certain it’s a snapping turtle, but it sure does look like an alligator-dinosaur hybrid to me!