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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  • Happy Friday! New
  • 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!

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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Buddies, For Now

Beth and Dexter and their tenuous peace accord.

Watermelon Fever

Hi all! My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up on Design Sponge. This week I share my fetish for all things watermelon. With the insane heat this summer, the fruit was my go-to pregnancy hydrater of choice.


The 10 day forecast for my area indicates nary a day with temps over 83 degrees. Should that prove true, I’ll be one happy lady. I mean, I’ve learned to live with cooling mint tea and copious watermelon and cold showers and minimally cooked dinners like Glenn’s gazpacho, but what I really want, what I really crave, is to wrap myself in a cardigan, eat hot steel-cut oats for breakfast, sip on hot tea, and watch the autumn leaves turn a riot of color and fall.

Have a glorious weekend, wherever the wind takes you!

*Image from here.

That Time Again



I was up bright and early yesterday morning, out on the road at 6:30 on my way to some fasting blood tests for Nugget (We passed with flying colors! Woo Hoo!). On my way, I drove by a young boy, maybe 12 years old, sitting on a boulder with his backpack on the side of the road. It dawned on me then that he was waiting for the school bus. I certainly don’t remember going to school that early, do you? But then, I’ve moved so far past going to school that many things are undoubtedly tucked into the far recesses of my memory. Well, aside from the dream where I can’t remember my locker combination. Or the one where I miss the bus. Or the one where it’s the first day of school and I can’t find my classes. Hmmm…..

Seeing that young boy reminded me of this White Stripes ditty, so appropriate for this time of year. For all of you returning to school or with loved ones venturing back (my Pop and younger sister Theo are, as I write, en route to Notre Dame, where she’ll be returning for her sophomore year), this goes out to you.

Freeze Frame






I’ve mentioned on here before my love of baking (in fact, I’m baking right now, making this
agave-sweetened banana bread; I tweaked the recipe with the addition of allspice, ground ginger, and dried unsweetened coconut, as well as used coconut oil for both the oil called for in the recipe and for greasing the baking pan). It must run in the family, as my younger sisters both can’t seem to get enough of mixing, stirring, beating, whipping, and pouring either. I possess all manner of baking accoutrement, from a host of pie pans to fancy cupcake liners, from a brulee torch to miniature tart tins. I’ve also got a growing colossus of baking cookbooks. In short, it’s my jam, my gig, my abiding passion.


So, when I come across a baking book that makes me really stop what I’m doing and give it a lengthy gander, I take notice. Such was the case with yesterday’s find, “Frame by Frame Baking“, dubbed a “visual step-by-step cookbook” from Love Food publishers (a division of Parragon). In short, it’s perfect. I often find, even though I’m a well-experienced baker, that I pine for some visuals when attempting a new recipe, especially when baking (with cooking I can often just “taste in my head”, but with baking, I want to see it brought to life on a page that I can gauge my results against). For recipes with multiple steps that involved rising or shaping or otherwise alchemical interactions and reactions, I love a bit of hand-holding, a bit of “you’ve got it, you’re doing it right.” Frame by Frame gives all that and then some. It’s simply photographed, employing a minimal aesthetic of wood and simple vessels, a look I’m terribly fond of.

If you’re in the market for a new baking cookbook, or even if you’re not but you love to be inspired, I invite you to check out Frame by Frame. I auspiciously found it in my local grocery store’s book department (in between searching for a box of recycled paper face tissue and and the aisle containing pet food) and couldn’t be more smitten.

In A Pickle

This goes out to all the local yokels. If you’ve been hankering to learn how to can, now’s your chance! I’m teaching a beginning canning workshop August 28th at Farm Girl 227 Haywood Rd. from 2-4. The cost of the class is $15, which includes materials, instruction, and a take-away jar of whatever we pickle.


Space is limited, so give Lauri a call at 828/505-4115 to confirm your spot. And then come watch the water boil, learn about safe canning, give Nugget a belly rub, and know, as Lauri puts it, that you eat local because you can!!!