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

  • 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.
  • These potatoes @tableasheville changed my culinary life. They called them hash browns, but they were unlike any I'd had before. Par-baked perhaps, smashed into halves I'm guessing, and then roasted and maybe finished with a quick fry in the skillet and scattered with large sea salt granules? Whatever the method, the result was a creamy, yellow center and a crispy, salty exterior. Quite possibly the best hash browns I've ever had.
  • This caramelized cinnamon citrus

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Monthly Archives: February 2011

A Family Affair

The paternal side of my family is rather large. My father was one of 8. My grandmother (‘Gran’) has 22 grandchildren. I have 4 siblings and 17 cousins. When get-togethers happen up around Philadelphia (where everyone aside from my dad lives), it’s a big, noisy, raucous affair.


Since we live so far away, though, it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. So, I stay in touch with siblings and cousins (and second cousins and aunts and uncles) via e-mail and phone calls and Facebook. One cousin that I’ve remained particularly close to over the years, though we’ve never even lived remotely close to one another, is my cousin Keri.

Her mom, my Aunt Lynn, is arguably the most creative of my dad’s siblings. A one-time designer of high-end girl’s dresses, Aunt Lynn has done everything from floral design to serving as a private chef to catering events and more. She’s an excellent seamstress and her three children went on to embrace the arts as adults (Keri is the only person I’ve ever met who double-majored in math and art, while her sister studied sculpture and her brother is a musician).

As a stay-at-home-mom to Addison, Ella and little Izzy, Keri’s been looking for work that allows her to tend to her trio while satisfying her creative leanings. Enter Too Cute Custom Crafts. This new Etsy shop is full of lovely place mats, with cloth napkins, baby-sized quilts and kid-friendly fiber toys on the way. The quilt shown above was a “Nugget” gift for Huxley. It’s absolutely gorgeous and one of my preferred surfaces for working on “tummy time.”

Keri is running an introductory 10% off sale to get her site up and running. To redeem the discount, enter the code NEWSHOPBLOG10OFF at check out. Here’s wishing Keri and her clan a world of success!

*The top image shows, from left to right, Kristy (Keri’s older sister), Keri, and myself, all sitting with Gran. I don’t have an exact date, but I’m guessing it’s from around 1978.


Orange & Vanilla Marmalade

Hi everyone! My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up over on Design Sponge. This week I provided my recipe for Orange & Vanilla Marmalade. It’s some seriously good stuff and is a fabulous means of using up all of the heavenly winter citrus fruits in season right now. What you might not be able to see in the photo above are all the flecks of real vanilla bean peppered throughout the marmalade. Those tiny beans take this topping from “tasty” to “sublime” in an instant. I’d highly recommend incorporating it into your breakfast, brunch, snacks, or night-time nibbles this weekend.


Fly & Dexter (our German Shepherd and Black Lab) head to the vet for their annual check-ups tomorrow. I’m hoping to make some progress on my newest book over the weekend, while eagerly awaiting the official publication of my third (“Home Dairy“) and fourth (“Keeping Bees“) this coming Tuesday. Oh, and for those of you with SiriusXM satellite radio, I’ll be on Everyday Food on Martha Stewart Radio that afternoon (more details to come, soon as I get them!).

So, lots of tea-sipping, recipe testing, baby cuddling, dog-petting, husband-appreciating and more to happen around chez English this weekend. Wherever you are, whatever you end up doing, here’s wishing you and yours a fabulous weekend!

Homemade Living Love




If you’d like to win copies of my books, a few bloggers are giving away copies. Thanks to Deanna over at Crunchy Chicken, who’s sponsoring giveaways of both my “Keeping Chickens” and “Canning & Preserving” books, as well as to Tigress, who’s got a hot-off-the-press copy of “Home Dairy” to give away.


Thanks for the love, ladies!

Gifts Gone “Wild”

Last week I received an e-mail from Susan over at BlaBla Kids, saying she’d love to send Huxley a gift. I was unfamiliar with the brand, so I took a minute to check out their website. I’ve been contacted many times in the past by companies interested in sending me their products, and, typically, I thank them for their interest and politely turn them down. BlaBla was an exception, however, and one I’m willing to make for any small enterprise working towards ethical production of goods that resonates with me.


Based out of Atlanta, BlaBla’s entire collection, including those adorable dolls (named “Bandit”-the raccoon-”McNuttie”-the squirrel-and “Wink”-the owl), is designed by Florence Wetterwald and handcrafted by Peruvian artisans using cotton and other fibers grown in Peru. Florence and her staff maintain a close relationship with their Peruvian production team, ensuring each other’s mutual satisfaction and continued ethical livelihood.

As you can see from their site, BlaBla’s products are creative, colorful, whimsical, playful, and very well made. Naturally, it was impossible for me to choose anything, so I wrote back, thanking them for their generous offer and simply mentioning that Huxley’s nursery had a “Forest” theme, to reflect the setting of our home (as well as his middle name, “Wild”, which, friends, let me tell you, he is; oh is he EVER! He already literally “ROARS!!!” to get our attention). I hardly expected the immensely generous package of goodies that arrived yesterday. Along with the dolls, Susan set the hat and booties Huxley is wearing above, as well as the adorable sweater and pants, which he’ll fit into around 12 months of age (next October; the timing is perfect for such an outfit!).

Thank you Susan, Florence, and everyone at BlaBla. I am beyond appreciative for the items you sent Huxley. Furthermore, I’m so very grateful for businesses such as yours, working towards offering ethical, fulfilling livelihoods for all of those involved in the items you offer. It’s a business model to be both lauded and emulated.

The Little Book That Could

HUGE congratulations to the photographer of my “Homemade Living” book series, Lynne Harty. As you can see above, her expert eye landed her an ADDY, the advertising world equivalent of an Oscar, for her hand in my “Keeping Chickens” book.


Muchly deserved, Lynne. Muchly deserved.