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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  • These Brussels sprouts, our first course @pinewoodtr, with their spectacular dipping sauce, were the stuff of crispy, salty, cruciferous dreams. Totally set the tone for the rest of the meal. So, so good.
  • Passed this scene on our driveway earlier this morning as we headed to Decatur, GA for the weekend. Going to miss the cove, but am stoked to enjoy a bit of city living. Happy weekend, friends!
  • Mountain morning ridge line fog is, to me, the best fog. Taken from our entryway porch.
  • Last Thursday, our perennially kind and generous friend Jessica Smith asked if she could stop by with a gift for us. This stunning succulent planter (in a vintage enamel pot) was what she showed up with. Turns out she's starting a new business called DIRT FLIRTS with her friend Diana. As they describe it:
  • Since this past Friday evening, @glennbenglish, Huxley and I have had the exquisite pleasure of hosting @tea_austen in our home. There has been much laughter, much eating, and much sharing of our hearts, minds, and deepest selves. As she drove away just a bit ago, it didn't feel like we were saying goodbye, but instead, see you again, hopefully sooner than later. Thank you for being such delightful company, @tea_austen, and for loving our little guy so fully (and getting a TMNT education in the process ?!). || Image is from this past Sunday, when we took Tara up to #blackbalsam for a hike and a picnic.
  • Jump in, you know these arms can fill you up.
  • Excited to try out this tasting kit @driftawaycoffee sent me. The idea is that you brew each of the four bags they provide, divided into categories of FRUITY, CLASSIC, BALANCED, and BOLD, taking notes for each one on a postcard entitled
  • It's true: in the presence of chicken and waffles, my southern drawl becomes more evident. It cannot be helped. Still thinking about this platter of awesome from last night's Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl, honoring talented friend Ronni Lundy and the release of her newest book,
  • I try to see the forest AND the trees.
  • Sunday, perfect Sunday. @glennbenglish, Huxley, and I had a wonderful day picnicking on Black Balsam with @tea_austen
  • It's a good day in western NC. Happy weekend, friends!
  • Happy #nationalsiblingsday to my two favorite homies! Love you Devan (left) and @theomadams (middle)!!! Photo from November 2012 at the Grove Park Inn here in Asheville, NC. || Not pictured, our two brothers. Love you too, Jimmy and Walker!

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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.