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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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  • 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!!!
  • 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).

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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Window Cold Frames

Happy Friday, all! My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up on Design Sponge. This week I discuss making a cold frame for spring plants using old windows.


I’m super pleased with how ours turned out and can’t wait to get busy filling ‘er up with seedlings. I’m looking at the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalogue as I type. What a temptress! That catalogue could put me in the poorhouse if I ordered everything from it that catches my eye!

The weather has been amazing here the past few days and this weekend promises more of the same. Daffodils are starting to pop up all around our property, the birds are chirping like they’ve got all sorts of winter grievances to air, the frogs in our pond just started croaking today, and both of my beehives are seriously abuzz. Huxley and I just returned from a walk down our driveway to retrieve the mail and I could literally smell spring in the air.

Have a fabulous weekend, wherever it takes you!

The Answer, My Friend

Is blowin’ in the wind.

Gorgeous weather abounds! It’s been lovely since Saturday. What a pleasure to be able to use the clothesline again. Because Huxley certain shows no signs of slowing down his, ahem, “production”!

My Funny Valentine

What a difference a year makes. One trip around the sun ago, Hubs and I trudged through our snowy driveway, dressed in our finest, to enjoy one of the most memorable meals we’ve ever shared, at Asheville’s The Admiral. We stashed our “fancy” shoes in a satchel and made our way down the snow-covered dirt road in snow boots, guided by the dim glow offered by a fading flashlight and a sliver of moon. Once at the car, we changed into heels and loafers and set out for an epic evening.


A year later, we’re enjoying over-easy eggs on rye bread with strong coffee at home in our p.j.’s with our favorite Valentine. In our home, gestures of love happen on a daily basis. They come in the form of a scratch-made plate of the best sloppy joes you have ever tasted (made with local pastured beef and served alongside purple sweet potato fries, to boot!). They’re evidenced in freshly laundered clothing lovingly folded and put away. They remember each others preferences, predilections, strengths and assets and capitalize on them.

Sure, there are profound, grandiose, sweeping gestures of affection. And they’re mighty appreciated. We love the little things the best, though. The hot mug of tea or coffee made every morning, doctored up in just the way he likes it. The delicious stews, seasoned with my favorite herbs. The small measures because, you know, that’s what it’s all about.

From we three Englishes, with love.

*Thanks to my abiding, oh so dear, much adored friend Bonner for the adorable onesie Huxley is sporting above, pictured with his Gigi (my mom) yesterday.

I’m Smitten

With this book, Grow Your Own, Eat Your Own.


Written by Bob Flowerdew (with a name like that, how could he really chose any livelihood other than gardening?!), Britain’s leading organic gardener, the book is a visual and informational feast. Flowerdew discusses growing (or foraging) produce and then offers tips and recipes for preserving the harvest, via canning, rendering into liqueurs, smoking, drying, cellaring and much more. Highly recommended!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Hi, friends! My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up over at Design Sponge. Today I tempt you with a recipe for homemade chocolate peanut butter cups. Be forewarned, though. They’re seriously good and, thusly, seriously addictive. My suggestion? Make the full dozen, keep 2 or 3, and give the rest away to loved ones, the mail man, complete strangers. Anyone, really, just to get them out of your house.


Have a great weekend! It should be a warm one here, so I’m looking forward to getting some sunshine, maybe having brunch with my friend/editor Nicole, and just enjoying the hints of spring in the air!