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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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  • 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!
  • Spotted Quench in the wild today.Always a thrill to see my books out in the big world, and rubbing elbows with friends @thejoyofcooking, no less!
  • Good day to be in western NC. View of Mt.  Pisgah from the top of our road.
  • You will not pass! || Our shorty with his soul sister Raeglan, adventuring in our woods two days ago. @thebriere4
  • Batman Begins. You ought to hear his 4 year-old take on Batman's gravelly, husky whisper.
  • Post meal, pre-hike to the frozen

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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Seasonal Pancakes


Oh, man. Where does the time go? My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up over on Design Sponge. This week I’m offering suggestions for seasonal foods to go with pancakes, beginning with my “Strawberry, Rhubarb & Orange Maple Compote.” And, just so you know, this stuff is great on top of more than just pancakes. Pair it with some yogurt, or put it on some pound cake, or snuggle it in with some vanilla ice cream. Tastes just like spring should taste.

It’s official. Huxley has caught his first cough. We’re hoping that’s all it is. A cough. And that it stays that way. But the coughing makes for a restless baby at night, which makes for a sleepless Mama at night, given that we bed-share. It’s so sad to see the poor fella cough! His cough also makes him a wee bit needy. As such, I’ve barely been able to put him down today, because although there are play yards and nice swings and bouncy chairs on hand, it’s in Mama’s arms he most wants to be.
We went to the annual Asheville Herb Festival yesterday, one of the highlights of my year. It’s amazing to see all of that growth and life and green vitality everywhere. And the happiness it brings is pervasive. Everywhere you turn are smiling faces (well, even more so when you’ve got a little dude on hand).
Huxley has taken to what I call “singing” lately, talking in a very high-pitched sing-song voice, which is what he was doing when I snapped the photo above. It’s adorable. We often sing along, duet-style. He sang for a good bit at the festival, until he got squirmy and insisted on being held. We used the stroller instead to carry our haul!
If Huxley (and I) feel up to it tomorrow, we’re going to check out this festival tomorrow, which promises to be a good time. Otherwise, I’ve got loads of writing to do, planting to do, tending to about a million things to do. The weather looks glorious, though, so whether in town or chez English, I’m happy.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, may it be grand!

Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking (+Giveaway!!!)

I’m the sort of gal that gets excited about reorganizing my pantry, takes pleasure in making a bed the right way (and I’m rather specific about this; I used to manage a B&B, mind you…), and wholeheartedly enjoys doing the laundry (even the bits of ironing, infrequent though they may be). I love anything related to the home, from cooking to cleaning to entertaining and decorating and beyond. If it’s domestically-inclined, chances are I’m a fan.


And so, it stands to reason that I would become friends with Kate Payne, at first digitally and later, in person. Author of the just-released Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking (and blog of the same title), she loves the domestic sphere as equally as I, and wrote a book as a testament to her devotion. From clever ideas for thrifty decorating to details on how to build a proper compost pile, with etiquette tidbits like which side of the plate the fork goes on included for good measure, Kate’s penned the perfect guide for becoming the hostess (or HOST!) with the most-ess (even though it’s titled the hip “girl’s” guide, in the introduction she invites readers of all genders along for the ride).

Kate will be coming through the Asheville area in late May. I’ll be hosting a potluck book launch for her chez English on the 22nd, and then later that afternoon, she’ll be giving a talk at Malaprops. You can find information about the event here. I highly encourage you to go hear her speak. I can attest personally to her infectious enthusiasm, consummate graciousness, and all around cool-lady-ness.

And, because she is so grand, Kate and her publisher are kindly giving away a copy of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking to one small measure reader! To enter, all you need to do is leave some comment about homemaking. It can be anything-that you loathe washing dishes, that you’ve arranged your book collection by spine color, that you built a bed that hangs from the ceiling. Anything. Just tell me a little something about you and the place where you hang your hat. I’m an inherently curious individual as it is, so I’d love to learn a bit more about you!

The contest will run through Monday May 2nd, midnight EST. Good luck!

And the Winner of “Tart & Sweet” Is…

Sarah, #4! Thank you immensely to all who commented (237 in total!!!). You are an inspired, and inspiring, group of folks packed with “can do” gumption!


I’m off to teach my third “Backyard Chickens” class at AB-Tech in a few hours. Believe it or not, this marks only the 4th time I’ll have been away from Huxley for more than, gosh, probably 10 minutes since his birth (the other three times for for my prior chicken classes and one WNC Beekeepers Association meeting). I just love being with him! He’ll be in expert hands, though, with loving Hubs to keep him entertained and cozy.

Oh, and check back tomorrow. There’s another giveaway brewing! This giveaway train won’t stop!!!

Tiny Treehugger

Turns out I was closer to 3-4, according to Mom. But, here’s the proof!

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day, everyone! My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up on Design Sponge. In recognition of the holiday, I’ve listed 25 of my favorite ways of enjoying the splendor of our planet.


We’ve been humming along chez English, planting new blueberry bushes and blackberry canes, watching the peas tendril up the trellis, putting up hanging baskets with strawberry plants, messing around with lemon verbena in baking, noshing on Georgia strawberries, listening to the glorious sound of rain falling, eating outdoor brunch with friends, and generally enjoying all that the season offers.

We’re having friends over for dinner tomorrow evening, and then I plan to get busy in the yard and garden on Sunday while my mom hangs with Huxley.

Wherever you go, whatever you do this weekend, may it be grand!

*Image courtesy of Rene Treece Photography.
**My friend Meredith made Huxley the little Viking hat. Isn’t it amazing???