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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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  • Can't everyday be my sweet friend @negnog's birthday? Served her sweet self some  gluten-free french toast with strawberries and caramelized peach challah French toast on the patio today. And now, a hike at Black Balsam.
  • Today's porch-side home office has involved lazy dogs, hot tea, and deliciously cool breezes. Bring it, Monday.
  • Amazing night tonight over at Lake Tomahawk in Black Mountain with @entopticon, Huxley, good friends (@robinplemmons @jessicadebettencourt), Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, pizza, chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches, waddling duck families, and this crazy gorgeous light.
  • Our little fish is learning how to swim!
  • Local friends! I'm chatting about my book
  • Round and around. The goods tunes don't stop when Huxley's cousins Sam and Zeke are visiting (he calls them his
  • Such a thoughtful birthday gift from @melissaweisspottery. Been using it every morning to get sugar from the sugar bowl out for coffee. Thanks, sweet friend!
  • If you're going to help a friend with wedding planning, then this is totally the view you should have whilst doing so. Lovely afternoon sipping hard cider, eating hush puppies, and helping @shelterprotectsyou plan, with @thecuriouseye @forvillagers @toandfromwithlove and Claire Hummel at the Grove Park Inn.
  • Bonsais, I love you. @thencarboretum
  • Wild berries for breakfast, with French toast. So, so good.
  • Quilts of flowers, from yesterday's @thencarboretum excursion.
  • Misty, magical day for strolling at the N.C. Arboretum.

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Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Fungus Among Us

Like I mentioned yesterday, you “meet” the most amazing people on the internet (I should know, I met Hubs that way!). Nicole Fryling is one such person. Mama to Cedar and Sequoia, partner to Steve, postpartum doula, and extract manager at Fungi Perfecti in Olympia, Washington, she also doles out inspired pearls of wisdom on her blog Howling Wolf.


I’m not sure exactly how Nicole found me, but she’s been a regular small measure reader for some time. She’s also become a regular e-mail companion, where I pepper her with questions about natural mama-ing topics and she kindly, patiently, and thoroughly answers all my queries. She’s a gem, and also, as evidenced by the photos above, an uncommonly generous person.

The Life Box package arrived late last week. In it, Nicole sent two items for Huxley (a wooden helicopter and a hand-dyed top, for when he’s a bit older), a bottle of reishi mushroom capsules, a signed by Paul Stamets himself (!!!!!!) copy of Mycelium Running, and a too-lovely-for-words calender from my beloved Nikki McClure. The box itself has seeds embedded in the corrugated cardboard and can be planted. Genius, right?

I’ve been truly astounded, and humbled, by the kindness shown to me by readers of both my blog and books. Amanda of Bird for Bread, Cyn of River Dog Prints, Sara of Lost Bird Found, Elizabeth of The Adventures of Elizabeth, Susan of Bla Bla Kids, and Jenna of Cold Antler Farm along with Nicole are all ladies that (aside from Sara), I’ve never met in person and who have yet sent remarkably generous care packages to myself, Hubs and Huxley. You’re all a testament to the goodness abiding in everyone.

Nicole, thank you so very much. The capsules are being taken, the calender is hung by the door, the book is on my bedside reading table, and Huxley has been gnawing with happy abandon on the helicopter!!!

*By the way, for anyone that might be curious, the background of the photos is one of Hub’s paintings. Along with being an exceptionally kind spouse, a patient, doting Papa, a chef of absolute genius, and a companion to beat ‘em all, he’s also a trained artist (as in, MFA from Penn-trained). If you want to see more of his work, several posts from back in early autumn show a series of hand drawings he did. Just check the archives.

Border Patrol

I love the internet. I really, truly do. And I’m not ashamed to admit it because, oh, the places you’ll go and, my, the people you’ll “meet” whilst traversing its web. Like, say, Canada and its fine folks.

I’ve long been enamored with Canada. From Vancouver Island’s lush forests to Montreal’s francophile flair to the Atlantic provinces craggy coasts (not to mention its puffins! PUFFINS, people, puffins!!!), the nation to the north has always called to me. And now, through the magic of the interwebs, I’ve had the immense fortune of finding some kindred homesteading souls up there.
Well Preserved, Crackers, and Nest are three lovely blogs from three incredibly gifted sets of bloggers (each one is hosted by a dynamic duo). Their collective photography, recipes, resources, and anecdotes will have you pointing your compass north faster than you can say “eh?” Each one of these blogs has introduced themselves to me personally and supported all of my writing efforts and I, in turn, have become their loyal fan.
I invite you to check them out. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wishing you were a Canuck, too.

Rurally Screwed (+Giveaway!)

I can’t recall exactly how I came to Jessie Knadler’s blog Rurally Screwed , but I’ve been coming back to it again and again ever since. A former Manhattanite who left the big city for love in a small southern Virginia town, Jessie is a new mom (baby June and I share a July birthday!), wife to Jake (who just shipped out to Afghanistan for at least a year), a writer with a killer wit and a keen eye for finding the humor (and the crazy!) in her new surroundings, and, now, co-author of a gorgeous cookbook!


Tart And Sweet: 101 Canning and Pickling Recipes For The Modern Kitchen (Rodale, 2011) is Jessie’s joint venture with Brooklyn-based chef Kelly Geary. It’s a stunner, I’ve got to tell you. Full of enticing recipes, beautiful photography and exquisite styling, this book is one you definitely want in your canning repertoire. And, if the “fickle finger of fate” (something my 10th grade chemistry teacher used to say during impromptu audible quizzes) falls on you, it can be yours, for free!

For this week’s giveaway, leave a comment detailing something you’ve canned, something you intend to can, or something someone has given you that they’ve canned and you’ve enjoyed. If none of those apply to you, just say what you think about the whole canning revival in general. Foreign friends, I must offer my sincerest apologies, as this contest will be open to U.S. readers only.

I’ll hold the giveaway until next Monday, the 25th, at midnight EST. And do check out Rurally Screwed. Jessie’s musings on everything from deer meat tacos to the insane (inane?) antics of her community members are sure to elicit a chuckle or two from you.

And the Winner is…

Mitzi! I plugged in #’s 1-171 in the random number generator widget and it gave me #2! Congrats Mitzi. I’ll be sending Haley, Amy’s publicist, your way for mailing contact info.

And thank you so very much to all who participated. I’m hoping to make giveaways a weekly thing here on small measure. In fact, I’m doing another one today!

Mama Love!

Here in the States, it’s not just Tax Day, it’s also my Mom’s birthday! Sending out big love to Huxley’s “Gigi.”


I’m baking her this cake, which I plan to layer with orange curd and strawberry jam and cover over in lemon buttercream. Tomorrow my brother, sister-in-law and nephew are driving up from Charlotte to mom’s place in Burnsville for a big family meal. We’ll be feasting on Hubs’ incredible fried chicken, mashed potatoes and, you guessed it, peas!

Happy day, Mom! See you tomorrow!