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

  • Totally a long underwear, trains in front of the wood stove kind of evening. Stay warm out there, friends! Low of 15 here tonight, BRR!!!!
  • Very fun to find this spread in the @womansworkco catalogue that arrived with yesterday's mail. Thank to so very much, Dorian, for all of your support. I ADORE my @womansworkco gloves. Friends, if you're shopping for durable, beautiful gloves made in the U.S., look no further. I wear my @womansworkco gloves out to the chicken coop every morning and can't recommend them enough! Also, there's a giveaway of three autographed copies of my book
  • Romanesco as meditative object. These served as the gorgeous centerpiece on our table at last night's @rhubarbavl 1-year anniversary dinner. Stunning.
  • Still thinking about last noght's sensational @rhubarbavl 1-year anniversary dinner. We adore the restaurant and chef John Fleer's elegant yet approachable southern Appalachian cuisine. Last night's Sunday Supper featured @bentonsbacon, @cruzefarmgirl, and Jolley Farm. It was a meal I won't soon forget, especially on account of these @sunbursttrout filets wrapped in @bentonsbacon served atop brown butter braised Savoy cabbage (that cabbage changed my life, no joke!). Job well done, @rhubarbavl!
  • At long last, Huxley finally found a dancing partner last night downtown in Asheville.
  • Perfect Saturday for this transcendent hot chocolate, made from scratch with @frenchbroadchocolates bars, sweetened with handcrafted sorghum syrup, and garnished with a dollop of homemade apple butter, graham cracker chards, slivered almonds, apple slices, cinnamon, and fresh ground nutmeg. Bring it, cold weather!
  • Had fun chatting about beverages from
  • It's hot toddy time! Tonight's incarnation includes: Douglas fir needle tea from @juniperridge, @defiantwhisky (cheers to NC-created booze!), honey from our bees, lemon peel and juice, and freshly grated nutmeg. Stay warm, friends, and happy weekend!
  • There's still time to sign up for my
  • Frosty November morning (it's 28 degrees outside) + blazing wood stove=truce between cats and dogs.
  • From the moment we began working together 5 years, @designsponge has been an ardent supporter of all of my books. Today she shared some love for
  • Brunch with good friends,  @shelterprotectsyou, @sheltercollective, @jenathan, and @rorris : Beer-braised cabbage and turnip greens with dried currants and mint leaves, crispy grilled toast rounds (thanks for the bread, Rich and Jen!), local sausage patties cut into moon shapes, applewood smoked bacon, smoked olive oil roasted sweet potato disks with finely crumbled bacon, and a pear frittata. Oh, and maple lattes courtesy of @shelterprotectsyou. Tuesday brunch is my new favorite thing!

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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Home Schooled?

So, I’m thinking of teaching some classes, chez English, this August and September. I thought I’d put a feeler out first to see if any of you local yokels would be interested in such a thing.


The topics of the classes would parallel my books. That translates to canning, chickens, and dairy-making classes (I’m thinking of a basic beekeeping class out here early next spring). I might also pair up with a friend and host a beginning bread-making class. The cost of the class would include lunch.

If you’re interested, post a comment telling me which class you’d most like to take. If I get enough positive feedback, I’ll go ahead and line them up!

Father Time

Happy Father’s Day! Today is Hubs’ first time celebrating this holiday. In recognition of the occasion, I whipped up a feast of local sausage, eggs from our chickens, and vanilla bean waffles with a blackberry & blueberry compote. My mom and maternal grandmother joined us and we dined heartily at our big oak dining table while the clouds gathered outside and the rain poured.


When considering a fitting Father’s Day gift, I tried to keep Hubs’ interests in mind, looking for something he could always associate with this most special day. I knew he’d long been interested in ceramics and started looking for a class in the area. I found a truly affordable 7-week beginner’s pottery class at the local community college and knew it was the perfect gift. Turns out, he agreed!

As for my own father, I couldn’t have asked for a better Pop. Although my parents split when I was only 1 1/2 (I have no memory at all of my folks having been a couple), my dad remained a steadfast part of my life. In fact, we still chat every morning except for Sundays at 9 a.m. sharp. Thanks for all you did for us, Pop, and for all you continue to do. You’re tops.

Huxley got a great Pop in this whole deal. That’s the two of them pictured above at a nearby lavender farm we went to yesterday. Hubs is one of the kindest, most thoughtful, generous, creative, compassionate, empathic, handsome men I’ve ever met. The littlest English has a Papa who’s got his back, in spades. We love you SO much!!!

Soulful Mothering

Hi friends! I’m blogging it up over on the luminous Amanda Soule’s Soulemama today. Come find me there!
And I thought I’d share this short, silly video of Huxley. He was “singing” right before I grabbed the camera, his new, favorite thing to do. You can see how close he is to crawling in it.

Also, I’ve been reading, and laughing and seriously overall enjoying, Matthew Amster-Burton’s book Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father’s Quest to Raise An Adventurous Eater. While Huxley’s not quite ready for carne asada or chiles rellenos, he’s getting closer by the day. Matthew’s book is a great read for those of us wondering what in the heck to feed our littles while knowing we don’t to go the jarred baby food or rice cereal route.

A Peck of Pickles

The season of the pickle is upon us! Stumped for recipe ideas? The genius folks at Saveur magazine have rounded up “22 Perfect Pickles” to tantalize your palette. Check it.


I also have first-hand knowledge of another great source of pickling inspiration….

*Image from Saveur.

River Cottage Family Cookbook (+Giveaway!!!)

I have very few heroes. It’s not that I can’t find folks who inspire me beyond measure; there are plenty of such individuals. My beef is more with the idea of a “hero” itself. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. We’re all incredibly mortal and sometimes selfish and occasionally hurtful or neglectful. There are a few folks, though, who, despite their flesh and bone selves, have found a way into my heart and soul with their words, deeds, and overall way of living.


Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is one such person. A British food writer, chef, TV personality, farm-to-table & snout-to-hoof advocate, sustainable farming educator, and much, much more, Hugh is one incredible fella. He started his food career with a BBC show in which he’d wild forage for food (including road kill), and then cook it up into a delicious repast. He went on to own and operate the River Cottage, a restaurant and food education center that strives towards, according to its website, “less dependence on the outside world, food integrity, and the consumption of local, seasonal produce.”

Not content to simply produce great food for their own, and their patron’s, consumption, the River Cottage took on a number of food-based campaigns. “Chicken Out!” raised awareness about factory poultry farms, while “Fish Fight” brought attention to over-fishing, seafood waste, and sustainable aquaculture alternatives.

The campaign closest to my heart, though, and the one that endears Hugh to me the most, is “Landshare.” Begun in Britain, but now encompassing the entire UK, as well as Australia and Canada, Landshare partners those who own land but aren’t using it, with those desiring land but not in possession of it. It’s a genius idea, and yet an immensely simple one at the same time. We did something similar out here several years ago, letting a young farmer use our land and (former) greenhouse for a growing season. We’re up to the possibility of doing it again, perhaps, sometime in the future.

Because of my admiration (and adoration!) of Hugh, his River Cottage, and everything related to him and his projects, I’m giving away a copy of his and Fizz Carr’s (incredible name, right???) River Cottage Family Cookbook this week. While written with cooking with the wee ones in mind, even if you don’t have children, this is a fabulous book. It’s full of recipes for simple, yet sublime, dishes. They’re not dumbed down for children, either, which is one bone of contention I often have with many children’s books. It’s also chock full of gorgeous photos.

I’ll run the giveaway for one week, ending it next Monday, June 20th, at midnight EST. This contest is open only to US residents (sorry international friends!). To enter, leave a comment of your favorite thing to cook or bake with your family (and by “family” I mean your kiddos, mom, granddad, aunt, cousin, what-have-you). I’ll randomly select a winner next week and get Hugh’s incredible tome (it’s a biggun!) out to you.

Even if you don’t enter the contest, do check out Hugh and his projects. Although many of them are U.K.-specific, they’re packed with inspiration and beauty, all the same.