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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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  • Clowning around. || Huxley tried out Tiny Tots Circus Playtime at Toy Boat Art Collective today and really enjoyed it!
  • Chatting about existentialism, and contradicting ourselves, and winter over on small measure today. || Into the woods behind our house.
  • Players gonna play. Huxley and his buddy Bay, doing their little guy thing today at the perennially lovely @thencarboretum.
  • 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.

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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.