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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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  • Hung out in a favorite tree today with my favorite little guy.
  • I'm sure gonna miss this view when the leaves are all gone! Forecast calls for snow tomorrow evening, on Halloween night. What the what?!
  • For today's #tbt, I'm sharing an image of the altar @shelterprotectsyou and @sheltercollective built on our property for their wedding here last month. Such a beautiful, memorable day that was, filling our little forested cove with happy juju for weeks. Love watching the scene shift as the foliage changes.
  • Felt a shift in the air today, this afternoon in particular. The veil is getting thin. You feeling it, too?
  • SO much love for @forvillagers and her heavenly homesteading/hearth-tending supply store in West Asheville. Stopped in today for a bag of organic chicken feed and to see what's new in the shop. I'll be teaching a
  • The hills are alive. Looking Glass Rock in the distance, as seen today from the #blueridgeparkway .
  • My favorite part of all of these photo shoots for my upcoming  picnic book has been eating the props! Enjoyed this pumpkin whoopie pie today on an impromptu picnic with @glennbenglish and Huxley on the #blueridgeparkway.
  • What it's all about.
  • Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina at suuuuunset. ?
  • They won't fess up for certain, but I'm fairly sure the flock finds autumn to be their favorite season, too.
  • To celebrate all the photo shoots that we completed this week (three in 8 days!!!), we took it easy this morning, and whipped up this challah French toast, stacked with my homemade peach lavender butter, Foothills bacon, rosemary candied pecan pieces, and sorghum molasses blended with maple syrup.
  • Thank you, @marissalippert and @thecuriouseye, for being the models at today's

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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.