books

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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  • Rain + birdsong + spring green. On repeat. The city is fun to visit, but home in the cove is where my heart sings.
  • These Brussels sprouts, our first course @pinewoodtr, with their spectacular dipping sauce, were the stuff of crispy, salty, cruciferous dreams. Totally set the tone for the rest of the meal. So, so good.
  • Passed this scene on our driveway earlier this morning as we headed to Decatur, GA for the weekend. Going to miss the cove, but am stoked to enjoy a bit of city living. Happy weekend, friends!
  • Mountain morning ridge line fog is, to me, the best fog. Taken from our entryway porch.
  • Last Thursday, our perennially kind and generous friend Jessica Smith asked if she could stop by with a gift for us. This stunning succulent planter (in a vintage enamel pot) was what she showed up with. Turns out she's starting a new business called DIRT FLIRTS with her friend Diana. As they describe it:
  • Since this past Friday evening, @glennbenglish, Huxley and I have had the exquisite pleasure of hosting @tea_austen in our home. There has been much laughter, much eating, and much sharing of our hearts, minds, and deepest selves. As she drove away just a bit ago, it didn't feel like we were saying goodbye, but instead, see you again, hopefully sooner than later. Thank you for being such delightful company, @tea_austen, and for loving our little guy so fully (and getting a TMNT education in the process ?!). || Image is from this past Sunday, when we took Tara up to #blackbalsam for a hike and a picnic.
  • Jump in, you know these arms can fill you up.
  • Excited to try out this tasting kit @driftawaycoffee sent me. The idea is that you brew each of the four bags they provide, divided into categories of FRUITY, CLASSIC, BALANCED, and BOLD, taking notes for each one on a postcard entitled
  • It's true: in the presence of chicken and waffles, my southern drawl becomes more evident. It cannot be helped. Still thinking about this platter of awesome from last night's Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl, honoring talented friend Ronni Lundy and the release of her newest book,
  • I try to see the forest AND the trees.
  • Sunday, perfect Sunday. @glennbenglish, Huxley, and I had a wonderful day picnicking on Black Balsam with @tea_austen
  • It's a good day in western NC. Happy weekend, friends!

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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.