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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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  • 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
  • Pretty lovely setting for a picnic photo shoot today, and glorious weather, to boot! #wwllt
  • Hosted a, like, totally radical birthday party yesterday for our TMNT-loving little dude. There was a dojo for sparring, a breakdancing area (with a playlist of Huxley's favorite jams to dance to), a DIY ooze-making station (made with water, Borax, clear craft glue, and green food coloring), a candy-filled turtle piñata (whacked with Donatello's bo staff, naturally), homemade pizza (made by @glennbenglish, AKA Sensei Splinter), gifts, and a
  • One of my favorite aspects of autumn is the return of panini-pressed sandwiches. Made this turkey, Jarlsberg, Mojito slaw (cabbage & mint), and quince chutney (with fruits from my mom's quince bush) number today. Best enjoyed on the patio as autumn foliage drifts down from above.

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Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Difference A Day Makes

Remember yesterday’s post, opening with images of our golden leaf-clad ginkgo tree? Well, ’tis no more! A wild wind blew into the cove today and sent the fan-shaped leaves falling off in a slow, steady, stunningly beautiful drop, drop, drop. Reminder enough to appreciate every beautiful fleeting moment as though it were your last.

Huxley’s party was heaven. Wild and wily and filled with laughter and goodness. A detailed post is coming. Until then, I’m going to go take a nap with our wild man with gratitude in my heart for an amazing community of friends and family, a smiling babe that loves to snuggle and giggle, and a ginkgo tree that gently reminds me to stop and seize the day, since tomorrow, it’ll be gone.

My Morning View

Some mornings out here in the cove, the view is positively breathtaking. Today is one such day.

Dazzling foliage in every direction. Fog and mist moving across the mountains in the background. Muted bits of blue sky peeking in through the clouds. Gorgeous.

The cherry on top is the fine looking pastry specimen pictured last. It’s one of Dave’s exquisite Apple Croissants from his bakery, Farm & Sparrow. Buttery, flaky pastry cradles local apples that are baked into caramelized perfection. Paired with a mug of hot cardamom coffee=a very happy mama.

We’re in full-throttle party mode, as Huxley’s “Wild Things” soiree kicks off at 4 p.m. Lots of photos to come.

Wherever you are, friends, whatever you do, may it be grand!

To the Letter

We’ve been on the hunt for a decorative “H” with which to adorn the entrance to Huxley’s room for some time. While we found a number of antique options, they were either too small or in a font we didn’t care for. Since necessity (or preference!) is the mother of invention, Hubs took matters into his own hands. Literally.

This rad “H” is the end product of his efforts. He cut the letter out, sanded the edges, patiently drew the graphic onto the wood, and then gave the whole thing a light stain. It’s perfect in my mind, and, once he can say so, I think Huxley will concur.

In his own words, here’s how you, too, can make things to the letter of your liking!

Materials:
*A scrap board of your choosing
*Permanent magic markers
*Minwax Golden Oak, or other light stain
*Top coat can be rub-on polyurethane or tung oil

Tools:
*Pencil
*A saw (preferably a jigsaw)
*Sandpaper (electric palm sander even better)
*Metal objects for distressing
*Rags for rubbing on the finish

Instructions:
1. Choose a board, then use a pencil to draw on the shape of the letter that you want.
2. Cut out the design.
3. Distress the wood a bit using whatever metal objects that you have around (i.e. a screwdriver). Be careful not to break the letter in the process.
4. Sand down the edges, corners, and any rough spots.
5. Draw whatever pattern you like on the front face of the letter.
6. Rub on a light coat of stain with a rag, wiping off the excess.
7. Let it dry overnight.
8. Apply a clear topcoat of your choosing.
9. Let it dry then hang it wherever you like!

*Don’t forget, clicking on the image makes it much, much bigger!

Your New Favorite Thing

Welcome to my new addiction. Pumpkin spice lattes. Oh, yes.

They’re incredibly easy to whip up. Well, let me qualify that; you’re going to need a pot to steam the milk, sugar and pumpkin in, some coffee (I use my french press for brewing), and another mixing bowl for whipping heavy cream and powdered sugar in. That said, they’re easy enough to concoct, and use ingredients you’re likely to already have on hand.

I used The Kitchn’s recipe as the basis, and then tinkered with things, namely the amounts and type of spices used. You can use either fresh pumpkin puree or canned. The sky is the limit.

Welcome to what will undoubtedly become your new favorite thing. You’re welcome.

Pretzel Prowess

What goes better with an ice cold hard cider or pumpkin ale than soft pretzels? Nothing, that’s what, aside from perhaps a forest clad in a dazzling array of fall foliage. Check, on both fronts. 
My sister, Devan, came to visit last week and brought her pretzel-making prowess with her. Truth be told, she’d never made soft pretzels before, or any pretzels for that matter, but she had them on the brain, I had a recipe I’d been wanting to try out, and the weather and our sister-to-sister skills told us that now was the time. We used Karen Solomon‘s recipe for soft pretzels from her amazing book Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It (its predecessor, Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It shouldn’t be missed, either-I seriously love her books, and any of you DIY food fiends out there will adore them, too). 
Devan did most of the work, while I looked after Huxley. For the most part, it seemed the greatest challenge lay in kneading the dough. You’ve got to keep at it for 7-10 minutes, beating it into pliant, smooth submission in order to truly activate the gluten. After that, the dough is allowed to rest and rise for an hour, fashioned into a rope-like circle, and then cut out into 12 equal lengths. Those chunks are then rolled into small ropes, knotted into pretzels, and then plunged for 30 seconds into a boiling bath of 6 cups of water and 1/2 cup baking soda. Next, the pretzels are glazed with an egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water, sprinkled with coarse salt and baked for 30-35 minutes. 
Then you must wait. Waiting, you see, is key, as it allows the pretzels to achieve their best possible texture for consumption. Admittedly, this was the most challenging part of the entire process for me, as I was in pretzel-chomping mode. It was worth the wait, though. Mad props to Devan for turning out truly stellar pretzels and for making our visit one filled with laughter, comfort, and doughy goodness. 
Give these pretzels a whirl. We tried ours with a variety of mustards, both local and otherwise. You won’t be disappointed and your autumn will be that much better with a soft, homemade pretzel in hand. I guarantee it. 
*You can view more of our sisterly fun here, including the apple orchard we visited on Friday for Huxley’s 1st birthday and an incredible lake-side walk and picnic we took on Sunday.