Happy Wednesday, friends! Today I’m ridiculously, overwhelmingly, and every other superlative ending in -ly excited to share with you a little teaser from my new book, A Year of Pies. I’ve worked with photographer Lynne Harty on all five of my books with Lark Crafts. Doesn’t she do an incredible job?
It officially publishes next week, on August 7th. Many of you sweet people that pre-ordered copies (you. people. are. the. best!) have already written, expressing your pleasure with it. Which, really, is what all of my books are about. They’re for you. They’re for me, of course, but, ultimately, they’re for everyone else to enjoy, to learn from, to have fun with, and to make the days of our dear lives better. I know that sounds lofty and grandiose but, well, it’s true! Everything I do, I do so that others can enrich their lives.
The books have garnered some national press already, too. You can check out a bit of buzz here:
Also, two lovely blogs are hosting giveaways of the book. Find them here:
Thank you so very much for your support, everyone. Look for recipes, giveaways, and profiles of the bloggers that generously offered up guest recipes over the next few weeks! Let’s all get our pie on!!!
One of the best parts of blogging, especially as a full-time stay-at-home writer and mama, are the connections I’ve forged with other folks. Many of those have leapt the digital-to-reality fence, becoming meaningful friendships that I cherish deeply. Others remain strictly cyber (though just as significant), with our interactions occurring through keyboard clicks.
These friends that I’ve made, they’re a generous lot. They’ve sent us boxes of clothes for Huxley, toys for him, hand-knit hats for him, a calender for me, and so very much more over the years. Three new friendships have emerged over the past several months. Each of these ladies, through no prompting of my own, have graciously, generously sent us some of their creations, both through the mail and in person. Allow me to introduce you to:
Taryn: A small measure sponsor, Taryn lives with her husband, Jeff, and toddler, Bracken in Mapleton, Oregon. Their business, Wooly Moss Roots, sells handcrafted wooden buttons, herbal remedies, and woolen goods. Taryn was so very sweet, after Huxley’s accident, and sent along the Magical Healing Salve shown above to help his wound heal. And it’s working! We put some on each night before he goes to sleep, as he points to it and questions “cream?”
Molly: A local lady, Molly operates her business, Farmer Jane Soap, out of Fairview, NC with her business partner, Sydney. Their soaps contain about 1/4 goat’s milk per bar, with the remaining ingredients consisting of olive, coconut, and palm oils, natural fragrances, lye, and bit of water. Molly is also a small measure sponsor, and sent me a sampling of soaps pictured above, along with a little lion bar for Huxley!
Stacy: A Seattleite, Stacy is a 5-grade school teacher by trade and a passionate urban homesteader by preference. She’s also the voice behind the adorable, inspirational blog Seattle Seedling. I can’t quite remember how we connected, but we’ve been chatting for several months. She was recently visiting the area with friends and stopped over for a spell several weekends ago. During her visit, she gifted Hubs and I with the Washington state lavender (from Seqium!) and homemade Herbs de Provence shown here.
These gifts, thoughtfully, generously, lovingly given to us by women that I barely know, let me know that the tendency and inclination for kindness persists in this world. Long ago, I remember reading a quote from Anne Frank, the holocaust victim whose diary of a young girl was required (and terribly moving) reading when I was in high school. She wrote something along the lines of “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”
So do I Anne, so do I.
Happy Friday, friends!
This may come as nothing new to many of you, but it dawned on me yesterday that I’d be much more likely to tend to my garden like a proper organic gardener if I worked on it first thing in the morning, instead of in the early evening, like I’ve been doing. I am so, so, so not a fan of the hottest, most humid days of summer and have been waiting for the sun’s penetrating rays to move across the sky before heading out to work the garden. The thing is, it’s still pretty warm at that time, so, I’ve been toiling the soil but feeling pretty miserable all the while.
Well, enough of all that! Yesterday, after the cats were fed and the coffee was made, Hubs, Huxley and I grabbed fresh chicken feed and our mugs of hot joe (and Huxley, his sippy cup) and made our way to the garden. We worked on tomato trellising and weeding while the tiny Englishman pushed his miniature toy lawnmower around (he’s obsessed with it!) and dug in his sandbox. It was magical. I have no clue why it took me so long to make this realization. So, moving forward, that’s my new m.o. in the garden. In fact, as soon as I’m done here, I’ll be grabbing my coffee, tucking into my gardening clogs, and hitting the soil, in my nightgown, no less!
Here’s a smattering of this’s and that’s that caught my attention this week:
*Enjoying Herriott Grace’s For the Love of Pie series!
*Jen opened a beautifully curated pop-up shop, Cisthene (speaking of Jen, check out her gorgeous new book, too).
*Summer refreshers: watermelon cooler and sparkling sweet tea.
*Loving the photos on this blog (via Local Is Lovely).
*Preserving edible flowers.
*Marisa breaks down sugar’s role in preserving.
*Inspiring images of homes in Denmark’s oldest eco village.
*Wonderful profiles of Rohan Anderson’s hunting and his food philosophies.
*How beautiful is this Tumblr (via Whole Larder Love)?
*J. Morgan Puett is a genius.
*Digging this N.C.-crafted brew.
*Our friend’s hot sauce is seriously awesome.
Wherever you go this weekend, whatever you do, and whomever you spend it with, may it be grand!
When I think of iconic summer foods, I always, always think of corn.
I have this very vivid recollection of the entire extended Adams (my maiden name) family convening in Avalon, NJ, eating ear-upon-ear of sweet Jersey Silver Queen corn. My dad is one of 8. Our family is a large one, with more cousins than I can count on both hands. When we’d meet up, in the boiling months of July or August, we’d spend our days at the shore and our nights gorging on corn.
Last night, Hubs whipped up his tasty take on the beloved summertime staple pictured above. He pan-fried it with a chili powder rub and then topped each ear with crumbled Cotija cheese and chopped cilantro. These ears of grilled deliciousness were served alongside grass-fed skirt steak tacos filled with celery seed coleslaw and fresh pineapple & pineapple sage salsa.
Summer is here, and it is corny as all get out, and spectacularly tasty.
-2 Tablespoons peanut oil
-1 Tablespoon butter for the pan
-Shucked ears of corn
-Homemade chili powder (1 Tablespoon ground dried chilies, 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon salt)
-Fresh butter for the corn
-A pinch of salt
-Crumbled Mexican farmers cheese (Cotija)
-A couple tbs of chopped cilantro, if desired
1) Place the peanut oil and butter to a heavy, hot pan (we used a flat surface cast iron pan).
2) Roll the corn ears in the oil in the pan.
3) Sprinkle the corn with chili powder; turn, and sprinkle the other side.
4) Cook the corn, turning every minute or so, for about 10 minutes, until there are some nice brown marks here and there.
5) Remove the corn from the pan and rub with some fresh butter.
6) Toss the corn in a bowl with the pinch of salt, crumbled cheese, and the cilantro, if desired.
7) Serve and enjoy.
I found my gun. Or, rather, it found me.
Longtime readers might recall back in February, when I mentioned my interest in learning to hunt with a group of similarly-minded ladies. I’ve been caught up in all sorts of other things in the ensuing months, writing, gardening, chasing after a rapid-fire baby (toddler!), and generally living life. Hunting, and marksmanship, and gun knowledge have been kind of sidelined while I make my way through these busy days.
And then, out of nowhere, my gun walked into my life. A dear friend of Hubs’ came to visit us last week. He brought with him the gun you see pictured above. Never before fired, this gun, a Browning A-Bolt Stainless Steel 7MM Remington Magnum with Leupold scope, came with him, and was graciously, generously, incredibly thoughtful gifted to me. It’s an exquisitely crafted machine, and I feel a river of gratitude for such a gift.
I haven’t fired it yet (although I did try out a shotgun our friend also brought with him). I’m still just sort of in awe of it. Every time I hold it, I keep thinking “I’m holding a lethal weapon, I’m holding a lethal weapon.” I hope I never stop thinking that way. I hope I never loose the profound recognition that guns are deadly, and that they’re also very meaningful tools.
This journey is just beginning. I’ll keep you posted as it unfolds.
*I wanted to take a minute to address concerns that have arisen given the timeliness of this post and the recent shooting rampage, and subsequent loss of precious lives, in Colorado. That was a senseless tragedy. Personally, however, I see no connection between my interest in learning to hunt for my own food, with a weapon I highly respect and intend to use conscientiously, and what happened out there.
I understand that the image of a gun can illicit strong reactions. That said, this is an interest I intend to pursue, and gun imagery may appear here periodically. If the sight of someone holding a weapon, with the intention of providing food for their family, offends you, then small measure might not be the best blog for you.
I understand that this is a controversial issue that invites passionate sentiment, but this post, and my feelings surrounding the choice to hunt for my own food, aren’t a solicitation for fiery comments. This is a personal blog, chronicling my and my families experiences in homesteading. For a spirited debate on the issue of guns and gun ownership, there are numerous sites better suited to the topic.