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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  • Local friends-whatever your plans are for this evening, change them! Come join me instead at @rhubarbavl for their
  • Great burger and transcendent frites with a charred onion aioli at @kingjamesavl. Great vibe and an exceptional waitstaff, which deftly caught that Huxley was nearing meltdown mode, and saved the day with a lightening fast, perfect grilled cheese. Wonderful seeing Steven Goff and @samlg87!
  • Livin' in an Appalachian paradise. ??(view of Mt. Pisgah, from the top of our road).
  • The finale at last night's Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl was this Chocolate Coffee Tart with Vanilla Orange Marmalade from my book
  • What a surreal experience last night @rhubarbavl, being served your own recipes! Shown here: Chimichurri Deviled Eggs (
  • So much delicious decadence on display yesterday afternoon at my 7th Annual Ladies Cookie Exchange. Thanks to all you lovelies (and your littles!) that made it out! Such a wonderful community of women I'm surrounded by. We three Englishes won't have to bake any more this holiday season! *That's your girl waiting patiently for the sugar frenzy to begin, @littlecoffeebeans !
  • Put this down as a night to remember. Immeasurable gratitude to @rhubarbavl for hosting recipes from all 7 of my books at tonight's Sunday Supper. @glennbenglish couldn't have been more thrilled. Our favorite restaurant in Asheville now feels even more like our dining room away from home.
  • Asheville and vicinity friends, I want to let you in on a secret. @oldworldlevain is a baked goods goddess, a fascinating woman (she bakes AND teaches tango lessons!), and simply a lovely human being. This medley of deliciousness is a mere sampling of the tastiness she had on offer today at her pop-up inside of Wood & Spoon in west Asheville. You can order regularly from her though, and you should. Her goods are creative, imminently flavorful, and clearly lovingly made. Obviously, I am smitten.
  • All kinds of magic percolating up in here.
  • Last night this sweet, tiny elf wanted me to pick him up, and then asked
  • Only a few seats remain for the Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl on the 14th featuring recipes from all 7 of my books. The large dining room is nearly sold out, woohoo!!! Call 828/785-1503 to reserve a spot before they're all gone. I'd love to see you there!
  • So you see, love, actually, is all around us. A pleasant discovery whilst stoking this morning's fire. Happy Friday, friends!

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Monthly Archives: August 2012

What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! It’s a special day today! My beloved maternal grandmother, Ruby (aka “Nanny”), who served as the quiet inspiration for so much of what I’ve come to make my livelihood writing about, turns a young, spry 87 today! Woo hoo!

She doesn’t know it (shh!!!), but my mother is planning a big surprise birthday party for her tomorrow. I’ll be baking my Blueberry Refrigerator Pie (from my book) as an homage to the blueberry farm she used to own with her second husband in Chesapeake, Virginia years ago. Knowing how much she loves peanut butter, I’m also planning to make her that amazing peanut butter pie I fell in love with at the pie contest, as Barbara (the contest’s instigator and creator!) was kind enough to put me in touch with the person behind that dessert of creamy, nutty, chocolatey goodness. Love that pie. Love, love, love it! Happy birthday, Nanny! I’m so, so glad you’re here!

In non-grandmother news, here’s a smattering of this’s and that’s that caught my attention this week:

*Thinking of pitching something to Gather (via Kate).
*Got A Girl Crush is adorable (also from Kate).
*Might be my favorite pumpkin ale yet.
*Speaking of pumpkins, this takes me back.
*Paul Stamets is a remarkably inspiring person.
*More mushroom ideas (mycoremediation to clean up oil spills!).
*Marisa’s tips for preserving all that zucchini!
*Intriguing film about unschooling.
*Joy loves pie (and my book!).
*Gorgeous fruit-collecting basket.

Wherever you go this weekend, whatever you do, and whomever you do it with, may it be grand!

*Did you know you can sign up to receive posts automatically whenever I put something new up on small measure? Simply go to the icon on the top of the blog header that looks like a little fire (it’s called “Feedburner”), click on it, and sign up to get new posts delivered to either your email address or to the reader of your choice. Now we can always be in touch!

Hive Talkin’

Sincere apologies to any of you trying to connect here over the past day and a half that haven’t been able to do so. I myself have been in that same boat! Some hardware of the server I use died, and lots of blogs were in limbo for awhile, small measure amongst them. All seems to be well again, though!

 

It’s almost time for a honey extraction. Typically, I only extract once a year, around Labor Day. That was the case last year, and that’ll be the case again this year. I’ve been checking the hives and watching the bees while working in the garden and it’s clearly time for busting out the extractor, uncapping the wax on the frames, and gathering some Chez English  liquid gold!

The bees have been insanely busy lately, bringing in neon yellow baskets full of pollen in on their hairy legs. It’s such a glorious sight to behold, all that planning and industry and, well, work. There’s a very sound reason the expression busy as a bee exists!

What about you? Have any of you extracted yet, or plan to do so soon? While straight-up honey is exquisite, I love infusing small jars of it with fresh herbs, too (you can find my instructions for doing so in Keeping Bees). Small sprigs of lavender, rosemary, mint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, or thyme infused with the honey make for perfect gifts come the holidays.

Thank you, sweet bees, for all you do. Without you, the world would be a lot less flavorful, a good bit more difficult for us to navigate through, and not nearly as sweet.

 

*Back in my other world, of all things pie, several great giveaways are currently being hosted for copies of A Year of Pies. Check out these sites and enter for a chance to win a copy of your own, to have, hold, and splatter butter and fruit juices all over!
1) The Non-Consumer Advocate
2) Lark Crafts
3) Cold Antler Farm

Savoring the Season

The best part of late summer, in my estimation, has got to be the reduction in household bills. Which is to say, we’re using the ceiling fans less owing to cooler days and nights, we’re drying our clothes in the warm summer sun, and we’re picking up our meals from the chicken coop, beehives, and garden. Amen to all that!

Pictured here are some of our recent eats. Yes, we consume an awful lot of eggs, especially frittatas, our go-to egg vehicle of choice. And there are many, many tomatoes. And fresh herbs are making many a cameo. But there have been new additions to our cooking repertoire, as well, inspired by what we’re pulling from the soil, including a Summer Vegetable Hash with Sorrel Pecan Pesto (with house-made Chop Shop Livermush, our zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and potatoes) and Triple Decker (!!!) BLT’s.  And it’s just all so good and fresh and colorful and ripe and, well, awesome.

While I’m extremely excited to move toward the days of cardigans, scarves, and pumpkin ale (PUMPKIN! ALE!), I keep reminding myself to savor these fleeting days of zucchini, fresh peppers, and eggplant. They’ll be gone before I know it and we’ll move from morning coffee in the garden to inside, next to the wood stove.

For now, I’m happy to keep my costs down, my belly full, and taste buds delighted.

What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! Hubs, Huxley and I just walked back up to the house after some morning time out in the garden, sipping on coffee (o.j. for the tiny Englishman), noshing on Rhubarb, Vanilla Bean & Lemon Hazelnut Bread (a recipe I created yesterday for my new book), planting spinach, watering pea shoots and pumpkins, and feeding the caterpillars that were themselves feeding on the eggplant to the chickens.

Hey, speaking of rhubarb, pop on over to USA Weekend, if you’re so inclined, and check out my recipe for Lattice-Top Rhubarb, Lemon & Vanilla Pie (a combination I clearly love!).

I’m really loving these crisp late summer mornings, harbingers of the cooler autumn days on the horizon. Historically, I’ve never been a hot month-loving lady, even though I was myself a summer baby (July 11th). When I can roll out of bed, put on a flannel shirt, slide into some slippers, and not have to immediately turn on all the fans in the house, I’m a happy lady.

Here’s a smattering of this’s and that’s that caught my attention this week:
*11 foods you can stop buying & start making.
*Hank shares his recipe for elderberry wine.
*Georgia’s tips on getting started in hunting.
*Moss graffiti!
*Learning to eat like Julia Child.
*Must watch “Toast” (also, Peach Creme Fraiche Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup-YES!!!).
*55 ways to use up tomatoes!
*Love this flower wall.
*Raw honey and all its uses.
*Soon as Huxley’s a bit older, we’re going here (I’ve LONG wanted to get to the Atlantic Provinces).

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Asheville Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting event. If you’re attending, please do stop by my booth and say howdy.

Wherever you go this weekend, whatever you do, and whomever you do it with, may it be grand!

 

Keeping Up Appearances

I used to be a voracious consumer of the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances. When Hyacinth Bucket (who insisted her last name be pronounced “Bouquet”) would answer the phone and trill “Bouquet residence, this is the lady of the house speaking” on just about every episode, I’d laugh like a fool, every time. The show (along with the equally fantastic Rosemary & Thyme) used to run each week on the local public t.v. station here in Asheville. For whatever reason, both were pulled out of rotation years ago, which is a darn shame, because they were great for a laugh and a bit of botanical murder mystery.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with the reason for this post. Not at all. Not even a little. I was just thinking about several upcoming public events I’ll be attending and teaching, began thinking about my need to keep up with public appearances, and found myself strolling off down cinematic memory lane. There you have it.

So, if you find yourself in the area in the next few weeks, here’s a smattering of places you could swing by and bid me an in-person “Howdy!”:

 

Asheville Wine & Food Festival

I’ll be part of a group of local authors signing books at the Grand Tasting event this coming Saturday, August 25th from 3:30-5:00. I’ve yet to attend one of Asheville’s Wine & Food Festivals, so I’m especially excited to be participating this year. Information on the event can be found here.

 

Backyard Chickens Class

Ready to move from poultry enthusiast to full-time chicken tenderer? Come take my class at AB-Tech and we’ll chat about all you need to know before taking the plunge. The class will be taught twice, on a Friday morning and a Thursday evening, so that, no matter your work and home commitments, you’ll be able to pencil the class into your schedule. Information on the event can be found here (you can find my class in the “Practical Skills” section).

1) Friday, September 14th, 10:00-12:30

2) Thursday, September 27th, 6-8:30.

 

Hope to see some of you readers in the real world, real soon!

*I promise to someday soon have another photo of me to share with you. You are, no doubt, quite tired of this one. I’m so often behind the camera on this here little blog that I fail miserably in getting my mug in front of it. Soon, friends, soon….