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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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  • When dinner is served al fresco on the patio, at sunset, in a watermelon bowl, then my heart smiles. || Egg noodles, NC shrimp and pea shoot-arugula-basil pesto topped with nasturtium leaves, sage flowers, and chive blossoms. Nearly summertime and the living is easy.
  • When your afternoon involves chilling inside the Asheville Salt Cave with 7 of your nearest and dearest and your collective 4 kiddos, and your night involves celebrating one of their birthday's with a fajita feast and @glennbenglish's phenomenal spring sangria (with watermelon and strawberries and honeysuckle blooms that I picked), then you know that today has been an extraordinarily good day.
  • Spicy pork dumplings from @ganshanstation, I love you. While everything I've tried here has been seriously stellar, @procain's dumpling situation is worth the visit alone. So, so good!
  • Here's what I did today: hopped in the car, drove about a mile over to Hominy Valley Organic Farm, and got down to strawberry-picking business. I filled a flat for $18 (at $3/pound). If you live in the area and are looking for delicious, organic, U-pick strawberries, come see Farmer Tom Monday-Friday after 2 pm. Tell him I sent ya! Now, on to jam, and Popsicles, and pie, and galette, and pickled strawberries, and more! ??????
  • Pretty much ANY time is a good time for pickles, especially now that I've added @foodinjars delicious Quick Pickled Strawberries to the mix. Sublime!
  • You're in my heart, you're in my soul.
  • A testament to the power of social media: saw @holedoughnuts post an image of their Buttermilk Cardamom Black Pepper donut this morning, ate lunch, and then made the 20 minute drive over to enjoy some in person with @glennbenglish and Huxley!  Completely worth it. So, so good!!!
  • It's not a significant thing, nothing major. Just a walk down the driveway to gather the mail. But when I do it with Huxley, and we stop to say
  • Hominy Creek, doing its spring thang. || View from our mailbox.
  • Attended my first ever handmade/homemade swap yesterday, at a friend's sweet home in Black Mountain. SO much goodness, all thoughtfully and lovingly made. Huxley came with me and ran around with the kiddos while the swap took place. I contributed these little jars of rosemary honey, which @glennbenglish artfully topped with straw-blown watercolorings. Such a great afternoon with like-minded friends and fellow mamas! Thank you so, so much for hosting, Amanda!!!
  • Saturdays are for French toast on the porch with @glennbenglish and Huxley Wild while rain showers wash over the cove. || Used @farmandsparrow's Heritage Corn Bread and @oldworldlevain's Double Raisin & Flax Bread to make cardamom French toast, served alongside butter, maple syrup, and Hominy Valley Organic Farm strawberries, all washed down with hibiscus iced tea (our warm weather cold beverage go-to).
  • A visit today to farmer Tom Kousky of neighboring Hominy Valley Organic Farm yielded: flats of flowers (geraniums, celosia, and marigolds); starts of pickling cukes, zucchini, and yellow squash; 12 basil plants; two bundles of asparagus; a bunch of spinach; a bunch of radishes; two bunches of beets; and two pints of strawberries. The obvious way to celebrate all of this goodness was to blend up some strawberry milkshakes. Happy weekending, everyone!

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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Weekend Review

Happy Monday, friends. Hope your weekend was grand. Ours sure was. Here’s a few highlights:

*Ashevillage streams.
*Slate stadium seating.
*Greenhouse tilapia.
*Santa’s shiitake mushroom log-inoculating doppleganger.
*Friendly rabbits.
*Cob ovens.
*Artemis gal pals (all with Katniss hair!).
*Dinner plate-sized sunflowers.
*Epic treehouses.
*Peaches in pizzas.
*Outdoor oven, market-fresh pies.

Wishing you nothing but bliss this week!

What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! I’ve got a lingering cough left over from my allergy bout this week, but I’ve given it due notice it needs to move on (plus, lots of tea, homeopathic medicine, grapefruit seed extract, and nasal spray), because I’ve got too much happening this weekend to be sick!

My Small Measures post is up over on Design Sponge. This time I’m sharing ideas for making homemade post-industrial candlestick holders out of plumbing piping, as well as for decorative matchbox covers (you’ll have a complete EUREKA! moment when you discover just how easy both are).

Also today on Design Sponge, there’s a little “Behind the Scenes” tour of our house. If you’re new to this here blog and would like to see more photos of our house and property, check out this recent interview and tour I did over on Design Mom. Again, the images are all courtesy of the lovely and talented Rene Treece Roberts of Luxe House Photographic. That woman knows how to wield a camera like nobody’s business.

If you’d like to listen in, I’ll be chatting about all things pie today on The Town Dish radio show at 12:45 p.m. today. After that, Hubs, Huxley and I are headed over to the Ashevillage Institute to watch a demonstration on how to inoculate wood logs with shiitake mushroom spores, something I’ve long wanted to learn. We’re capping the day off by stopping by the Grove Arcade for the launch party of Asheville’s newest downtown events publication, Asheville Scene. Lots to do, lots to learn today!

Here’s a smattering of this’s and that’s that caught my attention this week:

*Our eggplant are finally coming in and I think this might be their fate.
*Digging this “winning” mix.
*My kind of way to use up an egg glut!
*Intrigued by this new Top Bar Beekeeping book.
*How to use your pressure canner.
*My love for Thred Up runs deep.
*Finally bought a new duvet cover after 5 years.
*Marisa’s tips for tomato canning season.
*Veggie-dyed tablecloths.

Tomorrow I’m joining 3 other ladies for a 1-hour archery lesson. Have any of you tried archery? I’m so excited!

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

In My Kitchen

Allergy attack (head cold?) or not, the tomatoes in our garden aren’t sympathetic to my current medical condition. They’re ripening on the vine like it’s the middle of August (and it is!) and I needed to can them TODAY, so, that’s just what I did.

Huxley, for his part, was a total trooper about the whole thing. He went down around 2 p.m. for a two-hour (!!!) nap, allowing me to blanch, chop, and simmer the glorious veggi/fruits (veg-uits? fru-gies?) of summer. Thanks, little buddy.

Did I bribe him with a ready-and-waiting bowl of chocolate and vanilla ice cream when he awoke, so that I could continue my work, jarring and processing multiple pints of diced tomatoes? I happily, heartily plead guilty. I think, for his part, he was completely on board with my plan.

Recent Acquistions: Moonshine

Thanks to an out-of-nowhere bout of seasonal allergies, I’ve intermittently lost my ability to taste. If I blow my nose really hard it returns, but, honestly, who wants to be eating and blowing their nose simultaneously? The two activities were never meant to merge.

In the meantime, I’m eyeballing this jar of locally made Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon, recently gifted to us by a friend (thanks, Steve!). Tempting though it may be to nip on a brew that similarly possesses no flavor, I think I’ll wait out my temporary olfactory conundrum until I can make up a proper drink with something fruity and herbaceous added to the ‘shine.

What’s your favorite way of kicking back some white lightening? I’m a newbie in this arena!

Too Much Of A Good Thing

You know that saying about not being able to have too much of a good thing? Well, I hate to burst any phrase-originating bubbles, but the thing is, it’s just not true. You can have too much of a good thing. I had too much pie, Saturday evening, thinking that simply wasn’t possible. I’m here today to report, it is. Oof.

That said, the ensuing feeling of gut-bustedness was completely, entirely, unequivocally worth it. We 3 Englishes headed to Barbara Swell‘s 10th Annual Retro Pie Contest, where the categories of pie on display were many, the creations were delicious, and the crowd was charming (and dressed in a variety of “retro” fashions; some gents attending the event took retro way, way back, donning 17th century attire for the event, which they coupled with historic pies).

At Barbara’s, we sampled from, and judged in, a variety of categories, including: frozen/custard/chiffon, “man pies”, chocolate, meat, historic, heirloom, fruit, berry, veggie, mini pies, special diet (gluten-free, raw, etc.), and more. I was a judge for both crusts and the frozen/custard/chiffon categories (and seriously fell in love with a Southern Frozen Peanut Butter Pie that I could have eaten all by myself and a stunning, intriguing, and highly delicious Balsamic Peach Pie with Fennel Pollen and Rosemary Mascarpone), while Hubs opined over the mini pies.

The prize table was laden with treats Barbara had amassed, and included a copy of A Year of Pies, bestowed onto the winner of the “Crusts” category. My Triple Berry Lattice Pie, entered in the “Berry” category, tied first place with another lovely berry pie. Huxley loved having pie for dinner (I mean, why wouldn’t he?) and made a little crew of buddies at the event (Isabella, shown in the hammock above, was particularly smitten with him; right after that photo was taken, she began examining his right knee, which he’d just fallen on and skinned, assuring him it would be alright).

Proceeds from the event benefited Slow Food Asheville projects. Gorging on pie, making new friends, and supporting a just cause was an ideal way to spend a mid summer’s night. I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.