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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  • Good people, it is 73 degrees today! I've opened almost all of the windows in the house and am spotting daffodils triumphantly ready to unfurl all over the knob our house sits on. @glennbenglish served this reuben with @chopshopbutchers pork pastrami, homemade Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut for lunch as a strong breeze swept thru the house and shook things up. YESSSSSS!
  • Clowning around. || Huxley tried out Tiny Tots Circus Playtime at Toy Boat Art Collective today and really enjoyed it!
  • Chatting about existentialism, and contradicting ourselves, and winter over on small measure today. || Into the woods behind our house.
  • Players gonna play. Huxley and his buddy Bay, doing their little guy thing today at the perennially lovely @thencarboretum.
  • The garden got blanketed with what I'm hoping was winter's last gasp this past week. I'm ready for those snow-covered strawberry beds in the foreground to start putting out juicy fruits, for Huxley to dig in his sandbox again, for cocktails at sunset on the pergola, and for conversing with soil and seeds once more. Spring is coming. Really started to feel it this weekend.
  • Scotch eggs of supreme deliciousness can be had on the regular at @kingjamesavl. @glennbenglish and I savored these beauties today alongside dirty rice fritters, gumbo with poutine, and @sunbursttrout smoked trout dip, all wonderful. There was also a pint of Appalachian Brewery porter that I have to have more of. Oh, and old school White Stripes on rotation. Great food, great atmosphere.
  • Confession: until last night, I had never had honest to goodness snow cream. @glennbenglish whipped up a tasty batch with vanilla and nutmeg, and we enjoyed it alongside @oldworldlevain's heavenly frangipane tartlettes with fresh cranberries, orange peel, and cinnamon. Snow-pretty AND tasty.
  • Scattered, smothered, and covered. Snowy day in the cove!
  • We three Englishes do so very much love snow. Forecast to receive between 3-6 inches tonight! @glennbenglish captured Huxley and I taking in the view on his way back to the house after locking up the chickens.
  • Woke up to overnight snowfall, always a treat. Then heard from my neighbor Lynn, a licensed massage & bodywork therapist, that the snow was preventing her from getting in to her clients in town and, as a result, she had an opening in her schedule and could give me a massage. Whenever she travels, I pet-sit her cat Sophie, and in exchange she trades me a massage. Not only is she a seriously stellar masseuse, she also is an aromatherapist, a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner (a kind of Japanese acupressure technique), and is certified in neuromuscular therapy. So when I get a massage from her, I receive this healing trifecta involving scent, body, and spirit. Plus, in all honesty, I feel like this woman is actually imbuing my body with love when she works on me. I left her house feeling light and bright, and nourished. She has offices in Asheville and Johnson City, TN (the home massages are reserved for family and neighbors!). If you're looking for a rich, wonderful, deeply healing massage, please consider Lynn. You can find her information at www.lynnbernatsky.com. || I passed our bamboo grove and its tiny creek on my walk over to Lynn and Steve's; it somehow spoke to me of good things in store.
  • Woke up to this view. Some kind of wonderful!
  • Spotted Quench in the wild today.Always a thrill to see my books out in the big world, and rubbing elbows with friends @thejoyofcooking, no less!

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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.