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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  • Asheville area folks: Come on over to @forvillagers at 7 pm tonight to hear @gardenbetty talk about her new book,
  • 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).
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A Family Affair

The paternal side of my family is rather large. My father was one of 8. My grandmother (‘Gran’) has 22 grandchildren. I have 4 siblings and 17 cousins. When get-togethers happen up around Philadelphia (where everyone aside from my dad lives), it’s a big, noisy, raucous affair.


Since we live so far away, though, it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. So, I stay in touch with siblings and cousins (and second cousins and aunts and uncles) via e-mail and phone calls and Facebook. One cousin that I’ve remained particularly close to over the years, though we’ve never even lived remotely close to one another, is my cousin Keri.

Her mom, my Aunt Lynn, is arguably the most creative of my dad’s siblings. A one-time designer of high-end girl’s dresses, Aunt Lynn has done everything from floral design to serving as a private chef to catering events and more. She’s an excellent seamstress and her three children went on to embrace the arts as adults (Keri is the only person I’ve ever met who double-majored in math and art, while her sister studied sculpture and her brother is a musician).

As a stay-at-home-mom to Addison, Ella and little Izzy, Keri’s been looking for work that allows her to tend to her trio while satisfying her creative leanings. Enter Too Cute Custom Crafts. This new Etsy shop is full of lovely place mats, with cloth napkins, baby-sized quilts and kid-friendly fiber toys on the way. The quilt shown above was a “Nugget” gift for Huxley. It’s absolutely gorgeous and one of my preferred surfaces for working on “tummy time.”

Keri is running an introductory 10% off sale to get her site up and running. To redeem the discount, enter the code NEWSHOPBLOG10OFF at check out. Here’s wishing Keri and her clan a world of success!

*The top image shows, from left to right, Kristy (Keri’s older sister), Keri, and myself, all sitting with Gran. I don’t have an exact date, but I’m guessing it’s from around 1978.


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