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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  • 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!
  • Good day to be in western NC. View of Mt.  Pisgah from the top of our road.
  • You will not pass! || Our shorty with his soul sister Raeglan, adventuring in our woods two days ago. @thebriere4
  • Batman Begins. You ought to hear his 4 year-old take on Batman's gravelly, husky whisper.
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Around & About the House

Have you noticed how much longer the days are getting? We don’t lock up the chickens until close to 9 o’clock these days! I find myself thinking lately about something that recently happened and then realizing that, wait, that happened only earlier today!

Some slow-growing, slow-moving scenes chez English. A lovely fig tree Mother’s Day gift from Hubs (I have BIG plans for a fruit & nut orchard on the 1 1/2 acre down the hill from the house that we refer to as “the lower field”-it’s where we were married!). Buds on the lavender bushes that flank the arbor in front of the house. Abundant wineberry canes and green grass ‘a plenty. Strawberry hanging baskets (we have 5 attached to the house). Cats and dogs and Crocs and coleus to welcome you.
I’ve been asked lately for details about the current book I’m working on. While I’ve been expressly asked by my lovely editor (and buddy) Nicole to keep mum on the specifics, suffice to say: 1) It’s not part of the “Homemade Living” series (although I hope there are more of those on the horizon!), and 2) It’s about food, my abiding passion. Oh, and, 3) You’ll love it. I wish I could tell you more! I promise to, soon as I get the green light.
Enjoy these lengthy stretches of golden sunlight!!! Or rain, if that’s your lot, because, really, rain is the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down, you know?

7 Responses to Around & About the House

  • Morgan G says:

    Gorgeous, Ashley. Look at all that greeeeen. And, yes, I am loving these long, long days.

  • Cindy says:

    Love your photos! This far north, we're getting to the point that I'm ready to go to bed before the chickens are ready to go in.

  • wishful nals says:

    so pretty & great advice to enjoy it. i cannot wait to start gardening. we've had a pretty wet spring, but i think the sun is on its way!

  • Molly says:

    it all looks lovely!

  • Our chickens are staying up later than us lately!
    Such a lovely, lovely season.

  • amanda says:

    oh I bet those figs are from the same place the two I have are from….

    nice guy that grows figs and peonies? Wildcat Ridge Farms? My husband and I brought along our (then 4 month old) girl on a lil' field trip out there last May and came home with 2 trees and a handful of gorgeous peonies. Said trees are still in their pots, getting ready to be placed in the ground very soon. There had been a storm and the tags had blown away from many of them and so one of ours simply says #7.

    Been meaning to get out to that coffee cart and try that Bombay Blast you recommended…. looks beyond delicious!

  • Tony R says:

    I would love to see you write a book about herbs, teas, and natural home remedy. Maybe even cover soaps, lotions, shampoos, and creams.

    Thanks for all your great books :)