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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 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!
  • Happy Friday, friends! New
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Bird Is the Word





Sometimes serendipity shocks me. Stops me dead in my tracks. Something happens, so perfectly aligned and harmonious and balanced that it takes my breath away.


That’s what happened recently with Amanda of Bird for Bread. Here’s the play-by-play:

1) About two weeks ago, I mentioned to my sister, Devan (who flies into town this Wednesday from Florida to visit and help prep for the Nugget Warming soiree on Saturday) that I wanted us to make some sort of natural decor or embellishment for the party. Something that could go up in his room afterwards, that was hand-crafted and played up on the “forest” theme we’re shooting for in the nursery. I told her that I didn’t know quite what I wanted, but for us to both put our thinking caps on.
2) Later that day, I checked my Twitter account, to see if anyone had sent me any messages or made any “@ashley_english” tweets I might want to reply to (I always try to reply to folks who mention me, out of courtesy, because I like to both express my gratitude and make myself accessible).
3) On Twitter, I saw that @birdforbread had mentioned recently purchasing my “Canning & Preserving” book. I sent her a return thanks, and then, because I am an inherently curious person, went to check out her own website.
4) It was there that I witnessed her garlands. “EUREKA!” They were exactly the decor I’d been looking for, but didn’t quite know how to visualize.
5) I wrote Amanda, who runs Bird For Bread, inquiring into the garlands and whether they were available for purchase, or in a tutorial format so that I might make them myself, with Devan’s help during her visit.
6) A little bit later, in my personal e-mail inbox, I received a message from Amanda herself. Turns out, she’s read not just my “Canning & Preserving” book, she’s also gifted her neighbor with my “Keeping Chickens” book. She proceeded to tell me that she’d like to GIVE me some garlands for the shower!
7) I write her back, detailing the above series of events, practically on the verge of tears, so moved am I by both her generosity and the auspicious, serendipitous nature of the whole thing.
8) She sends me the garlands, which are pictured above and are so, so very perfect, and then tells me she’s also sending along a mobile, to go above Nugget’s crib.
9) I am floored and humbled beyond words.
10) In a handwritten note, Amanda details the following: the acorns, black walnuts, and birch branch slices were gathered by she and her children during a stroll in the forest; the twine was hand-dyed with fair-trade black tea; the metal on the acorn tops and leaves is recycled scrap metal; and the oxidation finish used on all of the metal is obtained via an egg wash from her neighbor’s chickens, so as to avoid use of chemicals.

Stopped you in your tracks, too, didn’t it? Thank you, Amanda, from me, Hubs, and Nugget!!! Bird is the WORD!

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