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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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Fennel Slaw + The Low-Key

Never underestimate the power of the low-key. The low-key girl in your math class that goes on to become valedictorian, the low-key, often aloof character in movies that always, always ends up being the real hero (think Mr. Green in Clue, the movie with the sensational Tim Curry, not the board game), and, in our case here today, the low-key vegetable fennel. By no means should any of these be underestimated.

I came late to fennel. It wasn’t part of my mother’s culinary repertoire. No, the verdant bulb with its crisp, licorice bite wasn’t part of my childhood, my adolescence, or my teen years. It finally appeared on the scene in my early 20′s, I think it was, when I worked for Whole Foods. Ever the brave one when it came to unfamiliar tastes and needing some variety in my then-vegan diet, I saw a fennel dish in the deli’s cold case and ordered a bit of it.

As a life-long devotee of all things licorice, it was love at first crunch. The low-key, unassuming, admittedly freakish looking bulbed vegetable surprised me with its flavor, and satisfied me with its crispy bite. Fennel is deliciously in season right now, and it’s a glorious thing to behold and consume when the lush, watery produce of summer is long gone and foods with munch and heft and cold-storage abilities are the order of the day.

We paired this fennel slaw with a ready-in-a-flash barbecued chicken sandwich for lunch today. Pick up a rotisserie chicken, strip off the meat (leaving the carcass for the dogs and a few meaty morsels for the clamoring cats), add in a bit of homemade barbecue sauce, warm the mixture up, and then dollop hearty portions onto sandwich buns.

The slaw’s salty, floral notes are the ideal foil to the ‘que’s sweetness. A perfect marriage, born of hunger, ingenuity, and a stern commitment to never, ever underestimate the power of the low-key.

 

Fennel Slaw

The Goods:
-1 Fennel bulb (with stalks and fronds)
-3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
-2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
-2 Tablespoons honey
-1 Tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard
-1 teaspoon dried tarragon
-1 teaspoon celery seeds
-A pinch of salt
-A few grinds black pepper

The Deal:
1) Cut off any dirty outer layers on the fennel bulb.
2) Slice the fennel bulb and fronds into very thin discs.
3) Cut the disks into small pieces.
4) Chop up the fronds.
5) Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium-size bowl.
6) It’s best if you let it sit for 20 minutes or longer before serving, to meld the flavors a bit.

 

 

3 Responses to Fennel Slaw + The Low-Key

  • Tanya @ Lovely Greens says:

    I’ll take some of that mouthwatering bbq chicken sandwich with a side of fennel-slaw any day (apologies to your former-vegan self ;)

  • Tanya @ Lovely Greens says:

    I’ll take some of that mouth-watering bbq chicken sandwich with a side of fennel-slaw any day (apologies to your former-vegan self ;)

  • Kira says:

    Oh, Ashley, please don’t feed your dogs cooked chickens bones. They can cause all sorts of problems. Just a little suggestion. Better to use the chicken carcass for broth.