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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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Food In Jars (+ Giveaway!!!)

You know those bloggers that, whenever they make a new post and it shows up in your inbox, you just can’t wait to read it? Marisa McClellan of Food In Jars is one such person for me. Soon as a new post from her appears in my email, I make a beeline to her site. Whatever new concoction she’s dreamed up, it’s always intriguing, and it’s always good.

Imagine my supreme delight, then, when she asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a copy of her new book. Packed with the best of the blog’s offerings and so much more, Food In Jars is an absolute gem. As we enter into high production season for all manner of foods put into jars, Marisa’s book is resource you will definitely want to have on hand.

The photography is sensational and the chapters offer something for everyone. After an introduction outlining the world of canning for newcomers, Marisa delves into jars to fill your entire pantry: Jams, Fruit Butters, Jellies, Marmalade (Blood Orange Marmalade, YES!!!), Curds & Conserves, Chutneys & Condiments, Pickles, Salsas and Relishes, Tomatoes, Syrups (Blueberry Lemon Syrup, OH YES!!!), Whole Fruit, Granola In Jars, Nut Butters, and Other Foods In Jars. She’s got it all, pretty much soup (-appropriate condiments) to nuts (-butters). 

Even as an experienced canner, I found myself learning from her helpful tips, delivered in her characteristic friendly “let’s do this!” voice. And the recipes presented here are right up my alley, mixing classics with modern twists. It’s a good one, this book, penned by an experienced, personable, true-blue lady.

Marisa and her publisher, Running Press, in addition to gifting me with a copy of Food In Jars, have offered one giveaway copy to a small measure reader. How very lucky for you! To enter, simply leave a comment below, listing something you look forward to putting in jars. I’ll start. Tomatoes. Plain and simple. We use a TON of tomatoes chez English and just planted 38 of the plants to grow, harvest, and can. If I never purchase another jar of far-away-grown-and-preserved tomatoes, I’ll be a very, very happy woman.

Please leave a means of contacting you in your comment, should you be the winner. This step is crucial. If there’s no link to a blog, or website of your own, or email address in your comment, then I’ll sadly have to draw another random number. If you’d rather not leave your email address public, simply leave an anonymous comment and then shoot me a private email with your contact information.

I’ll run the giveaway for a week, ending at midnight EST June 6th. Even if you don’t win, do check out both Marisa’s book and her blog. Whether you’re already a fan of the water bath or just about to get your lids wet for the first time, you’ll be equally smitten. She’s got a good thing going on, which will be evident immediately.


*Click on any of the images above to make them larger. 

UPDATE: Thank you SO much to everyone that entered! Anastasia was the lucky winner! Yay!!! 

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