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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  • 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
  • This was work today. Sweet, delicious, patio-consumed work. Shrimp & grits, for the win.
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From Here To Eternity

I had the exquisite pleasure this past weekend of working on and attending a gorgeous wedding in southwestern Virginia. Here’s the view from behind the wedding tent. 
My extraordinarily talented pals Jessica and Meredith of Aria Floral tricked out the site like only they can. When they asked me to accompany them for the weekend and work on this treasure of a wedding, I jumped at the opportunity. While these candid camera shots I took give you no real sense of the grandiose scale of things, they do give you a sense of place. I was too busy working to grab any shots of all we did before the wedding began. The farmhouse above was restored for the wedding and will in the future serve as a parallel Inn to the restaurant. 
Turns out, the parents of the groom, Tom and Kyra Bishop, own Townhouse, a restaurant in Chilhowie, Virginia, gaining accolades by the day. In fact, they were profiled just yesterday in the New York Times. Seriously folks, you might think I’m crazy since wedding food isn’t usually known to qualify for “best meal ever,” but in the case of this wedding, I can tell you without question that the food prepared by chefs Karen Urie and John Shields was the best food I have ever had. Ever. Ever ever ever. And I honeymooned in Paris, Monaco, and Rome, so that’s sayin’ something. Chef Urie even made nougat dipped in chocolate, which is my mostest most favorite confection of all time. And mini macarons. And apricot pates des fruits. And truffles infused with raspberry……….
After leaving their posts at esteemed restaurants Trotter’s and Alinea respectively, the two chefs were wooed to the middle of nowhere and given complete creative and culinary license. The food was so delicious and innovative, in fact, that Glenn and I hopping in the car this very evening for the two hour drive back to Chilhowie. Townhouse sponsors periodic benefit dinners and tonight’s topic is on the plight of the honeybee. Since the theme dovetails perfectly with my next book topic, and my taste buds are crying out for more Urie and Shields, and Glenn didn’t get to partake in the feasting this past weekend, away we go! In depth details forthcoming…..


*On the bee front, I attended what was dubbed  a “Swarm of Women Beekeepers” this past Sunday afternoon at the lovely Hawk & Ivy Bed and Breakfast just north of Asheville. Twenty-four ladies showed up with victuals and libations (can you say ‘blackberry mead’?), sat in a circle, and shared about our bee experiences. Being the “new bee,” I mostly listened. I did make a lady-bee friend, though, and will be visiting her home and hive in a week or so. Lots of buzzness in the works, folks! 

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