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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  • 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.
  • Post meal, pre-hike to the frozen
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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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