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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  • I had the most profoundly memorable experience today. The cookbook club at Haywood County Library (the county adjacent to mine) hosted me, and by hosted, I mean 12 ladies selected recipes from my book
  • What better way to clear out a case of the Mondays than a giveaway?! See that lovely locally-made wooden bag dryer there on my wall? Want to win one of your own (you do, trust me)? Pop on over to small measure to enter. Link is in my profile.
  • This guy right here? While he might be growing bigger every day, the truth is that becoming a mother has helped me to grow. To be more present. To be more patient. To be more empathic. As I tell all my soon-to-be-mama friends, parenthood is the toughest work you'll ever do, with by far the biggest payoff. The lovin', and the learning, are so, so good. Happy Monday, friends.
  • Today was a good day. This view, from the top of our road, certainly helped make it so.
  • I think the 48-hour flu I've been fighting has finally succumbed to my assault of grapefruit seed extract, osha root, propolis, elderberry syrup, Oscillococinum, apple cider vinegar, rose hips, hibiscus, ginger/lemon/honey/cayenne tea, and neti pot with goldenseal tincture. I don't take getting sick sitting down. And now, a winter storm, possibly. Bring it, I say. Happy weekending, friends!!!
  • This guy.
  • I've been waiting, for a book like this, to come into my life. Whoa. Picked this up a few weeks ago at @screendoorasheville as a New Year's gift to @glennbenglish. Just started reading it myself and it couldn't possibly be more of what I need to see, right now. Completely on point, wholly attuned to what I'm presently sensing and curious about and inspired by, and infinitely humbling.
  • Warm enough today to play soccer down in our lower field, do a bit of weeding in the garden, and push a nearly-too-big 4 year-old in his
  • New year, new moons, new calendars. Right on, right on.
  • @shelterprotectsyou has been posting images of the wedding she and @sheltercollective had here in September all week. They built this altar for the ceremony, and it's still here, just past the house, on the way to the chicken coop. We pass it every day. Some days, I casually note its beauty and the way it feels like an outdoor church here in our forested cove. Other days I barely register it as I scurry about, doing this and that around the property. Today, though, in the stark, grey, drizzly setting, it was quietly regal. Happy to have had her visuals prompt me to stop, look, and listen to this physical testament to love.
  • The chickens told me they much prefer the rain this week to last week's frigid weather, thank you very much. I couldn't agree more.
  • These potatoes @tableasheville changed my culinary life. They called them hash browns, but they were unlike any I'd had before. Par-baked perhaps, smashed into halves I'm guessing, and then roasted and maybe finished with a quick fry in the skillet and scattered with large sea salt granules? Whatever the method, the result was a creamy, yellow center and a crispy, salty exterior. Quite possibly the best hash browns I've ever had.
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Hive Talkin’

Sincere apologies to any of you trying to connect here over the past day and a half that haven’t been able to do so. I myself have been in that same boat! Some hardware of the server I use died, and lots of blogs were in limbo for awhile, small measure amongst them. All seems to be well again, though!

 

It’s almost time for a honey extraction. Typically, I only extract once a year, around Labor Day. That was the case last year, and that’ll be the case again this year. I’ve been checking the hives and watching the bees while working in the garden and it’s clearly time for busting out the extractor, uncapping the wax on the frames, and gathering some Chez English  liquid gold!

The bees have been insanely busy lately, bringing in neon yellow baskets full of pollen in on their hairy legs. It’s such a glorious sight to behold, all that planning and industry and, well, work. There’s a very sound reason the expression busy as a bee exists!

What about you? Have any of you extracted yet, or plan to do so soon? While straight-up honey is exquisite, I love infusing small jars of it with fresh herbs, too (you can find my instructions for doing so in Keeping Bees). Small sprigs of lavender, rosemary, mint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, or thyme infused with the honey make for perfect gifts come the holidays.

Thank you, sweet bees, for all you do. Without you, the world would be a lot less flavorful, a good bit more difficult for us to navigate through, and not nearly as sweet.

 

*Back in my other world, of all things pie, several great giveaways are currently being hosted for copies of A Year of Pies. Check out these sites and enter for a chance to win a copy of your own, to have, hold, and splatter butter and fruit juices all over!
1) The Non-Consumer Advocate
2) Lark Crafts
3) Cold Antler Farm

9 Responses to Hive Talkin’

  • Meesh says:

    I, too, have noticed big ol’saddle bags of pollen coming in on my bees. Sometimes they look so heavy and loaded down that it messes with their flight calculating instrumentation and they miss the landing upon first attempt. I am waiting a bit longer to extract because I’ve noticed they have dipped into their stores during this dearth. I did however participate in an extraction party the other day with fellow Bee Club members. It was a sweet, sticky, gooey affair. Yum!

  • shaun says:

    made the beet apple pie tonight from your pie cookbook…was a huge hit…just sayin’

  • James says:

    I don’t mean to sound gushing or pedantic but I am really glad you’re keeping this blog. I stumbled across one of your books this morning while researching cheese presses and a lot of the topics here (dairy, poultry, hunting, beekeeping, canning) are things my wife and I have been discussing as we’re making our first fumbling steps towards sustainable living. You have some great information in here and I’m looking forward to reading your books, thanks for doing what you do!

  • EcoGrrl says:

    Yayyyyy :) Glad everything is back up and running.

    As for honey, my honey (heh) sent me some Tasmanian honey that was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted…definitely a large carbon footprint to come over here, but absolutely delectable…

    PS – don’t think I ever said but I totally dig this FONT!

  • indio says:

    My bees very kindly gave up two small honey harvests this year. I’m going to check the supers to see if there are any more frames I can pull. Labor Day is the latest I’m able to harvest or there won’t be enough for winter. the Spring and summer honey tasted so different. spring was much lighter and fruitier, while summer was darker, richer color.
    Good luck with the extraction.

  • Spring says:

    Last year I went on Craigslist and found a beekeeper who needed space for his hives. Awesome! I’m renting a house sitting on five acres with an abandoned apple orchard and fields of blackberries. So I called him up and now we’re doing this land for honey exchange. We have about 15 (!) hives on our property and we don’t have to do any of the work and there’s no expense. Yes, please! So far he’s extracted twice and both times we’ve received three gallons of the most amazing raw honey I’ve ever tasted. This year’s honey was even better than last year’s because they were here for the apple blossoms.

    This was one of my best ideas ever, ever, ever. My only regret is that he’s here and gone before we know it. Next year I’m hoping to watch and help.