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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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  • Clowning around. || Huxley tried out Tiny Tots Circus Playtime at Toy Boat Art Collective today and really enjoyed it!
  • Chatting about existentialism, and contradicting ourselves, and winter over on small measure today. || Into the woods behind our house.
  • 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.
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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.