A Year of Picnics


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I Just Can’t Get Enough

I share an unabashed love of 1980/90’s electro-synth-pop music. If we’re going to have any kind of relationship full of honesty and candor (the kind I prefer), you should know this about me. Give me as much Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, and New Order as you think one person can withstand and I’ll yell “MORE!” With that in mind, I think you’ll understand if we begin this post with this musical gem. True loves never die, you see, and I really, sincerely cannot get enough of this time of year.

Saturday witnessed a fair amount of rain wash over our area. Owing to that, my forest class spent an equal amount of time examining the flora and fauna on the grounds of the UNC-Asheville Botanical Gardens and in the library housed inside its gift shop. I am so eager to learn all that Luke, our instructor, has to share. The way that birds reveal what’s going on across the larger landscape is so captivating. The use of spiderwort to indicate whether an area has become radioactive by the color of its leaves is exhilarating. The ability to turn the berries of sumac into a thirst quenching sour beverage like lemonade on a hot day is fascinating. So much to learn about, so much to learn from!

Sunday we toured Smokin’ J’s, a local hot pepper farm here in Candler. I plan on doing an entire post about the family-run business soon, so I’ll be brief for now. Suffice to say, we three Englishes all found something to love there. For Glenn, it was hot peppers a plenty, plus a free (!!!) taco bar of supreme deliciousness. For me, it was a shady spot under a tree to relax from, and sip a free (!!!) local beer, and take it all in (my new favorite thing to do, lately, loafing and lounging and just being present with myself without distraction). For Huxley, it was the twin 6 year-olds, Emma and Kaitlyn, that live on the farm, and their amazing trampoline (you better believe I got in on some of that action, too!).

Today I hosted students from the nearby Urban Farm School, teaching them the basics of water bath canning (more photos to come). We made Fig & Thyme jam (the recipe is in my book), using figs grown on the school’s urban farm in downtown Asheville and thyme from my herb beds. While the jars processed, we nibbled on pickled green beans, pickled okra with mint & cinnamon & coriander, nectarine chutney, whole wheat bread, sharp cheddar, and summer sausage out on the patio. The air was just right, the autumnal light sublime.

I just can’t seem to get enough of….all this goodness! May your life be drenched in all that brings you happiness, too!

7 Responses to I Just Can’t Get Enough

  • Jess says:

    This is such a joyful post! I’m so happy to hear your life is full of goodness! I’m getting drenched in happiness, too. Aaaaah, breathing it all in. :)

  • I agree with Jess – so much joy – and contentment too – and one of my favourite tunes to dance aound the kitchen to, first thing in the morning. xx

  • Dawn says:

    I knew we were kindred spirits the first time I read your blog but now…Depeche Mode, botanical gardens and canning all in the same few sentences? Awesome! I just can’t get enough of all of those things either and love the energy you share with your readers. Thanks, Ashley!
    PS – I still have all my Depeche Mode cassette tapes. Can’t read to get rid of them!

  • Dawn says:

    That would be “seem” to get rid of them. Sorry, typing in the dark of my boys’ bedroom:)

  • KC says:

    What fun! Asheville really seems like an amazing place. One I’ll have to visit one day if we ever make our way eastward.

  • Kerry says:

    You are a always such a great inspiration – thank you! Love the Depche! Think I’ll head on over to youtube for a listen.

  • Karen says:

    I just can’t get enough … i just can’t seem to get enough of … OHHhhhhhhh. Love it with all of my heart, Ashley! I interviews many of those bands while I was a VJ at MuchMoreMusic. Peter Murphy was wonderful, David Sylvian … not so much. It’s SUCH great music! We’re great friends now, you and I. ~ karen!