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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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  • Really loving the @hellolaurelhill moon cuff that @glennbenglish got me for Xmas from @studiosheltercollective!
  • Perfect Christmas Eve dinner at home: NC coast wild shrimp stuffed with @sunbursttrout and Maytag blue cheese, and creamed spinach & white wine, followed by a nightcap of eggnog with Elijah Craig bourbon. I am stuffed and happy and ready to bring Santa to life under the tree. Happiest of holidays to you, friends.
  • You guys! It's Christmas Eve AND I just posted my first ever video collaboration with @jenathan and @rorris to small measure! So excited! Come make wassail with me, won't you? Pop over to smallmeasure.com and we'll do it together (you can also use the link in my profile). Happy holidays! *Thanks to @rorris for the screen grab shown above, where, yes, I am most definitely throwing the gang sign for
  • For the solstice, @daniel.rattigan of @frenchbroadchocolates gifted us a beautiful loaf of challah that he baked, which we used for this bacon bread pudding, from our recipe in the mag-book, Bacon, from Hobby Farms. This is a perfect recipe for the holidays!
  • When your father (@glennbenglish) and grandfather have beards, Santa and his white-bearded self bring nothing but grins and cuddles. Huxley is totally down with the man in the red suit (and jingle bell feet!).
  • Attended a love and light-filled Solstice potluck gathering this evening at the home of our dear friends Katherine and Andy. So grateful for the fellowship and community this place offers. As those of us in the northern hemisphere shift into winter, and a return to light-filled days, sincerest wishes from our home to yours for health, happiness, and abundance in the months and new year ahead.
  • A winter's day, in a deep and dark December. Enjoyed a walk down our driveway earlier to gather holiday cards and gifts from the mail with my little fella. Happy almost solstice, friends.
  • Local friends-whatever your plans are for this evening, change them! Come join me instead at @rhubarbavl for their
  • Great burger and transcendent frites with a charred onion aioli at @kingjamesavl. Great vibe and an exceptional waitstaff, which deftly caught that Huxley was nearing meltdown mode, and saved the day with a lightening fast, perfect grilled cheese. Wonderful seeing Steven Goff and @samlg87!
  • Livin' in an Appalachian paradise. ??(view of Mt. Pisgah, from the top of our road).
  • The finale at last night's Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl was this Chocolate Coffee Tart with Vanilla Orange Marmalade from my book
  • What a surreal experience last night @rhubarbavl, being served your own recipes! Shown here: Chimichurri Deviled Eggs (
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It’s A Family Affair

You might have noticed I’ve been a bit absent around here lately. That’s in large part on account of the fact that my two younger sisters were visiting from Florida for the past week. 
Part of our week’s activities (to be listed below) involved the final photo shoot for the Canning & Preserving book in the Homemade Living series. I took the opportunity to teach Devan and Theo the joys of water bath canning. They rocked it like only the Adams sisters can. 
In honor of the season, and North Carolina’s proximity to, well, South Carolina (well known for its peaches), we made Peach & Lavender butter. The recipe is included in “Canning & Preserving” (get ready to whip up some jars yourself next Summer, as by then, you’ll hopefully have your hands on my book, slated for release April 2010).  Here the girls are using an immersion blender to render the cooked chunks of peaches into a smooth, buttery sauce. 
Theo deftly removes any trapped air bubbles in the jars with the aid of a wooden chopstick. 
Devan secured the lids and screw bands, while Theo moved on to expert (and repeated) bowl licking. 

This was the first time I’ve taught the craft to anyone. It felt so empowering to pass on the knowledge, and inherent joy, of water bath canning. They told me on their way out this morning that they’re already beginning to feel the urge to make jam out of every piece of fruit in sight. They’ve got the FEVER!

Here’s a run down of our week together:
-Summer Solstice potluck at a friend’s house
-Lavender Festival on a mountaintop, complete with chocolate lavender ice cream, baby goat petting, and lavender lemonade
-Tour of the Biltmore House and grounds, prefaced by a forest picnic in a bamboo grove; we capped the evening with dinner and “The Hangover” at Cinebarre
-Indian food at Mela, followed up by haircuts at Adorn; next, we shopped downtown, imbibed Lychee cocktails at an outdoor cafe, and gorged ourselves on Glenn’s homemade pizza
-All-day Jam Session, Jar-Decorating, and Gift-Basket Creation (for the next day’s photo shoot); homemade mac & cheese for dinner (YUM!)
-Photo Shoot (We were documenting a “Canning Party”, where you get together with your best pals, whip up a batch of something delicious, can it, giggle, and bask in each other’s wonderousness)
-Hike through a rhododendron and fern forest alongside a creek in Montreat, followed by shopping and homemade gelato in the gorgeous postage-sized town of Black Mountain (we’re already looking for real estate), and a beer with an old high-school friend at an outdoor Mexican cantina 
-River tubing on the Green River, followed by a garden, bee yard, & honey extraction tour at a friend’s house, cocktails at dusk, grilled food, and late-night s’mores around the fire pit

I miss them already. My older brother and his wife came up from Charlotte yesterday to enjoy the tubing and feasting. I love a house full of family. Devan, who was infinitely gracious enough to masterfully paint our upstairs hall during her visit, is already planning to return in Autumn for more house projects and sisterly fun. We’re collectively plotting for my father and stepmother to relocate to the area (got that Pops?). It officially feels like Summer! 

*Small Measure: Visit local farms. In fact, this weekend, the annual Family Farm Tour was happening. I had too much going on to attend, but we actually visited one of the participating farms during the Lavender Festival. Local farm visits, especially during Summer months, are fabulous ways to harvest produce at its peak, both nutritionally and flavor-wise.  Check out pickyourown for locations of local farms in your area. 

5 Responses to It’s A Family Affair

  • Anonymous says:

    WOW!! Wish I had been there.What a week.G

  • P says:

    What a wonderful time you had together. I feel so lucky to have brothers, but I've always wanted sisters.

    That peach and lavender butter sounds insanely good.

  • Maria says:

    OMG! That Lavender Peach Butter sounds so amazingly yummy!!! You'd better same me some!! I'll trade you for some of my rose petal jam!!??

  • nicole says:

    the creativity and richness of your event planning with your sisters is a small sign of how very much you love your family and wish to share a little of your world with them. it must have been quite the treat for all of you.

    and i can attest to the wonder of the peach butter myself. everything you manage to can is an edible work of art. i'm pleased as punch (or a pech!) to know that you'll soon be sharing your canning wisdom with the masses. there's to much talent there not to share.

  • so excited for your book to come out! I definitely could use some canning tips.