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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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  • Good people, it is 73 degrees today! I've opened almost all of the windows in the house and am spotting daffodils triumphantly ready to unfurl all over the knob our house sits on. @glennbenglish served this reuben with @chopshopbutchers pork pastrami, homemade Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut for lunch as a strong breeze swept thru the house and shook things up. YESSSSSS!
  • 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!
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Just Peachy

In today’s penny-pinching times, ever find yourself wondering if there are some fruits that it might be o-kay to NOT buy organic? Well, look no further. The Environmental Working Group has compiled a list of the 12 fruits that are known to contain the highest levels of pesticides. These are the ones you want to purchase organically as often as you are able to. Otherwise, if it’s not on the list, feel safe opting for the conventional counterpart. 

Alternately, if you’re shopping at a local farmer’s market, ask the farmer directly about their pesticide use. Some, unable to foot the bill for organic certification, are pretty much de facto organic growers, using little to no pesticides on their crops. 

So, here’s the wrecking crew (so dubbed on account of the harm incurred to the environment, the farm workers and handlers, and you, the consumer), best consumed without any added pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides:
1) Peaches
2) Apples
3) Nectarines
4) Strawberries
5) Cherries
6) Grapes (Imported)
7) Pears
8) Raspberries
9) Grapes (Domestic)
10) Plums
11) Oranges
12) Nectarines

This list is especially important to children, pregnant and nursing women, the elderly, or anyone with compromised immune systems. Feel free to check out a slideshow with extra commentary here. As for me, I try to buy things in season, grown nearby, or at least within my growing region. That’s why apples get the kibosh after Autumn (otherwise, I’m buying organic apples from New Zealand, which just doesn’t really make sense to me), and you won’t find me chomping on strawberries in the dead of winter. 
It can get tricky, especially when I’m craving peaches and the mercury is registering at 9 degrees. That’s where home canning comes in so handy. If you take a little surplus when a fruit is in season and transform it into applesauce, whole peaches, or strawberry jam, you can enjoy its deliciousness year-round! 

Are there any fruits or vegetables that you only purchase either organically or seasonally? 

*Small Measure: Know when to shop organically. Like I mentioned before, not only does springing for organic produce protect the health or you and your family, it also protects the health of farm workers, an often over-looked yet essential link in the food supply chain. 

*Image from motherearthnews.com.

5 Responses to Just Peachy

  • Anonymous says:

    this is great

    thanks!

  • nicole says:

    i was just reading about this issue yesterday. now that we’re starting to see the early spring harvest come in at the grocery store, having a quick-reference list of where i should spend the extra dollars is really invaluable. thanks!

  • Hallie says:

    so important for more people to understand this. thank you for sharing
    this list!

  • Emily says:

    Good to see the ‘official’ list. I’ve heard that it’s okay to buy pineapples and bananas that aren’t certified since they don’t need pesticides. However, I would be less willing to try my luck on other items that tend to be sprayed heavily.
    I’m so happy spring is here. So much is, or will be soon, in season. I want some home made peach ice-cream!

  • Anonymous says:

    This is real peachy,Peaches! Count me in health first and then enjoy all the fresh fruit you can eat,can,preserve, or WHAT EVER!!!Mom