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A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • The gleaners. || Yesterday, our land served as the location for a foraging class led by wild foods expert Alan Muskat. So many edibles here, constantly changing with the seasons.
  • Asheville area folks: Come on over to @forvillagers at 7 pm tonight to hear @gardenbetty talk about her new book,
  • When dinner is served al fresco on the patio, at sunset, in a watermelon bowl, then my heart smiles. || Egg noodles, NC shrimp and pea shoot-arugula-basil pesto topped with nasturtium leaves, sage flowers, and chive blossoms. Nearly summertime and the living is easy.
  • When your afternoon involves chilling inside the Asheville Salt Cave with 7 of your nearest and dearest and your collective 4 kiddos, and your night involves celebrating one of their birthday's with a fajita feast and @glennbenglish's phenomenal spring sangria (with watermelon and strawberries and honeysuckle blooms that I picked), then you know that today has been an extraordinarily good day.
  • Spicy pork dumplings from @ganshanstation, I love you. While everything I've tried here has been seriously stellar, @procain's dumpling situation is worth the visit alone. So, so good!
  • Here's what I did today: hopped in the car, drove about a mile over to Hominy Valley Organic Farm, and got down to strawberry-picking business. I filled a flat for $18 (at $3/pound). If you live in the area and are looking for delicious, organic, U-pick strawberries, come see Farmer Tom Monday-Friday after 2 pm. Tell him I sent ya! Now, on to jam, and Popsicles, and pie, and galette, and pickled strawberries, and more! ??????
  • Pretty much ANY time is a good time for pickles, especially now that I've added @foodinjars delicious Quick Pickled Strawberries to the mix. Sublime!
  • You're in my heart, you're in my soul.
  • A testament to the power of social media: saw @holedoughnuts post an image of their Buttermilk Cardamom Black Pepper donut this morning, ate lunch, and then made the 20 minute drive over to enjoy some in person with @glennbenglish and Huxley!  Completely worth it. So, so good!!!
  • It's not a significant thing, nothing major. Just a walk down the driveway to gather the mail. But when I do it with Huxley, and we stop to say
  • Hominy Creek, doing its spring thang. || View from our mailbox.
  • Attended my first ever handmade/homemade swap yesterday, at a friend's sweet home in Black Mountain. SO much goodness, all thoughtfully and lovingly made. Huxley came with me and ran around with the kiddos while the swap took place. I contributed these little jars of rosemary honey, which @glennbenglish artfully topped with straw-blown watercolorings. Such a great afternoon with like-minded friends and fellow mamas! Thank you so, so much for hosting, Amanda!!!
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Onion, Orange & Thyme Relish

This month’s Tigress’ Can Jam was all about alliums. I should know. I choose the topic (after a bit of consulting with Mrs. Tigress herself). My mad, wild, frenzied schedule had me down to the wire, working feverishly to get my recipe in by midnight tonight. I did it, though, folks, my burning eyes a testament to my allium accomplishment.

I didn’t go necessarily big or bold or molecularly gastronomic with this month’s challenge. I simply made something that used alliums, sounded delicious, accommodated my schedule, and rendered an end product that hubs and I would definitely eat. Onion & Thyme relish seemed just the thing. Using a recipe adapted from this book, I tweaked the ingredients a bit, substituting thyme for tarragon and tossing in some orange zest because it sounded delicious.

Looking forward to this olfactory arousing concoction to work its way into all sorts of dishes over the next year. Happy Allium-ing, ya’ll!

Onion, Orange & Thyme Relish
adapted from Blue Ribbon Preserves

You will need:

-8 c. chopped onions
-1 Tbsp. pickling salt
-1 c. granulated sugar
-1 3/4 c. red wine vinegar
-1 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 Tbsp. fresh)
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 Tbsp. fresh orange zest

To make:
1) Layer 4 cups of the chopped onions in a large bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 of the salt over them. Top off with remaining onions and then cover with last bit of salt.
2) Stir with a wooden spoon or clean hands. Cover loosely with a cloth and set aside at room temperature for 4 hours.
3) At the end of 4 hours, drain onions in a colander. No need to rinse them, simply press with the back of a large spoon to remove any excess liquid.
4) Sterilize 4 pint-sized mason jars, lids, and screw rings. Fill a canner or large stockpot with water and set over medium-high heat. Bring just to boiling point. Place lids in a small saucepan, fill with water, bring to a boil, turn off heat, remove from stovetop, and set aside.
5) While your canner works towards boiling, combine the sugar, vinegar, thyme, orange zest and garlic in a large saucepan or stockpot. Heat gradually over medium-low heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Bring heat to medium-high until mixture comes to a boil.
6) Add onions to syrup, reduce heat to medium, stir to combine thoroughly, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
7) Remove sterilized jars from canner; place jars on top of a kitchen cloth on the counter. With the help of a canning funnel, fill jars with onion relish, reserving 1/2-inch headspace.
8) Use a non-metallic spatula to remove any trapped air bubbles and wipe rims clean with a damp cloth. Place on lids and screw bands, tightening only until fingertip-tight.
9) Using a jar lifter, place jars in canner. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath (remember, don’t begin to count your processing time until the water is at a constant, rapid boil). Adjust for altitude, as needed.
10) Remove the jars from the canner. Check that a proper seal has formed (lids should become concave, you’ll have heard a popping sound, and the lids should remain attached to the jar when lifted without screw band).
11) Take off screw bands, wipe jars dry, and store in a cool, dark location. Use within one year.

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