So much green here in the cove! We finally got a much needed rain shower this past weekend. Right this very minute, as well. It’s thundering outside, the sky is ominous, and my German Shepherd, Fly, who is otherwise ferocious at defending us (and herself) from perceived threats, is a hot mess, curled up under my feet, whimpering and pawing at me. Sorry, furry buddy, but we need this. Let it rain!
Here’s a quick little smattering of this and that’s that caught my attention this weekend:
*Roasted strawberries. Sacrilege or brillance? I’m going with brilliance!
*Research proves that women who live surrounded by nature live longer. Therefore, I shall live forever.
*Because I can never get enough natural oral hygiene tips in my life, here are 4 natural remedies for a healthy mouth.
*Speaking of books, completely intrigued by From the Forest: A Search For the Hidden Roots Of Our Fairy Tales.
*I just want to give Birkenstock a big old “I LOVE YOU!” shout out. It’s been warm enough lately for sandals, and I’ve been wearing the Birks I bought last year all weekend. They’re the first I’ve ever owned, and they are, without question, some of the best shoes I’ve ever had the pleasure of sliding my feet into. Customer for life from now on.
*My friend Valerie has the loveliest little tooth pillows for lost teeth for sale in her Etsy shop. Perfect for tucking under pillows in anticipation of a certain nocturnal fairy!
*I’m as equally thrilled about treating my mom to brunch at Knife & Fork for Mother’s Day as I am about treating myself to brunch there!
*Speaking of Mother’s Day, Wake Foot Spa in downtown Asheville would be a lovely gift for the mamas in your life. I went last month for the first time, with my friend Maria, and then I took my mom there for her birthday a few weeks ago. It is simply divine. Huge copper bowls filled with a foot soak of your choice. Hot neck wraps. Foot and lower leg massages (for an additional fee). Chill vibes. Hot teas. You booked your reservation yet?
Off to finish cooking for tonight’s meeting of my monthly Feel Good Book Club. We read The Invention of Wings, by beloved author Sue Monk Kidd, and are building a potluck around low-country foods. I’ve made a creamy rice pudding with orange zest and nutmeg, and am now heading to the kitchen to cook up some Gullah-inspired butter and bacon grease braised cabbage. Tonight’s meeting is going to be beyond.
From my home to yours, here’s hoping the week ahead is a great one!
I’m beyond excited to be partnering with Wild Abundance next month during a weeklong course on cooking ancestral foods. Located on beautiful land in the mountains of western North Carolina, we’ll gather to share and discuss ways of cooking and incorporating nutrient dense foods into our lives. Here’s how Wild Abundance describes the class:
“As we come back to the land, we understand how sacred and vital nutritious food is to our health and well-being. The Appalachian Mountains offer an abundance of natural culinary herbs and medicinals, and this cooking class will teach you how to identify, use and prepare seasonal foods, as well as the nutrient-dense plants and weeds eagerly growing in your own backyard. You’ll also learn the power of fermented dishes for your gut health and gain experience in the basics of butchery, charcuterie (preserving, fermenting and storing meat), as well as the joys of raw foods and sprouting and of making your own cheese and yogurt. It will be a unique farm-to-table experience you won’t want to miss.”
Here’s a listing of the classes being offered:
*Wild Foods Foraging and Cookery, with Natalie Bogwalker
*Making Bone Broth and Cooking with It, with Natalie Bogwalker
*Herb Gardening, with Juliet Blankespoor
*Fermented Foods: How to Make Kimchi, Kraut, Pickled Veggies and Mead, with Marissa Percoco
*How to Butcher a Chicken, with Meredith Leigh
*Beyond the Flavor of Herbs and Spices: Using Food as Medicine, with Juliet Blankespoor
*Nutrition, the Paleo Diet and Whole Foods, with Kaleb Wallace
*Raw Food, Living Food, and Integrating Them into a Diet for Vibrant Health, with Katherine Clark
*Home Butchery & Charcuterie, with Meredith Leigh
*Simple Kitchen Gardening: Farm to Table in Your Own Back Yard, with Becky Beyer
*Food Preservation and Food Storage Methods: Canning, Freezing, Pickling and Drying Food from the Garden and the Wild, with Natalie Bogwalker
*Dairy Fermentation: How to Make Cheese and Yogurt, with Ashley English
*Quench: Homemade Beverages of Both the Sinful and Sweet Variety, with Ashley English
So good, right?! Join us! We begin the afternoon of Sunday, May 22nd and conclude Friday, May 27th (I’ll be teaching my two classes on Thursday afternoon, May 26th). All of the details for the class can be found here, along with instructor bios, descriptions of individual classes, and recommended lodging, for those coming from out-of-town.
There are also several scholarships available, offering 1/2 off the cost of tuition. If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org answering the following questions:
1. Your name
2. Describe your passion for learning about food
3. Detail how you will apply what you are learning
4. Describe why you financially need the scholarship
This weeklong class promises to be glorious one. Hope to see some of you there!
Let’s eat, and drink, and be merry together! The lovely M. Judson Books in Greenville, SC is putting together a book signing and dinner in honor of “Handmade Gatherings” and I’d love to see you there, if you can make it. They’re partnering up with The Chocolate Moose Cupcake & Dessert Bar for a Sunday Sit Down Supper on May 15th from 7:00-9:00 pm. Tickets to the event include:
*A copy of one of my books
*A favor or two
*A four-course meal with wine pairings from the menus in Handmade Gatherings
The menu looks scrumptious, and includes several recipes from the book:
*Pistachio-Crusted Asparagus with Feta Vinaigrette
*Anne Marie’s Chicken Pot Pie
*Local Strawberry Pavlova
Tickets to the event are $75 per ticket, and can be purchased here.
I’ll also be at the bookstore at 4 pm, for a book signing and casual meet & greet. If you’re in the area, please do drop by. I give good hugs and like talking to strangers.
Looking forward to sharing and supping with you next month!
Here’s a little smattering of this and that’s that caught my attention online recently:
*The next big thing in American regional cooking: Humble Appalachia. These are my familial culinary roots, friends!
*Speaking of southern fare, Southern Provisions sounds like seasoned, sage read on the topic. The topic is on my mind these days, all day, every day, as I’m currently at work on my 9th book, which is all about, you guessed it, southern foods!
*Skrap Monkey is a repurposed functional and decorative scrap metal line from Asheville artist Mark Scheiferstein. I am totally smitten with his jewelry. I picked up a little “treat yo’self” pair of his earrings downtown at Boutique Lp for a mere $28. Re-purposed, beautiful, and affordable=the holy trinity of jewelry purchases.
*While I was treating myself to Skrap Monkey’s earrings, I also saw this moon phase cuff from Jenny Bird. It’s totally on my future “treat yo’self” list and will one day be mine. Mark my words. ~Word from the wise: when you sign up on Jenny Bird’s newsletter, you get a code for $20 off your first purchase.
*The Bee Man Candle Company‘s spring beeswax candles are well-made, all-natural, and adorable.
*Lavender Lemon Sandwich Cookies. Perfect for Mother’s Day, Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Graduation Parties, or Tuesday afternoon.
*I only just learned about Numen: The Healing Power of Plants. Ready to dive in and learn more about a topic that, to me, feels like the obvious thing we all keep missing.
I’m about to close up my laptop and pack up my picnic basket. The flowers are in bloom at Biltmore and I intend to picnic with friends amongst them!
Wherever you go this weekend, whatever you do, and whomever you do it with, may it be grand!
*This little guy is who his dad and I dig the most. Sometimes it’s hard being a parent. Really hard. Extremely hard. Like when he’s losing his cool and I’m trying so hard to hang onto mine (because, honestly, loosing it and yelling NEVER elicits the response I, or anyone, wants). But, ultimately, parenting has made me a better person. Being Huxley’s mom has helped me to be more patient, more empathic, more compassionate, and in less of a hurry. It’s the hardest job with the biggest payoff. It’s shocking that he’s nearly 5 1/2. I adore being a mother, despite its challenges; perhaps on account its challenges, actually. Growing and maturing and working towards becoming a better person is worth the work.