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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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  • 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!!!
  • Saturdays are for French toast on the porch with @glennbenglish and Huxley Wild while rain showers wash over the cove. || Used @farmandsparrow's Heritage Corn Bread and @oldworldlevain's Double Raisin & Flax Bread to make cardamom French toast, served alongside butter, maple syrup, and Hominy Valley Organic Farm strawberries, all washed down with hibiscus iced tea (our warm weather cold beverage go-to).
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Recent Acquisitions

If you’ve been reading this little blog of mine for any length of time, you know I’m the sort of gal that typically likes to make things herself. Which is to say, I’d rather gather my own eggs, extract my own honey, make my own floor cleaner, and simmer my own mug of chai than purchase them. Sometimes, though, something comes along that gives me pause, makes me take note, and, on occasion, decide to go ahead and pony up the cash for the other guy’s version.

When Jen and I were recently shooting the images for my Homemade Irish Cream post on Design Sponge, she asked for a sip. Apparently she liked it, as her nearly immediate reply after taking a taste was “Trade ya some lavender bath products for a bottle!” Since my beauty regimen is super simple (apply SkinFare, morning and evening, wash my face with warm water, etc.), I was initially a bit leery of what these products might deliver, in terms of both ingredients and quality.

Jen, however, knows her stuff. She’s got a great eye for natural skin care and a beautiful complexion to prove it. After we finished shooting, she opened up a sample bottle of lavender salve, I took a whiff, read the ingredient listing, put some on my hands, and knew I’d found a winner.

Ever since, each night just before bed, I rub a bit of salve onto my lips and across my hands. The scent is perfectly balanced, not too heady with lavender like some products can be, and not so subtle that you’re nearly pressing your face into the product to find even the faintest whiff. The texture is creamy and substantive, just what you want to protect hands, elbows, and any other exposed bits during the ravages of winter (and beyond).

Jen carries these products, from New Mexico-based spa Los Poblanos, in her fantastically curated shop of leather goods, jewelry, and apothecary items, Cisthene. Here’s a description of the spa, from her site:

Los Poblanos is a historic inn, spa and organic farm in New Mexico. Their unique spa products are made from lavender from their own fields on a 1932 Garland stove. Lavender is one of the most ancient, and trusted homeopathic treatments for stress relief, restful nights and easing headaches.

Formulated by Los Poblanos owner, Penny Rembe to heal her rough gardener’s hands, this salve is a “miracle cream” and has rightfully earned cult-like status among beauty editors. Use it on rough hands, elbows and knees – it also soothes burns and insect bites. Rub on temples to relieve headaches or under the nose for insomnia. Made with beeswax, jojba oil, shea butter and lavender oil.

Like I said, I’m typically the DIY type. Some things, though, are just better left to the professionals. This little discovery is one of them. I invite you to check out Los Poblanos’ lavender line. I’ve taken to calling it “Ms. Jen’s Cream with Nite-Nite Juice” to Huxley. He approves just as much as I do.

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