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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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  • 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).
  • A visit today to farmer Tom Kousky of neighboring Hominy Valley Organic Farm yielded: flats of flowers (geraniums, celosia, and marigolds); starts of pickling cukes, zucchini, and yellow squash; 12 basil plants; two bundles of asparagus; a bunch of spinach; a bunch of radishes; two bunches of beets; and two pints of strawberries. The obvious way to celebrate all of this goodness was to blend up some strawberry milkshakes. Happy weekending, everyone!
  • Happy Friday, friends! New
  • This was work today. Sweet, delicious, patio-consumed work. Shrimp & grits, for the win.
  • It's the time, of the season. || Recipe for my
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Recent Acquisitions

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Alright, friends. Here it comes. Full disclosure time. All of my holiday decorations are still up. As in, the tree, the felt ornaments on the mantel, the pictures of Huxley with Santa, the globe lights in the dining room. All of it. It’s still on display in pretty near every room of the house.

Lest you think I’m lazy, let me assure you, that’s so, so not the case. The thing is, I really love holiday decorations, or, at least the simple, natural type of winter holiday decorating that I’m drawn to. After all of that glorious build-up to the big day, and the decorating, and the festooning, and the “Let’s go turn on the lights on the tree, Huxley” excitement that has characterized our last 6 or 7 weeks, packing it all up and hiding it away in the attic until next year feels so, well, sad, and anticlimactic.

That is, until today. This morning, I could feel the tide begin to turn, the pull of the rest of winter’s magic starting to build. A large part of that is due to my thumbing through Beautiful Winter. I picked this book up just before Thanksgiving, in a holiday sale at a book club I belong to. I’ve had it on a side table in the living room, looking pretty but otherwise neglected. In between working on manuscript edits today, I glanced over at it and picked it up.

And there it was, the other part of winter decor that I love so very much. Bulbs! Branches! Evergreens! This book is just what I needed to get me out of my “BUT I LOVE THE CHRISTMAS TREE” rut and into a bulb-planting, branch-forcing, twig-gathering groove. It’s full of fun projects, many of them that I know will serve as prompts and catalysts for interpretations of my own.

Here’s wishing you a beautiful winter of your own, and, if you opt to leave your holiday lights up year-round, then know that you’ve got a friend in me!

8 Responses to Recent Acquisitions

  • Lindsay says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing this year! Why did I put it all away? Could I repurpose that evergreen wreath outside? I almost stole red berried berries from the highway exit to take home!

  • Chris & Skip says:

    Our stuff is still up too. We were safe until Dia De Los Reyes—the Three Kings Day—January 6 but now we’re heading into Mrs. Havisham’s territory. Looking forward to clearing out the Christmas clutter this weekend. We have forced bulbs narcissus bursting free but your images have me wanting hyacinth too. And tulips! Hey don’t forget to look outdoors. I saw buds on the flowering quince bushes and winter honeysuckle is popping out (and very fragrant) a couple of places I’ve passed on my walks. Bet after this weekend’s heatwave the forsythia will be ready to come inside too.

  • jen says:

    I left it up until New Years and then it all came down. My neighbor got my chicken tree which they cut up and are using as chicken bedding. :)
    I love the holidays but i’m also a minimalist at heart. After all the swag and lights and merriment in every room and seemingly on every surface, I do enjoy the return to our simple and clean decor. Though by looking at those photos, I think my rooms could stand a little sprucing up!

  • Elaine says:

    We usually keep our tree up until the eve of La Befana, but this year we got ours early and it was way to dry for my comfort, so it came down on the 2nd. I do still have my wreath, winter altar and lots of twinkle lights (which yes, I leave up year round:) they make me happy! That book looks lovely, lots of inspiration for decorating!

  • Aimee (EcoGrrl) says:

    Heh. My neighbor across the street has different lights for each holiday – their Valentine’s Day lights will be going up soon. Nothin’ wrong with lights – I love quiet neighborhood streets lined with white lights :)

  • Betty Minnes says:

    The book looks great! I love the forced bulbs. We get so much winter here that a person gets anxious for new growth.

  • Lacy says:

    Haha, the timing! We just took our tree down about an hour ago. My husband and I are expecting our first baby next month, and I think that made us want to leave our tree up forever since this was the best Christmas we’ve shared so far. I love the mental image of you turning the lights on for Huxley… I bet Christmas just gets better with a baby around, huh? :)