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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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Sips & Reads

I picked up a bottle of this Lenoir, NC-made apple brandy the other day. It’s created using N.C. apples in a 110 year-old carriage house in downtown Lenoir, and aged in white oaks barrels. I haven’t cracked it open yet, but I’m pretty excited to do so. Any of you have a preferred means of imbibing apple brandy? On the rocks? Mixed with sparkling cider? Chilled?


Meanwhile, after wrapping up this series last week, I’ve begun reading Kurt Timmermeister’s Growing A Farmer: How I Learned To Live Off the Land. The book tells the candid tale of the author’s transition from owner of a small 4-top cafe in Seattle to proprietor of a 13-acre dairy farm (Kurtwood Farms) and creamery. I’m totally smitten with the book so far and look forward every night to when the monkey pictured above finally turns in (he’s not going down until 10:30-ish lately-sheesh!) to jump back into its inspired pages.

Plus, I just checked the 10-day forecast for Vashon Island and, well, it’s pretty much my idea of heaven. Maybe someday we’ll make the transition to the west coast. The humidity alone around here lately is enough to make me point my compass due west.


11 Responses to Sips & Reads

  • I really want to read Growing a Farmer! I heard an interview with the author on NPR and it sounded like it would be in my wheel house.

    If you have any other book recommendations, that would make a great post! :)

    -Crystal

  • Alison says:

    Love the apple brandy! Is it available in AVL or do we need to go to Lenoir? We use it most often to improve one of our not-quite-right homemade hard ciders. A lovely, more-formal drink is the Autumn Orchard. The recipe is at Bon Appetit: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/11/the_autumn_orchard

    Thanks for the book recommendation, too! Sounds right up my alley.

  • alison-i picked up my bottle from the abc store in enka. i think you can find it in asheville, too.

  • Alison says:

    Great! One other drink idea: Stone Fence Punch from Mark Rosenstein's wonderful book, In Praise of Apples. It's great in the fall when fresh apple juice abounds and it works as a hot or cold drink.

  • Anita says:

    I've never had apple brandy, but I've heard it's rather good…might have to try to locate a bottle myself. Am definitely going to check out the book. Hope you have a lovely week.

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh my goodness, Walker just found us some apple brandy. More importantly, what a fantastic picture of the little man :D

  • Anonymous says:

    I have read “Growing a Farmer” and enjoyed it too. I live on Puget Sound very near Vashon Island which made it more interesting. The weather has been cooler than our usual summer weather here (my tomatoes are currently green marbles and I still have some spinach growing) but we're still glad we're not experiencing what most of the rest of the country is. It really is beautiful here.

  • elisa rathje says:

    if your apple brandy holds out til winter, when i was cooking at river cottage in icy january we'd take a break in the morning for a cup of cocoa with a healthy dose of cider apple brandy. glorious. x

  • Loved that book!! Hmmm…apple brandy. Sounds interesting.

  • k a t says:

    Let me tell you, that forecast is the warmest we've seen this Summer! Not that I want 100+, but we've barely reached 70 most days. Doesn't seem like Summer at all and don't get me started on the garden…

    I'll be in NY soon for a trip and complaining about the heat I'm sure. :)

  • Jen S. says:

    When I have the chance to get on the computer I enjoy reading your blog. I just had to leave a quick comment here to let you know mmyou have a great blog.

    I also read Growing a Farmer, I really loved it! I hope you enjoy it as well.