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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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  • Good people, it is 73 degrees today! I've opened almost all of the windows in the house and am spotting daffodils triumphantly ready to unfurl all over the knob our house sits on. @glennbenglish served this reuben with @chopshopbutchers pork pastrami, homemade Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut for lunch as a strong breeze swept thru the house and shook things up. YESSSSSS!
  • Clowning around. || Huxley tried out Tiny Tots Circus Playtime at Toy Boat Art Collective today and really enjoyed it!
  • Chatting about existentialism, and contradicting ourselves, and winter over on small measure today. || Into the woods behind our house.
  • Players gonna play. Huxley and his buddy Bay, doing their little guy thing today at the perennially lovely @thencarboretum.
  • The garden got blanketed with what I'm hoping was winter's last gasp this past week. I'm ready for those snow-covered strawberry beds in the foreground to start putting out juicy fruits, for Huxley to dig in his sandbox again, for cocktails at sunset on the pergola, and for conversing with soil and seeds once more. Spring is coming. Really started to feel it this weekend.
  • Scotch eggs of supreme deliciousness can be had on the regular at @kingjamesavl. @glennbenglish and I savored these beauties today alongside dirty rice fritters, gumbo with poutine, and @sunbursttrout smoked trout dip, all wonderful. There was also a pint of Appalachian Brewery porter that I have to have more of. Oh, and old school White Stripes on rotation. Great food, great atmosphere.
  • Confession: until last night, I had never had honest to goodness snow cream. @glennbenglish whipped up a tasty batch with vanilla and nutmeg, and we enjoyed it alongside @oldworldlevain's heavenly frangipane tartlettes with fresh cranberries, orange peel, and cinnamon. Snow-pretty AND tasty.
  • Scattered, smothered, and covered. Snowy day in the cove!
  • We three Englishes do so very much love snow. Forecast to receive between 3-6 inches tonight! @glennbenglish captured Huxley and I taking in the view on his way back to the house after locking up the chickens.
  • Woke up to overnight snowfall, always a treat. Then heard from my neighbor Lynn, a licensed massage & bodywork therapist, that the snow was preventing her from getting in to her clients in town and, as a result, she had an opening in her schedule and could give me a massage. Whenever she travels, I pet-sit her cat Sophie, and in exchange she trades me a massage. Not only is she a seriously stellar masseuse, she also is an aromatherapist, a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner (a kind of Japanese acupressure technique), and is certified in neuromuscular therapy. So when I get a massage from her, I receive this healing trifecta involving scent, body, and spirit. Plus, in all honesty, I feel like this woman is actually imbuing my body with love when she works on me. I left her house feeling light and bright, and nourished. She has offices in Asheville and Johnson City, TN (the home massages are reserved for family and neighbors!). If you're looking for a rich, wonderful, deeply healing massage, please consider Lynn. You can find her information at www.lynnbernatsky.com. || I passed our bamboo grove and its tiny creek on my walk over to Lynn and Steve's; it somehow spoke to me of good things in store.
  • Woke up to this view. Some kind of wonderful!
  • Spotted Quench in the wild today.Always a thrill to see my books out in the big world, and rubbing elbows with friends @thejoyofcooking, no less!
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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.