A Year of Picnics


The Essential Book of Homesteading















  • Yesterday was hard When I arrived at the NICU forhellip
  • In the past 19 days since Alistair was born wehellip
  • Two days before Alistair was born my dear friend andhellip
  • Thank you oldworldlevain for being such a place of refugehellip
  • When Huxley met Alistair For the first time since Aprilhellip
  • The underlying mission of all of the work glennbenglish andhellip
  • As the saying goes some days youre the horse andhellip
  • Alistairs home away from home What Ive taken to callinghellip
  • When Huxley was a few months old I found ahellip
  • Our lil shrimp did well overnight! His labs from 10hellip
  • Today I intend to snuggle my two sons eat Pascahellip
  • I am a deeply devoted homebody Id rather be tuckedhellip
my sponsors
budha hill natural toysImagine Childhood
Imagine ChildhoodBlissful Belly
Sponsorship Information
blog archive
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

Southern Comfort

I love entertaining. I really do. Hubs often jokes that I’m always planning my next party, and he’s pretty accurate in that observation. To me, nothing beats a house overflowing with guests, delicious food and abundant laughter.

That said, pulling off a big shindig oneself can often be prohibitive, for a number of reasons. The largest concern for many lies in the cost of feeding a multitude of your nearest and dearest. In short, it gets pricey-fast. Enter the potluck. Long a favorite means of entertaining chez English, the potluck is the working persons solutions to entertaining. You do some work, your friends do some work, and everyone walks away happy (and stuffed!).

This past Wednesday, I had the exquisite pleasure of hosting a southern foods “Ribs & Sides” potluck for the lovely and imminently talented Jen Altman (she professed ribs her favorite food). Along with a group of friends, we festooned Jen and her gorgeous girls with a feast fit for a queen and her court.

Here’s the haul:
*The Genevieve (in honor of the birthday lady): a mixture of St. Germaine & cava, topped with wild violets from our property
*A Southern crudite platter featuring: Pickled Asparagus & Thyme, Chinese  5-Spice pickles, Chipotle Okra, Curried Okra, and Pickled Lemon Cucumbers, served alongside aged English cheddar, my Cardamom Apple Butter and woven wheat crackers
*Deviled Eggs adorned with pickled mustard seeds
*Ribs, two ways: baby-back and shoulder, both in a sorghum barbeque sauce (the shoulder ribs were from the incredible Asheville butcher The Chop Shop-if you haven’t gone yet, do.).
*Fried Okra
*Jalapeno Corn Pudding
*Slow-cooked Collards with Bacon (served with vinegar table-side, naturally)
*Dilly Coleslaw
*Sauteed Green Beans
*And for dessert, Katie Quinn Davies’ Guinness Cake

Have mercy. It was truly an epic feast. And made possible entirely on account of the love, generosity, and elbow grease of a community of gifted friends. Jen, we are SO happy to have you in our lives, in our hearts, and, most of all, in Asheville!!!

10 Responses to Southern Comfort

  • jen says:

    So nice to read this–sounds like an awesome meal! And I love St. Germain.

  • I am an avid entertainer and an avid believer in all things potluck. For Easter this year we picnicked under the stars with friends. It was a last minute gathering. A text to everyone saying “bring a dish…lets close out the holiday weekend together!”.
    Love your blog. Just stumbled across it today.
    Blessings from Lexington~

  • Melissa says:

    OH. MY. GOODNESS. You had me at fried okra and deviled eggs. And then you throw in some collards… Nothing like true southern comfort food.

  • Lauren says:

    I second that, Melissa. The fried okra looks awesome!

    Can't wait until they invent scratch and sniff/scratch and taste internet…

  • El Gaucho says:

    I will echo the other comments, that fried okra looks really good. A well done meal indeed.

  • Dixie says:

    Thanks for your timely tip on The Chop Shop. While we are visiting Asheville, we wondered where we could go to get natural meats. Planning on going there today to get something for the grill!

  • I love to're right, there is nothing better than good food, good conversation and a house full of laughter…bliss

  • rebecca says:

    Fried okra! (Yes, another fan.) I get a little bowl of it every time we go the K&W on our infrequent x-country visits to NC to see family. I know, it's the cafeteria version, but it's still very close to my heart.

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • How in the world did I miss your blog? I love it, and your views and philosophy about food and life!