books

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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  • The pies @rorris, @jenathan and I helped baking goddess @bakerhands make today will be available for purchase tomorrow at the North Asheville Tailgate Market from 8-1 pm, along with tarts and bread. Trust me, you don't want to miss out. Set your alarm clocks now!
  • When @bakerhands put out a call two days ago asking for a few hours of baking help today, I pounced at the chance to spend some quality time with such a warm, wise lady. When I found out @rorris and @jenathan had offered the same thing, the deal became even sweeter. The four of us gathered at Smoke Signals Bakery in Marshall today to chat, chew, and chop. Three cheers for wonderful people, delicious food, and fostering community. Hip, hip, freaking HOORAY!!! What a stellar day. *I was in charge of apple pie filling prep today. Photo credit to @rorris for capturing my hella serious pie-making game face!!!
  • When your morning looks like this, you know you're off to a good start. Was introduced to the glorious donuts and conviviality at @holedoughnuts today. Mercy! Goodness abounds.
  • Finally, I bring you this
  • This next pie is a pumpkin-meets-tiramisu hybrid, my
  • Up next in pie recipes with a Thanksgiving vibe from my book
  • Trying to decide what desserts to make for Thanksgiving (we're hosting a big potluck,
  • Totally a long underwear, trains in front of the wood stove kind of evening. Stay warm out there, friends! Low of 15 here tonight, BRR!!!!
  • Very fun to find this spread in the @womansworkco catalogue that arrived with yesterday's mail. Thank to so very much, Dorian, for all of your support. I ADORE my @womansworkco gloves. Friends, if you're shopping for durable, beautiful gloves made in the U.S., look no further. I wear my @womansworkco gloves out to the chicken coop every morning and can't recommend them enough! Also, there's a giveaway of three autographed copies of my book
  • Romanesco as meditative object. These served as the gorgeous centerpiece on our table at last night's @rhubarbavl 1-year anniversary dinner. Stunning.
  • Still thinking about last noght's sensational @rhubarbavl 1-year anniversary dinner. We adore the restaurant and chef John Fleer's elegant yet approachable southern Appalachian cuisine. Last night's Sunday Supper featured @bentonsbacon, @cruzefarmgirl, and Jolley Farm. It was a meal I won't soon forget, especially on account of these @sunbursttrout filets wrapped in @bentonsbacon served atop brown butter braised Savoy cabbage (that cabbage changed my life, no joke!). Job well done, @rhubarbavl!

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classes

Let’s Raise Glasses Together! Beverage-Making Class!

Homemade Holiday Beverages Class

We are seriously moving into the holiday stretch of days, friends. I know that people have strong feelings about this time of year, many of them negative. As for the English household, though, we are all in. The three of us look forward to the stretch from Halloween to New Year’s Day with giddy anticipation and enthusiasm. From trick-or-treating to turkey carving, from winter solstice walks to cookie-baking, from selecting a tree to swilling eggnog, our household loves the holiday season. Clearly.

Our saving grace, I think, is that we do things simply. Our gifts are humble, our decor all-natural. When the trees drop their leaves, and the riot of color fades from the forested cove surrounding our mountain home, the landscape gets bleak, for months. To stave off a tandem dip in disposition and attitude, we bring nature and merriment indoors. From flickering votives to hot mugs of cocoa, we curl up inside (often in flannel p.j.’s), make things cozy, and get through the frostiest time of year by taking the abundance made manifest outdoors during the three other seasons inside.

Clearly, beverages factor into this time of year for us. I mentioned them twice above, and posted a photo on Instagram over the weekend of a Douglas fir needle, bourbon, lemon peel & juice, sorghum molasses, and nutmeg hot toddy we enjoyed at home Friday evening. We need to consume fluids all year, but during colder weather, when the air is dry and the humidity is low, we need them even more. If you’d like to learn a bit about making homemade holiday beverages, both for entertaining and for gifting, come out to Villagers in west Asheville this Sunday. The details for my class are above. We’ll sip, chat, and smile, together. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, if you let it be!

Write: Doe Bay

About four years ago, I wanted nothing more than to visit the Pacific Northwest. I’d been there once, for less than 12 hours, when I was traveling to San Francisco with my friend Bonner in the summer of 2002. We stayed overnight at a hostel in Portland and were up and out early the next morning. No, what I wanted was a full immersion. From the Columbia River Gorge to Astoria and Cannon Beach (Goonies!) right on up to the Olympic Peninsula and the San Juan Islands. So intense was my devotion and consuming desire of the PNW that I’d check the weather forecasts out there, especially when I was pregnant and it was sweltering here and I was miserable, but it was a cool, happy 72 degrees in July on Friday Harbor.

Well, friends. I’m here today to tell you that dreams really do come true. This October, I’m turning my compass (er, jet plane?) west, hopping on a plane (many planes, actually), and making my way to the place I have long dreamed of, pined for, and desired to tromp around in. Not only am I visiting it, though, the crowing glory is that I’ll be doing so while teaching. On Orcas Island. At a writer’s conference. Be still my heart.

The video above gives you a taste of what Write: Doe Bay is all about. Held at Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island, Washington,Write Fall will take place October 9-12, bringing together 25 participants and a handful of alumni. As detailed by the conference’s producers: “Through shared meals and shared housing, a new vision for a writer’s retreat will take place. Community will flourish, walls will break down and love will flow. The workshop bridges genre gaps along the feather of storytelling, where songwriting presents as poetry, poetry as memoir and memoir as narrative song. At Doe Bay, we are all storytellers and we all have a tale to unlock, whichever genre our words choose, and we’ll present the key to unlocking the raw narrative inside.” So, so good, right? Right.

Registration is about halfway full, so now is the time to claim the last few remaining spots. Myself, Claire Bidwell Smith, Jillian Lauren, and Daniel Blue will gather with Write participants to guide workshops in creative writing. While I’ve taught numerous classes on how to raise chickens, can preserves, make cheese, yogurt & butter, and create body care products, I’ve yet to actually teach about the craft of writing. This is a new direction for me, and one which I feel emboldened to embrace. I’m also wanting to dabble in other literary genres myself, and hope to learn a thing or two while there, in addition to teaching. The teacher is the student, and all that.

Come out to Orcas Island, if you can! I would so love to meet you! This event promises to be more than just a writer’s retreat in a gorgeous setting. From all I’ve seen and read, it looks like lives are changed here. Dare to dream, friends!

Home Dairy Class

Home Dairy Class
Do you enjoy the wonder and creaminess and deliciousness of dairy products? Want to learn more about them, and how to make them in your very own home kitchen? Yes, you do. Trust me, you very much do.

Well, your time is nigh! Come out to Villagers, in West Asheville (278 Haywood Rd., to be precise) and let’s dabble in all things dairy. Details are in the flyer above. Hope to see (and meet!) some of you there!

Into The Woods

Appalachian Forests
I’m still here! The rain didn’t carry me away. I wasn’t eaten by the bear on our property (the neighbors called last week, letting us know we’ve got ursine company). I didn’t fall into a ravine in our forests. I’ve simply been writing, elsewhere.

We leave on Saturday for a week in Cancun with my in-laws. My book manuscript is due August 1st. Between those two factors, and also the additional bit about tomorrow being my birthday and really wanting to head up to Pisgah Inn to stuff my face with pancakes while watching the fog roll past before going for a hike somewhere on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I’ve been spending a great deal of time clicking away on the keyboard. Just not here.

BUT, that’s not what I wanted to tell you about here. Really. I’m so not fond of whining, from myself, my toddler, or anyone, really. So, begone, pity! Hello, wonderful information!

Yes, friends. I’ve got some fun news to share. I’ve just sent in my first payment on a forest class of supreme and abiding awesomeness (not its real working name). From its Facebook page, here are the details:

 

MEET OUR APPALACHIAN FORESTS
Come Meet the Plants, Trees, Mushrooms, Birds, Insects, and many astounding beings of our forests!

*Designed to deepen our relationships with the life on our vibrant planet, and to grow our awareness of the special place we live, and our ability to steward it!

*The Forest will be our primary classroom and you can expect to discover new lush and resplendent trails and wild spots around the greater Asheville area.

*Runs two Saturdays a month – August through November, with an optional camp out.

*Our major focuses will be on Trees, Plants, Fungi, their ID, uses and roles in Southern Appalachian Ecosystems. Additional lectures/focuses will include: Birds and Bird Language, an Introduction to Insects, Mosses & Lichens, Key Principles of Ecology, and ,of course, Edible and Medicinal Uses of Forest Species.

*This class meets at the Asheville Botanical Gardens from where we will drive out to forest locations around Asheville.

*Details: About every other Saturday for 7 Saturdays as follows: Aug 17th and 31st, September 7th and 21st, October 12 and 26th and finally our Camp Out Nov 16th and Sunday the 17th.

*Tuition is $300.00, payment plan available.

*Space is limited to 12 students Please register soon!

*To Register: Please call: 804-384-2908 or email to: learningdeer@gmail.com. Checks may be made out to Luke Cannon, and mailed to: 47 Camelfield Rd, Weavervillle, NC 28787 after you have been confirmed.

 

Supreme and abiding awesomeness, yes? YES! I’d love to meet some small measure readers at this class. How wonderful to explore our stomping grounds together! If you do sign up, tell Luke I sent you, and that we’re super pumped!!!!

Class Act

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Hi friends! Want to chat chickens and canning, all up close and personal like? Let’s! Do! It! I’ll be teaching classes on both topics over the summer, and would love to meet some of you kind, dear small measure readers real time. Here’s the details for what, when, where, and why (you already know the “who” ;^) ):

 

What: Backyard Chickens Workshop (UPDATE 6/27: This class has been cancelled). 
When: June 27th, 6-8 p.m., $25/person
Where: Small Terrain, 278 Haywood Rd., Asheville, NC 28806, 828/215-9569
Why: Interested in keeping a flock of backyard chickens? This workshop will give you the low-down on all that’s involved. From what to consider in advance, to determining the right breed for your specific needs, to obtaining, feeding, housing, and caring for your flock,  we’ll discuss the nuts and bolts of “chicken-tendering.”

 

What: Canning & Preserving Workshop
When: July 28th, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Free
Where: Williams-Sonoma, 10 Brook St., #140, Asheville, NC 28803, 828/277-3707
Why: Want a quick & dirty introduction to the basics of water bath canning? Then this is the class for you. We’ll chat about the fundamentals of what it takes to create jam and pickles. Attendees will take home a 4-ounce jar of jam. I will have copies of my book, Canning & Preserving with Ashley English, on hand to sell and sign. The class is free, but space is limited to 30. To reserve a space, call the store. Workshop attendees will receive 10% off any purchases made at the store the day of.

 

What: Canning & Preserving Workshop
When: July 31st, 6-8 p.m., $25/person
Where: Small Terrain, 278 Haywood Rd., Asheville, NC 28806, 828/215-9569
Why: Want to chat about all things home canning, from overcoming your fears of pressure canning to learning what makes a jam set? This workshop is for you! We’ll do a hand’s on class, creating and canning pickles or jam (not sure which yet!) together.