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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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  • Today was a good day. This view, from the top of our road, certainly helped make it so.
  • I think the 48-hour flu I've been fighting has finally succumbed to my assault of grapefruit seed extract, osha root, propolis, elderberry syrup, Oscillococinum, apple cider vinegar, rose hips, hibiscus, ginger/lemon/honey/cayenne tea, and neti pot with goldenseal tincture. I don't take getting sick sitting down. And now, a winter storm, possibly. Bring it, I say. Happy weekending, friends!!!
  • This guy.
  • I've been waiting, for a book like this, to come into my life. Whoa. Picked this up a few weeks ago at @screendoorasheville as a New Year's gift to @glennbenglish. Just started reading it myself and it couldn't possibly be more of what I need to see, right now. Completely on point, wholly attuned to what I'm presently sensing and curious about and inspired by, and infinitely humbling.
  • Warm enough today to play soccer down in our lower field, do a bit of weeding in the garden, and push a nearly-too-big 4 year-old in his
  • New year, new moons, new calendars. Right on, right on.
  • @shelterprotectsyou has been posting images of the wedding she and @sheltercollective had here in September all week. They built this altar for the ceremony, and it's still here, just past the house, on the way to the chicken coop. We pass it every day. Some days, I casually note its beauty and the way it feels like an outdoor church here in our forested cove. Other days I barely register it as I scurry about, doing this and that around the property. Today, though, in the stark, grey, drizzly setting, it was quietly regal. Happy to have had her visuals prompt me to stop, look, and listen to this physical testament to love.
  • The chickens told me they much prefer the rain this week to last week's frigid weather, thank you very much. I couldn't agree more.
  • These potatoes @tableasheville changed my culinary life. They called them hash browns, but they were unlike any I'd had before. Par-baked perhaps, smashed into halves I'm guessing, and then roasted and maybe finished with a quick fry in the skillet and scattered with large sea salt granules? Whatever the method, the result was a creamy, yellow center and a crispy, salty exterior. Quite possibly the best hash browns I've ever had.
  • This caramelized cinnamon citrus
  • I went on a kid-free date today with @glennbenglish! And we talked about grown up things, without interruption from a 4 year-old (except for when Glenn was talking about something important and I interrupted to tell him a man had just walked by with two hooks for hands, because, hooks for hands)!! And we went to @tableasheville and it was completely delicious!!! So many !!!! Brunch date might just be my new favorite thing.
  • If you need me over the next few days, I'll be here. Cold weather coming, friends, bundle up out there!!!

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entree

Kiss My Grits (& Shrimp!)


Although I now live in the mountains, I’ve spent a good chunk of my life by the sea, too. Living in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, VA from age 1 1/2-8 with a beach-loving mom, then again from age 13-15 on the Florida panhandle (Destin, Fl specifically where we lived directly across the street from the Gulf of Mexico), and one last time from age 16-18 on the coast of N.C, I’ve developed a love of sun, surf, sand, and seafood over the years.

I adore seafood in all its assorted and sundry incarnations. I will eat mussels, oysters, crab, and fish of every persuasion at any meal, any day. I do hold a special place in my heart, though, for shrimp. Coastal N.C. boasts a thriving shrimping community and having the pleasure of sampling it on a regular basis left an indelible mark on me.

So, when Glenn came home from the market the other day with market fresh N.C. shrimp, I knew good things were in store. Today I’m offering up a recipe for our take on shrimp and grits. A low-country staple (low-country in this case referring to the coastal areas of southern South Carolina), our shrimp and grits contain a bit of natural smoked country ham, too, a further tip of the hat to southern food at its finest.

During dinner that night, Glenn declared the dish “Last supper, death row good.” We’re not messing around here, friends. From our house to yours, here’s hoping this dish isn’t your last supper, but the beginning of a truly memorable, highly delicious one!

 

Kiss My Shrimp & Grits
Makes: 4 servings.

You Will Need:
For the stock
-1 Tablespoons olive oil
-The shells from the shrimp
-1 teaspoon sea salt
-3 cups water

For the grits
-Water from the shrimp stock
-2 cups whole milk
-1 cup grits (white or yellow)
-Pinch of sea salt
-2 Tablespoons butter

For the shrimp
-1 pound Shrimp, peeled and deveined
-1 cup wine of your choice
-A pat of butter for frying the ham
-4 ounces thin-sliced country ham*
-2 ounces olive oil
-1 carrot, diced
-1/2 onion, diced
-1 stalk celery, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 10-ounce package of chopped frozen spinach (or fresh in season)
-1 tablespoon capers (optional)
-Pinch of sea salt
-Several grinds black pepper
-Juice of 1/4 lemon
-1 teaspoon marjoram
-1-2 ounces crumbled feta or Mexican farmer’s cheese (optional)
*We used Goodnight Brothers pastured N.C. Dry-Cured Ham.

To Make:
Cook the shrimp stock
1) Peel and devein the shrimp.
2) Heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a saucepan, then add the shrimp shells.
3) Sauté the shells for a couple minutes until they turn pink.
4) Add three cups of water and the sea salt.
5) Cook the shrimp stock on medium-high for about 20 minutes, until about 1 cup of the liquid has evaporated.
6) Strain the liquid, and set aside for the grits.

Cook the grits
1) Heat the shrimp stock and milk over medium heat until it starts to bubble a little.
2) Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the grits, stirring to combine.
3) Cook the grits, stirring occasionally, until the consistency is just a bit thinner than you want them.
4) Remove the grits from heat, and stir in the butter until incorporated.
5) Set aside until ready to serve. If they seem a little thick when ready to serve, stir in a couple splashes of milk.

Cook the shrimp
1) After peeling the shrimp, marinate it in the wine while you cook the other elements of the dish.
2) Cook the country ham in a pat of butter, just until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3) Add the olive oil to the pan, then the onions, carrots, and celery.
4) Sauté the vegetables for about 5-8 minutes, until they start to brown at the edges.
5) Add the garlic, and cook for two more minutes.
6) Add the frozen spinach, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is no longer frozen.
7) Add the capers, if desired, then the shrimp marinating in the wine.
8) Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and marjoram.
9) Chop the cooked ham into small pieces; stir into the shrimp mixture.
10) Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, until cooked through.Be careful not to overcook the shrimp.
11) Remove the pan from heat, and spoon the shrimp over a small mound of grits on each plate.
12) Sprinkle the crumbled cheese over to, if desired. Serve with hot sauce if you like a little heat.