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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  • Excited to see my first
  • What I love about ephemerals is that they force you to be fully present, fully engaged. What is blooming or on display today could be gone tomorrow. Ephemerals remind me to pay attention, to live more attentively and lovingly, every single day. || The exquisite blooming wisteria pergola, at its peek right now @biltmoreestate.
  • Sittin' in the mornin' sun, I'll be sittin' when the evening come. || Absolutely glorious day @biltmoreestate!
  • Views for days. @biltmoreestate
  • Currently, in our kitchen. || Wishing you and yours a cozy, comfy weekend.
  • Happy Friday from me and my mini me (image from spring 2014, taken by @timrobisonjr). || New
  • Green eggs & ham and buttermilk biscuits for work/lunch at home today. Made a ramp & wild garlic scape pesto with ramps from our patch and scapes from the property, then whisked it into scrambled eggs, as well as drizzled it atop. Going to miss those ephemerals when their time passes soon!
  • Taking it back to October 21st, 2011 for today's #tbt, when we celebrated our little guy's first birthday up at Sky Top Orchard. in Flat Rock, NC. We used to say his cheeks were made of jam in those days as they were so doughy and smooshy that they looked like jam-filled doughnuts.
  • Happy to call Hominy Valley home.
  • Because you know I'm all about that face.
  • Tyger, Tyger burning bright, in the forests of the night. || Inaugural spring burn on the patio this evening.
  • I've truly loved working on all 8 of the books I've done so far (7 in print, 1 coming out in 2016), but this new book, on creating a southern foods pantry, is so very personal as it closely mirrors the foods I grew up eating, but with a decidedly modern approach. Today @glennbenglish and I made Brown Butter & Bourbon Braised Cabbage (below) and Apple Butter and Cheddar Pork Chop Stacks (above). So many culinary ghosts of my childhood and youth came 'a calling with each delicious forkful.

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Huxley

Happy Halloween

I’m coming to you today with a cold stout beside me, a bowl of herb-flecked, cheesy popcorn in front of me, and a mess of chocolate near me. The house smells of homemade garam masala and ras al hanout, recipes I made today for a party in the new book. I’m wearing a cozy, navy blue wool sweater, the sun is shining, and there are two adorable kittens playing nearby. Things are good.

From myself, a young Harry Potter/Assistant Groundskeeper Carl Spackler (Huxley’s scar from his fall back in June and the glasses make up the young Harry bits while his floppy hat, plaid shirt, cuffed khakis, rain boats, wheelbarrow and Gopher are the Carl components), and a goggley-eyed Hubs, we wish you and yours a safe, happy, and sweet Halloween!

Starseed

Since Hubs and I both work from home, our plan when we decided to have a child was to have them always be with us. For the most part, that’s been the case. While we wrote, or did projects, or cooked, or worked in the garden or the chicken coop, our little guy has always been in a sling, on our hips, crawling around on the ground, or, now, walking beside us. And it’s worked. Until lately.

Huxley wants to be outside. All. The. Time. His name means “Outdoorsman”, so, it makes sense, really. That said, when I’m trying to meet a pending December 1st deadline for the manuscript of my new book, continually heading outside to watch Huxley as he plays doesn’t really fit into my super crammed schedule.

When we learned last summer that a newly emerging eco-community called Sacred Mountain Sanctuary had developed quite literally on the mountain ridge behind our house, we were ecstatic. We looked forward to the gatherings the community intended to host, as well as the like-minded folks we might meet. And then, we learned a few months ago about a toddler program SMS had in the works.

For the past few Tuesdays, from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Huxley and Hubs have bundled up and headed over to Starseed. I get a few hours of alone time to write, Hubs gets some time with the little one, and Huxley gets some time with other children. The best part, though, has got to be the fact that the entire program takes place outdoors. That’s right-rain, snow, mud, these kids are out in it. Of course, that means careful planning on the part of the educators and parents alike, for both the curriculum and the proper attire. Colder weather and a rugged terrain mean warm coats, layers of clothes that can be peeled off should ecstatic splashing in the natural spring on the property occur (and it does, believe me!), and sturdy boots, for the kiddos and the adults.

Each session begins with a collaboratively assembled and prepared pot of soup placed over an outdoor fire. Then the Starseeds, their parents, and the teacher, Ms. Tiffany, head out into the forest to explore and learn. Later, everyone returns to eat soup, and then hear a story and perhaps do a craft.

Yesterday, the group also participated in planting a patch of goldenseal on the property, to be enjoyed in upcoming years by the residents. I love the idea of these young minds, digging, planting, and growing, right there along with the whole wide (and wild!) world. I admit, it was really hard letting him go, being out there in the woods. Of course, his Papa is there along with him, but, other moms, you know what I’m talking about. But letting go, more and more everyday, is really what parenting teaches us, isn’t it? Give them what they need, and they’ll get the confidence to go out into the world and flourish.

Recent Acquisitions

The change in weather has brought a sudden need for new footwear for our little guy. Those feet of his just keep growing, and his garden clogs aren’t offering quite as much warming protection as the shift in temperature dictates.

Thredup proved the solution, as they have been recently for all of Huxley’s clothing needs. Love those guys. I’ve found their offerings of gently used (and even new) items to be stylish, well-made, and incredibly reasonably priced. Even better, if you share your love for them and folks sign up as a result, you get buying credits. Last time I got on the horn, my waxing rhapsodic about the online consignment store garnered me $25 in credit, which I’ve since used to buy two him hoodies and some winter slippers.

I don’t know if I love the snow boots or the desert boots more. Huxley loves them both, although he does ask me to put his ” ‘no boots” on him considerably more often.

Come cold weather, my tiny Englishman’s feet will be ready. Bring it, autumn leaf piles and winter snow. I’ve got you in my crosshairs and I’m ready for action.