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HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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what i’m digging

What I’m Digging

montreatgrit-cakesmontreat-pondhashbrowns

Friends! How on earth has it been since June that we last spoke??! I will tell you how. No, actually, I won’t. Suffice to say, many balls have been in the air. One of them had to drop. It was a painful move, but I dropped this ball. Today, though, I’m tossing it back in the air. Hurrah! I’ve missed this place, and missed you all.

It’s Friday, and historically speaking (these past 3 months notwithstanding), Fridays here are for roundups of this, that, and the other that have caught my attention lately. Let’s get to it!

*My friend JT and his partner Samara are hosting a Kickstarter to launch their incredible whole hog butchery and speciality meats/deli in west Asheville. Their work is solid and their products are ace. Help them achieve their dreams, won’t you? Only 3 days left!

*I purchased this handmade ceramic match striker with an Etsy gift card given to me by my brother and his wife for my birthday (I turned 40 on July 11th, woohoo!). It’s such a simple thing, but I love it. It lives in the bathroom, for helping mask, um, “bathroom” odors.

*Wooden Weck lids!

*Two UK Instagram accounts I find deeply inspiring: Anja’s Coco In My Kitchen and Laura’s Circle of Pines.

*Fairly certain I’ve mentioned this here before, but it’s worth repeating just how much I love The Simple Things magazine.

*Since I seem to be on a bit of an Anglophile spree here today, might as well mention the fact that I’m scheming up a trip to Scotland this June for Glenn’s 50th and our 10th anniversary. This place sure has my attention.

*Hoping to visit Findhorn while we’re there, and then all of my My Dinner With Andre fantasies will have come true.

*Drinking this now that fall is upon us.

*Speaking of bubbly libations, kudos to my friends at Noble Cider for their inclusion in Bon Appetit’s Top 10 cider round-up!

*Feeling the siren call of overalls. Liking the looks of these.

*We are all in agreement that Stranger Things is the best thing not on tv, right? Even if it caused deep anxiety and restless nights for me. Worth the hit.

*Huge congratulations to my friend Ronni Lundy on the publication of her new book Victuals. It’s getting profuse praise, as it should. Johnny and Charlotte worked on the photography and styling for it, and I’m beyond excited that they’re the dynamic duo working with me on my current project.

I’ve got house guests, and I need to go shower and attend to about a million and one other things. Here’s hoping the super moon tonight fills your soul with inspiration and your home with moonlight!

Wherever you go this weekend, whatever you do, may it be grand!

**A peek at what we’ve been up to over the past week. Visiting beautiful places (Montreat, shown in both images above, is a perennial favorite) and making delicious things (all for the book). 

What I’m Digging

Tossing Daisies
Happy Friday, friends! There is a gentle rain puttering down outside. I’m in a flannel shirt inside. These two things, in combination, are a total win, in my book.

We are about to head into town, so I’m going to quickly post a small smattering of this and that’s that have caught my attention recently:

*Did you know that the Edible magazine community also has a t.v. show? I didn’t, but, boy am I glad I do now!

*Fourteen ways to preserve strawberries, and a pie.

*I am totally captivated by my recent discovery of the Corryvreckan whirlpool, in the Scottish highlands, and have been geeking out on videos with Huxley for days.

*Speaking of Scotland, I love it so, and dream of spending time there in this amazing caravan someday (check out Canopy and Stars “Year Of Wild” while you’re on the site, too; brilliant!).

*The Simple Things magazine. Have I mentioned it here before? Can’t remember…in any event, it’s published in the U.K., and it’s all about simple living, and it’s just the best.

*10 sauna benefits that will blow your mind.

*My wonderful friend Claudia Lucero has launched a fantastic Kickstarter campaign. She’s trying to get funding for a new line of DIY Dairy-free cheese making kits, and she’s *this* close to reaching her goal. Let’s help her reach it!

Alright, time to close the laptop, put on my shoes, and grab the car keys. Before I go, I wanted to share with you how much I’m digging Lily and Addie, pictured above. Their herbal business, Tossing Daisies, is a venture they created to both expand their herbal knowledge and benefit others, as the business’s proceeds go towards supporting non-profits. I met them this past Wednesday, at the Asheville River Arts District farmer’s market. Turns out they’re fans of my books, and asked to take a photo with me, then offered to give me a complimentary item to try out. After I selected a face mask, they came over to where I was sitting a few minutes later and gave me two more items! How profoundly generous. These girls have hearts of gold! If you’re in the area, do stop by their Wednesday market table and check out their wares. They’ve crafted some fantastic items!

Wherever you go this weekend, whatever you do, and whomever you do it with, may it be grand!

 

What I’m Digging

Green coveSo much green here in the cove! We finally got a much needed rain shower this past weekend. Right this very minute, as well. It’s thundering outside, the sky is ominous, and my German Shepherd, Fly, who is otherwise ferocious at defending us (and herself) from perceived threats, is a hot mess, curled up under my feet, whimpering and pawing at me. Sorry, furry buddy, but we need this. Let it rain!

Here’s a quick little  smattering of this and that’s that caught my attention this weekend:

*Roasted strawberries. Sacrilege or brillance? I’m going with brilliance!

*Research proves that women who live surrounded by nature live longer. Therefore, I shall live forever.

*Because I can never get enough natural oral hygiene tips in my life, here are 4 natural remedies for a healthy mouth.

*Picked up this book over the weekend at the Screen Door’s bookstore. Very excited to dive into it.

*Speaking of books, completely intrigued by From the Forest: A Search For the Hidden Roots Of Our Fairy Tales.

*Really digging the Plantfolk Apothecary Instagram account. Their website is being redone and will be back up this month. I’m especially drawn to the Lunar Bath Soak.

*I just want to give Birkenstock a big old “I LOVE YOU!” shout out. It’s been warm enough lately for sandals, and I’ve been wearing the Birks I bought last year all weekend. They’re the first I’ve ever owned, and they are, without question, some of the best shoes I’ve ever had the pleasure of sliding my feet into. Customer for life from now on.

*My friend Valerie has the loveliest little tooth pillows for lost teeth for sale in her Etsy shop. Perfect for tucking under pillows in anticipation of a certain nocturnal fairy!

*I’m as equally thrilled about treating my mom to brunch at Knife & Fork for Mother’s Day as I am about treating myself to brunch there!

*Speaking of Mother’s Day, Wake Foot Spa in downtown Asheville would be a lovely gift for the mamas in your life. I went last month for the first time, with my friend Maria,  and then I took my mom there for her birthday a few weeks ago. It is simply divine. Huge copper bowls filled with a foot soak of your choice. Hot neck wraps. Foot and lower leg massages (for an additional fee). Chill vibes. Hot teas. You booked your reservation yet?

Off to finish cooking for tonight’s meeting of my monthly Feel Good Book Club. We read The Invention of Wings, by beloved author Sue Monk Kidd, and are building a potluck around low-country foods. I’ve made a creamy rice pudding with orange zest and nutmeg, and am now heading to the kitchen to cook up some Gullah-inspired butter and bacon grease braised cabbage. Tonight’s meeting is going to be beyond.

From my home to yours, here’s hoping the week ahead is a great one!

 

What I’m Digging

Huxley steps daffodils
Happy Friday, friends! Most of the windows in my house are open, the sun is shining after a night of steady rainfall, and I’ve got a picnic dinner planned for this evening. Game on, spring. Game. On.

Here’s a little smattering of this and that’s that caught my attention online recently:

*The next big thing in American regional cooking: Humble Appalachia. These are my familial culinary roots, friends!

*Speaking of southern fare, Southern Provisions sounds like seasoned, sage read on the topic. The topic is on my mind these days, all day, every day, as I’m currently at work on my 9th book, which is all about, you guessed it, southern foods!

*Skrap Monkey is a repurposed functional and decorative scrap metal line from Asheville artist Mark Scheiferstein. I am totally smitten with his jewelry. I picked up a little “treat yo’self” pair of his earrings downtown at Boutique Lp for a mere $28. Re-purposed, beautiful, and affordable=the holy trinity of jewelry purchases.

*While I was treating myself to Skrap Monkey’s earrings, I also saw this moon phase cuff from Jenny Bird. It’s totally on my future “treat yo’self” list and will one day be mine. Mark my words. ~Word from the wise: when you sign up on Jenny Bird’s newsletter, you get a code for $20 off your first purchase.

*The Bee Man Candle Company‘s spring beeswax candles are well-made, all-natural, and adorable.

*Lavender Lemon Sandwich Cookies. Perfect for Mother’s Day, Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Graduation Parties, or Tuesday afternoon.

*I only just learned about Numen: The Healing Power of Plants. Ready to dive in and learn more about a topic that, to me, feels like the obvious thing we all keep missing.

*Spring is here, at last, and for many, that means spring cleaning. Here are my recipes for homemade furniture polish, abrasive cleaner, and herbal sachets.

I’m about to close up my laptop and pack up my picnic basket. The flowers are in bloom at Biltmore and I intend to picnic with friends amongst them!

Wherever you go this weekend, whatever you do, and whomever you do it with, may it be grand!

*This little guy is who his dad and I dig the most. Sometimes it’s hard being a parent. Really hard. Extremely hard. Like when he’s losing his cool and I’m trying so hard to hang onto mine (because, honestly, loosing it and yelling NEVER elicits the response I, or anyone, wants). But, ultimately, parenting has made me a better person. Being Huxley’s mom has helped me to be more patient, more empathic, more compassionate, and in less of a hurry. It’s the hardest job with the biggest payoff. It’s shocking that he’s nearly 5 1/2. I adore being a mother, despite its challenges; perhaps on account its challenges, actually. Growing and maturing and working towards becoming a better person is worth the work. 

What I’m Digging

Pisgah View Winter
Happy Friday, friends! I hope, from the deepest well of my heart, that wherever you are, there are warm blankets, and cozy slippers, and a good book, begging to be read, all within arm’s reach. I wish for you a furry animal to nuzzle you, and a warm hand to rub your back, and a bright, huge smile, from someone, anyone, to dazzle your day.

High time for a round-up, I say! Here’s a little smattering of this and that’s which have caught my attention recently:

*The Tyranny of the Chicken Finger. We never gave Huxley baby food. He always, from the get go, ate whatever we were eating, in pureed form. That fact, coupled with the wide variety of foods that we eat, whether in recipe development or when dining out, has resulted in a profoundly culinarily adventurous 5 year-old. Crayfish? He loves them. Frog’s legs? Eaten and enjoyed them. Pickled herring? One of his favorite toddler foods.

*Wondering what the best ways of storing cheeses are? Karen has you covered.

*Zodiac constellation pendants!!!! I’m thinking of getting a gemini (Glenn), cancer (me), and libra (Huxley) and wearing them on my neck at all times.

*I just adore citrus fruits. If we could build a little solarium and have a potted blood orange, kumquat, meyer lemon, cara cara, honey bell, and grapefruit orchard, I’d be in a permanent state of bliss (and it can be done here-I’ve seen it first hand, years ago, at Sandy Mush Nursery). Until then, this book should cover my citrus cravings.

*Podcasts! Sometimes I’m a bit late to the game, and podcasts are one of those things I’m only recently tuning into (we shall not speak of how looooooooong it took me to get a smart phone, and then, once I did, the things I uttered, like this here pearl of wisdom: “Did you know that you can CHECK YOUR EMAIL on your phone????”). Ones I’m digging at present include: Call Your Girlfriend, On Being, Spilled Milk, Nerdette, Local Mouthful, and Gravy. What about you? Got any podcasts I should be listening to? I know about The Moth, and Serial, and Radiolab, and have episodes all downloaded and ready to go. I don’t know about you, but I’m way preferring podcast to t.v. these days. So much so, in fact, that I have podcast visions of my own. We shall see…..

*The importance of incorporating wild foods into our diets cannot be stressed enough. Here’s why.

*Santa (read: myself) got me a sewing machine for Christmas, specifically, a Singer Heavy Duty. I like that it’s totally lacking in the bells and whistles department. I’ve got these two books by Lotta Jansdotter to serve as guides along my sewing journey. Any other beginning, basic sewing books you recommend are highly solicited!

*Trees have social networks, too. Of course they do.

I’ve got so many exciting projects I’m working on right now that I look forward to sharing with you. A new book, a paperback edition of another, and a collected edition of all four books in the Homemade Living series. Lots of pots simmering at the same time, just the way I like it.

We’re off to a birthday party for one of Huxley’s little buddies later today, then new computer shopping for my mom tomorrow, followed by a monthly women’s full moon gathering at my friend Sabrina’s in the evening (we do a little herb-based craft at each gathering, and this month we’re making incense!). It promises to be in the 60’s, and I intend to be out in that warmth as much as I can be.

Wherever you go this weekend, whatever you do, and whomever you do it with, may it be grand!

View of the snow-covered Mt. Pisgah, seen from the top of our road earlier this week.