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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  • Local friends-whatever your plans are for this evening, change them! Come join me instead at @rhubarbavl for their
  • Great burger and transcendent frites with a charred onion aioli at @kingjamesavl. Great vibe and an exceptional waitstaff, which deftly caught that Huxley was nearing meltdown mode, and saved the day with a lightening fast, perfect grilled cheese. Wonderful seeing Steven Goff and @samlg87!
  • Livin' in an Appalachian paradise. ??(view of Mt. Pisgah, from the top of our road).
  • The finale at last night's Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl was this Chocolate Coffee Tart with Vanilla Orange Marmalade from my book
  • What a surreal experience last night @rhubarbavl, being served your own recipes! Shown here: Chimichurri Deviled Eggs (
  • So much delicious decadence on display yesterday afternoon at my 7th Annual Ladies Cookie Exchange. Thanks to all you lovelies (and your littles!) that made it out! Such a wonderful community of women I'm surrounded by. We three Englishes won't have to bake any more this holiday season! *That's your girl waiting patiently for the sugar frenzy to begin, @littlecoffeebeans !
  • Put this down as a night to remember. Immeasurable gratitude to @rhubarbavl for hosting recipes from all 7 of my books at tonight's Sunday Supper. @glennbenglish couldn't have been more thrilled. Our favorite restaurant in Asheville now feels even more like our dining room away from home.
  • Asheville and vicinity friends, I want to let you in on a secret. @oldworldlevain is a baked goods goddess, a fascinating woman (she bakes AND teaches tango lessons!), and simply a lovely human being. This medley of deliciousness is a mere sampling of the tastiness she had on offer today at her pop-up inside of Wood & Spoon in west Asheville. You can order regularly from her though, and you should. Her goods are creative, imminently flavorful, and clearly lovingly made. Obviously, I am smitten.
  • All kinds of magic percolating up in here.
  • Last night this sweet, tiny elf wanted me to pick him up, and then asked
  • Only a few seats remain for the Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl on the 14th featuring recipes from all 7 of my books. The large dining room is nearly sold out, woohoo!!! Call 828/785-1503 to reserve a spot before they're all gone. I'd love to see you there!
  • So you see, love, actually, is all around us. A pleasant discovery whilst stoking this morning's fire. Happy Friday, friends!
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The Kindness of Strangers

One of the best parts of blogging, especially as a full-time stay-at-home writer and mama, are the connections I’ve forged with other folks. Many of those have leapt the digital-to-reality fence, becoming meaningful friendships that I cherish deeply. Others remain strictly cyber (though just as significant), with our interactions occurring through keyboard clicks.

These friends that I’ve made, they’re a generous lot. They’ve sent us boxes of clothes for Huxley, toys for him, hand-knit hats for him, a calender for me, and so very much more over the years. Three new friendships have emerged over the past several months. Each of these ladies, through no prompting of my own, have graciously, generously sent us some of their creations, both through the mail and in person. Allow me to introduce you to:

Taryn: A small measure sponsor, Taryn lives with her husband, Jeff, and toddler, Bracken in Mapleton, Oregon. Their business, Wooly Moss Roots, sells handcrafted wooden buttons, herbal remedies, and woolen goods. Taryn was so very sweet, after Huxley’s accident, and sent along the Magical Healing Salve shown above to help his wound heal. And it’s working! We put some on each night before he goes to sleep, as he points to it and questions “cream?”

Molly: A local lady, Molly operates her business, Farmer Jane Soap, out of Fairview, NC with her business partner, Sydney. Their soaps contain about 1/4 goat’s milk per bar, with the remaining ingredients consisting of olive, coconut, and palm oils, natural fragrances, lye, and  bit of water. Molly is also a small measure sponsor, and sent me a sampling of soaps pictured above, along with a little lion bar for Huxley!

Stacy: A Seattleite, Stacy is a 5-grade school teacher by trade and a passionate urban homesteader by preference. She’s also the voice behind the adorable,  inspirational blog Seattle Seedling. I can’t quite remember how we connected, but we’ve been chatting for several months. She was recently visiting the area with friends and stopped over for a spell several weekends ago. During her visit, she gifted Hubs and I with the Washington state lavender (from Seqium!) and homemade Herbs de Provence shown here.

These gifts, thoughtfully, generously, lovingly given to us by women that I barely know, let me know that the tendency and inclination for kindness persists in this world. Long ago, I remember reading a quote from Anne Frank, the holocaust victim whose diary of a young girl was required (and terribly moving) reading when I was in high school. She wrote something along the lines of “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

So do I Anne, so do I.

7 Responses to The Kindness of Strangers

  • Stacy says:

    You’ve given me the gift of inspiration and education in ways you didn’t even know. :) I am equally grateful and so glad we’ve connected! xo

  • Thank you for introducing me to your lovely friends:) I know exactly how you feel, Blogging has created a very real, very inspiring group of like-minded friends for me, that I am so grateful for.

  • That is so sweet! I feel at times that blogging has become the new “pen-pal” connection. I have started meeting some lovely people, and our relationship has slowly extended away from the ether and into our immediate realities.

    Thank you so much for letting us know about your friends and their products.

    xo,
    Kristina

  • Melanie says:

    These relationships you speak of are what I hope to create through starting my own blog. I am extremely new to the blogging world and admiditly know nothing, other than I’m having fun slowly learning. Thanks for the inspiration and motivation!

  • Oh Ashley, this post nearly brought me to tears! I adore the quote at the end. Anne Frank is one of my heroes.
    I’ve received some unexpected gifts lately and it made my heart burst wide open. I’m constantly amazed by people’s generosity.

    So glad the salve has been helping Huxley! Bracken points to the salve on the shelf whenever he needs some, it always makes him feel better.
    If Huxley and Bracken meet in person one day, I’m sure they will have a lot of fun together. :)

    We’re so grateful to be sponsors on your beautiful blog and glad to know you. You have a bright Spirit.

    Keep shining!

    Love, Taryn

  • Love that farmer Jane soap! I’ve picked it up at our tailgate in Black Mountain and thought it was wonderful. Looking so forward to picking up a copy of your pie book soon soon soon!

  • Louise says:

    After reading through this story it is truly inspiring! I work for a team called American Bear where the originators have created a documentary about how the kindness of strangers has saved them throughout their travels. After spending several months working with this team, I am amazed every day at just how kind and thoughtful people can really be. We post these types of stories to our website iamakindstranger.com and I wanted to know you would want to share your beautiful story here as well! Thank you for brightening my day :)