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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  • Asheville area folks: Come on over to @forvillagers at 7 pm tonight to hear @gardenbetty talk about her new book,
  • When dinner is served al fresco on the patio, at sunset, in a watermelon bowl, then my heart smiles. || Egg noodles, NC shrimp and pea shoot-arugula-basil pesto topped with nasturtium leaves, sage flowers, and chive blossoms. Nearly summertime and the living is easy.
  • When your afternoon involves chilling inside the Asheville Salt Cave with 7 of your nearest and dearest and your collective 4 kiddos, and your night involves celebrating one of their birthday's with a fajita feast and @glennbenglish's phenomenal spring sangria (with watermelon and strawberries and honeysuckle blooms that I picked), then you know that today has been an extraordinarily good day.
  • Spicy pork dumplings from @ganshanstation, I love you. While everything I've tried here has been seriously stellar, @procain's dumpling situation is worth the visit alone. So, so good!
  • Here's what I did today: hopped in the car, drove about a mile over to Hominy Valley Organic Farm, and got down to strawberry-picking business. I filled a flat for $18 (at $3/pound). If you live in the area and are looking for delicious, organic, U-pick strawberries, come see Farmer Tom Monday-Friday after 2 pm. Tell him I sent ya! Now, on to jam, and Popsicles, and pie, and galette, and pickled strawberries, and more! ??????
  • Pretty much ANY time is a good time for pickles, especially now that I've added @foodinjars delicious Quick Pickled Strawberries to the mix. Sublime!
  • You're in my heart, you're in my soul.
  • A testament to the power of social media: saw @holedoughnuts post an image of their Buttermilk Cardamom Black Pepper donut this morning, ate lunch, and then made the 20 minute drive over to enjoy some in person with @glennbenglish and Huxley!  Completely worth it. So, so good!!!
  • It's not a significant thing, nothing major. Just a walk down the driveway to gather the mail. But when I do it with Huxley, and we stop to say
  • Hominy Creek, doing its spring thang. || View from our mailbox.
  • Attended my first ever handmade/homemade swap yesterday, at a friend's sweet home in Black Mountain. SO much goodness, all thoughtfully and lovingly made. Huxley came with me and ran around with the kiddos while the swap took place. I contributed these little jars of rosemary honey, which @glennbenglish artfully topped with straw-blown watercolorings. Such a great afternoon with like-minded friends and fellow mamas! Thank you so, so much for hosting, Amanda!!!
  • Saturdays are for French toast on the porch with @glennbenglish and Huxley Wild while rain showers wash over the cove. || Used @farmandsparrow's Heritage Corn Bread and @oldworldlevain's Double Raisin & Flax Bread to make cardamom French toast, served alongside butter, maple syrup, and Hominy Valley Organic Farm strawberries, all washed down with hibiscus iced tea (our warm weather cold beverage go-to).
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The Kindness of Strangers




I’ve met a good deal of wonderful people through this blog. A handful of them have gone on to become trusted friends and confidants. I’ve come to know the regulars, sort of like an online version of “Cheers”, looking forward to their comments and smiling to myself when they drop by.


Cyn of River Dog Prints has proven to be not just a regular reader but a gracious bestower of gifts, as well. Back in the fall, she sent me a lovely package of canning labels. After a brief q&a a few weeks ago about what I feel is missing in the world of canning labels, the goodies pictured above showed up in my mailbox last week. She was at it again, making gorgeous labels and tags in a variety of colors, graphic prints, and sizes. Now both my large and small lids can be properly tricked out, with ample room left on top for writing in pertinent information such as what’s inside and when it was made.

One of my greatest pleasures derived from penning “small measure” has been the opportunity to meet and connect with people I might never otherwise have had the fortune of meeting. Cyn is one such person. I’m incredibly grateful for your continued, and consistent, patronage. Many, many thanks!

8 Responses to The Kindness of Strangers

  • CallieK says:

    I dropped into my local bookstore here in Toronto today and the first thing greeting me on the shelf was your canning book! I was so surprised because it is a small independent store and I usually have a hard time finding books here that are not best sellers and/or mainstream publishers unless they are Canadian authors. I put in an order for Keeping Chickens- it will probably take a month or two but I'm excited!

  • Jen says:

    Oooh, lovely! I dislike the standard stickers that come with the jars–these are really cute.

  • Megan says:

    I absolutely love those canning labels! I just started canning last year and I've been so disappointed trying to find cute but useful labels for my jars. I'd buy those in a heartbeat.

  • spike says:

    Those labels look wonderful. What a nice gift!

    Ashley, I just purchased your books and I have to say they are just what I needed. I took a canning class with the local Ag Extension last year. Your book is a great compliment. Now for Chickens!
    As a designer, I am loving the look and feel of the books too. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  • Cyn says:

    Thanks Ashley! I was just in the middle of a cruddy day and this cheered me right up.

    And thanks so much for your help in the creation of the tags and labels. Happy to be a small part of your delicious homemade gifts!

  • Tricia says:

    That is something that keeps surprising and delighting me as well–really one of the best things about having an “online community”. I never would have expected it, but I am glad it has happened! Congrats on your canning book! It's beautiful :)

  • ErikaKay says:

    This is beautiful!

  • Ashley,

    I bought your book last night “Raising Chickens” and WOW, what a God Wink!!! It is so amazing to me the number of women that have turned blogs into incredible business endeavors!! My first post on my blog CuriosityCottage.blogspot.com explains “God Winks.” I look so forward to following your blog and to raising my own chickens!!

    Jen