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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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  • Attended a love and light-filled Solstice potluck gathering this evening at the home of our dear friends Katherine and Andy. So grateful for the fellowship and community this place offers. As those of us in the northern hemisphere shift into winter, and a return to light-filled days, sincerest wishes from our home to yours for health, happiness, and abundance in the months and new year ahead.
  • A winter's day, in a deep and dark December. Enjoyed a walk down our driveway earlier to gather holiday cards and gifts from the mail with my little fella. Happy almost solstice, friends.
  • 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
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Weekend Review

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Happy Monday, everyone! It’s been a wet one here in the cove today. We had a firewood delivery around noon consisting primarily of chunks of un-split locust. Viking that he is, Glenn went out, axe in hand, and helped the guys that brought the wood split and stack it. In the pouring rain. A keeper, that one.

The unseasonable weather this weekend was a thing of beauty, albeit it an odd, curious one. I noticed activity in both beehives, which is a good sign that they’re both still alive, but worrisome in that I hope they can hold out for the rest of the winter until nectar sources bloom. Still, it was lovely to see them in all their winged glory, buzzing about, being, well, bees.

Saturday we took advantage of the balmy 70 degree weather (punctuated with what I told Glenn were “kissing”, gentle breezes) and headed over to the Biltmore. I have a feeling those annual passes gifted to us by my ever-generous in-laws will be put to much use this year. With over 22 miles of hiking trails, plus restaurants featuring local, sustainable eats, we seriously dig it, and Huxley is equally smitten.

Sunday, after having our morning coffee in the garden (in January, people!), Huxley suggested we follow suit after the dogs and “Go for a walk in the forest, Mommy?” And so, to the woods we took. The creek was the highlight of the trek, clearly. I felt immense gratitude as we walked at being able to leave our home and walk directly into a wooded forest for a stroll. It is a gift that I do not take lightly.

Above, you can see:
*The Bass Pond, where we kicked off our walk on Saturday. I see a picnic here in our future.
*The pond’s waterfall; I have a feeling we’ll be getting our feet wet in that creek come a spike in the mercury.
*As it’s been said (by me), “The family that plaids together, glads together” (Glenn was in the go-to pattern, too, naturally).
*Quite possibly the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had, enjoyed at Cedric’s. Made with Benton’s bacon, house-made boursin, Ashe County cheddar, Cabot white cheddar, and tomato, served alongside an amazing pumpkin & apple soup. DAYUUM, people.
*On the run in the children’s maze.
*Tractor bliss.
*Beautiful plumage.
*A forest pixie.
*”Riding” a log (he yells “He Haw”, cowboy-style, every time he straddles a log).

I love weekends like this. I asked Glenn if he would have imagined, in his youth, his adult self finding such joy in family time and simple pleasures like walks in the forest and cuddles from a tiny guy. I was wondering the same thing myself, a former raver (Lord, that feels so weird to even write) and club circuit lover-turned homesteader. We both agreed that, yes, yes we could imagine our young selves enjoying this slower, quieter life. There’s a time and a place for everything. Right now, my place is happy to be in a wet cove, with an axe-wielding husband and a log-riding son.

Here’s wishing the week ahead is filled with health and happiness for you and yours!

*If you’re so inclined, you can see many more photos from our escapades here

8 Responses to Weekend Review

  • Aimee (EcoGrrl) says:

    heh heh, raver. heh heh. reminds me of me wearing my old depeche mode concert shirt while working in the garden.

  • Paula M @olivicanela.com says:

    I love, love all the pictures of Huxley in a tractor. In Newfoundland we had a blizzard on the weekend, 40F and sunny today! Weather Gods are crazy!

  • Rebecca says:

    We got season passes gifted to us for the holidays as well and have been out there a few times already as well. Iggy loves the farm and hiking the trails and exploring by red wagon. We love that we can take the dog too! I can’t wait to get on some of the bike trails.

  • jen says:

    We are already enjoying our annual Biltmore passes. We took the bikes out the weekend before last and rode about 8 miles, enjoying the nature and the beautiful grounds and the peace. I do look forward to picnics this summer and fall (with our own little one!) and seeing the estate through all seasons.

    We had a “forest” in our backyard when we lived near Charlotte. I love Asheville and I know it’s my true home, but I miss having that easy access. You just don’t get that living steps from downtown. Fortunately, we can walk a few minutes to the UNCA botanical gardens and take advantage of all that loveliness.

    Looked like a glorious weekend!

  • russ says:

    Huxley is so adorable!! I am a also a happy beekeeper, chicken lover, and a garden grower along with a bunch of other hobbies. I have your books Keeping Bees and Keeping Chickens, love them both. Since you have so many talents and are such a great writer, have you thought about writing a book on herbs (growing, harvesting, and cooking with herbs)?

    • i adore that idea! honestly, i’ve had many more ideas for future “homemade living” series books. at this point, the ball is in my publisher’s court (lark crafts). i’m about to begin a new book, with roost, so something else in the hl series would have to wait. i’d love to write more of those books, though!

  • Rachel Wertheimer says:

    Ashley, your brown shoes are terribly cute. Maybe even as cute as Huxley’s plaid shirt…? :) Where did you get the shoes?
    My sweet girlfriend gave me your cookbook for the recent holidays. Can’t wait to try out my first pie!