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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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  • 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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Weekend Review

Happy Tuesday, friends. The winds are pretty fierce outside, and there’s a serious chill in the air, but, otherwise, we three Englishes are find and dandy in the cove today. Sending lots of love and light to those in the Northeast suffering the ravages of Sandy. Whew. What a whollop. The power will eventually be restored, the waters will receded, and life will regain a semblance of order. In the meantime, be safe out there.

We spent a good chunk of time this weekend with our genius chocolatier buddies, Jael & Dan Rattigan, and their two sons, Sam and Max. Saturday, owing to the last day of fare weather predicted for days and a desire to check out the scenery one last time before the wind blew every leaf still parading its splendid color away, we headed out to Hickory Nut Gap Farm. A multi-generation farm currently being run by Jamie & Amy Ager, Hickory Nut Gap offers beef, chicken, and pork raised on sustainably managed land, apples and cider, eggs, and more. Their farm store is rife with local offerings, from jams to ice cream to ceramics. The service is friendly, the food is wonderful, and the views are epic.

I also had the wonderful pleasure of bumping into Molly Hamilton. Mama of 4, a member of the extended Ager family, and the force behind Farmer Jane Soap (a small measure sponsor), we officially jumped the fence from digital to real-world acquaintances, right beside the hay maze, which, really, is as good a place as any to make new friends. Ever since Molly graciously gifted me with 4 sample bars of her goat’s milk soap, it’s been my staple item for bathing. Soft, silky, fragrant, and gentle, it has hand’s down become my soap of choice. Check it out. You’ll be glad you did, I promise.

On Sunday, we hooked up with the Rattigan clan again, this time at their home in West Asheville. They’d made some spiced pumpkin seeds, a salad of fresh lettuces and radishes, mashed sweet potatoes, a glorious apple crisp, and homemade pumpkin ice cream (heavy on the cardamom, which is just how I like it). Our friends Andy & Katherine and their daughters, Ina  and Juno, brought over a brisket (picked up from the Chop Shop) and a kale & white bean salad, while their buddy Anthony arrived with his sons Gabe and Nolan and a mess of steamed N.C. shrimp. We brought a “Warming Steak & Brandy Cottage Pie”, a recipe I was working on for the new book.

The older I get, the more I want to socialize simply. Fresh air, good friends, happy kids, and hearty fare. I’ll take it.

May the week ahead bring nothing but health, happiness, and a safe home for you and yours.

5 Responses to Weekend Review

  • Would have loved to see a photo of their farm shop…it sounds like a treasure trove of real food. Also, do you know what variety pumpkin is sitting at the top-middle of the display? That colour is amazing!

    • hi tanya!

      unfortunately, the shop was very dimly lit. if we’d taken a photo, it would have required using the flash, which, in my opinion, makes everything actually look worse!

      as for the pumpkin, i honestly don’t know. there weren’t any signs, and although i’m familiar with several of the varieties pictured, that one escapes me. i’m sure amy ager, the farm’s co-owner, would be happy to tell you, though. she can be reached via the farm’s link above.

  • That farm looks (sounds) wonderful! I agree with you on socializing simply. It is the way to go. To just be…
    ps- Mr. H. is looking so big and handsome in these pics!

  • Molly says:

    It was good to meet you the other day out at the farm. Hope our paths will cross again.