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HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

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HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • These Brussels sprouts, our first course @pinewoodtr, with their spectacular dipping sauce, were the stuff of crispy, salty, cruciferous dreams. Totally set the tone for the rest of the meal. So, so good.
  • Passed this scene on our driveway earlier this morning as we headed to Decatur, GA for the weekend. Going to miss the cove, but am stoked to enjoy a bit of city living. Happy weekend, friends!
  • Mountain morning ridge line fog is, to me, the best fog. Taken from our entryway porch.
  • Last Thursday, our perennially kind and generous friend Jessica Smith asked if she could stop by with a gift for us. This stunning succulent planter (in a vintage enamel pot) was what she showed up with. Turns out she's starting a new business called DIRT FLIRTS with her friend Diana. As they describe it:
  • Since this past Friday evening, @glennbenglish, Huxley and I have had the exquisite pleasure of hosting @tea_austen in our home. There has been much laughter, much eating, and much sharing of our hearts, minds, and deepest selves. As she drove away just a bit ago, it didn't feel like we were saying goodbye, but instead, see you again, hopefully sooner than later. Thank you for being such delightful company, @tea_austen, and for loving our little guy so fully (and getting a TMNT education in the process ?!). || Image is from this past Sunday, when we took Tara up to #blackbalsam for a hike and a picnic.
  • Jump in, you know these arms can fill you up.
  • Excited to try out this tasting kit @driftawaycoffee sent me. The idea is that you brew each of the four bags they provide, divided into categories of FRUITY, CLASSIC, BALANCED, and BOLD, taking notes for each one on a postcard entitled
  • It's true: in the presence of chicken and waffles, my southern drawl becomes more evident. It cannot be helped. Still thinking about this platter of awesome from last night's Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl, honoring talented friend Ronni Lundy and the release of her newest book,
  • I try to see the forest AND the trees.
  • Sunday, perfect Sunday. @glennbenglish, Huxley, and I had a wonderful day picnicking on Black Balsam with @tea_austen
  • It's a good day in western NC. Happy weekend, friends!
  • Happy #nationalsiblingsday to my two favorite homies! Love you Devan (left) and @theomadams (middle)!!! Photo from November 2012 at the Grove Park Inn here in Asheville, NC. || Not pictured, our two brothers. Love you too, Jimmy and Walker!
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Weekend Review: Part 1

Happy Monday, friends! Hope your weekend was a good one. Ours was, well, really sort of amazing. It contained so much goodness, in fact, that, instead of giving you the scoop all in one post, I’ve decided to split it up (at Hubs’ suggestion, I might add-a smart one, that man of mine), starting with our Friday night date.

Oh, and what a date it was! When you get to go out as seldom as we do (I mentioned previously this was only our 3rd date in the past 22 1/2 months, ever since becoming parents), you pick your outings wisely. A few weeks ago, I received an email inviting me and a guest to a media-only (i.e. bloggers, print publications, online food websites) Oktoberfest preview dinner at the Red Stag Grill, housed in the lovely Grand Bohemian Hotel. I immediately replied with an enthusiastic “YES”, figuring I’d find a baby sitter come hell or high water (thank you, Mom, for stepping up to the plate for us!).

In my mind, “preview tasting dinner” meant something small, casual, and involving light fare. What I couldn’t have ever imagined, though, was the 4-course feast that came our way. Beginning in the hotel’s foyer, we sampled appetizers and sipped champagne (champagne, ya’ll!) while meeting John, the hotel’s general manager, and the other invited guests (which included Sommer Collier of A Spicy Perspective, Laura Huff of Carolina Epicurean, Ella Hailey of Ella’s Celestial Cakes, Mackensey Lunsford of Scene, Emily Patrick of the Mountain Xpress, and Melissa Smith of WNC Magazine). The Grand Bohemian is one of 13 hotels owned by the Kessler Collection, with this particular hotel being modeled after a Bavarian hunting lodge. Hand-carved millwork and other elaborate artistic detailing abounds.

After a quick tour of the hotel’s art gallery (featuring the work of local, national, and international artists), the upstairs ballroom (that gorgeous piano pictured above was carved from a single piece of rosewood-as a multiple year piano-playing veteran, I can assure you, she was a beautiful site to behold), and one of the rooms (Have. Mercy. Every detail is considered, right down to the tiger marble-topped sink. Ever heard of tiger marble before? Me neither), we headed to the restaurant’s private dining room (private dining room, ya’ll!). And then the real fun started.

I’d imagined we’d be eating  just a little something-something, enough to sample, attest to its deliciousness, and then leave hungry with. What I instead discovered was an Oktoberfest feast to end all feasts. The Germans really know how to eat, and the Red Stag’s homage to this culinary love fest would have made any Bavarian proud. Sourced almost entirely from local food growers and producers, Executive Chef Adam Hayes put together one of the most memorable meals I have ever had the pleasure of consuming.

Here’s what went down:

1) 1st Course- Sunburst Trout Schnitzel, over spatzle topped with pickled red cabbage and a mustard caper cream. Paired with Rainer “Pfaffenberg” Gruner Veltliner,  Austria 2009.

2) 2nd Course-Smoked Duck Breast, topped with a potato pancake and Blue Ridge Mountain applesauce, served with a Ayinger Dopplebock reduction and parsley puree. Paired with Robert Weil Trocken Reisling, Rheingau 2011.

3) 3rd Course-Chocroute Garnie, with traditional knackwurst, veal Bratwurst, house smoked pork loin, and pork belly, served over sauerkraut and boiled heirloom new potatoes, topped with Lusty Monk Mustard. Paired with both Dr. Loosen “Blue Slate” Reisling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer 2011 & Ayinger Dopplebock “Celebrator” (quite possibly the BEST beer I have ever had the pleasure of imbibing).

4) Dessert Course-German Linzertorte, almond torte filled with Imladris raspberry jam. Paired with Warres 10 year “Otima” Tawny port.

Oh. Goodness. Were we full when we left? Need you ask. The meal was nothing short of expertly executed. I highly, highly recommend it. Chef Hayes goes to great lengths to support and promote N.C. food growers and culinary artisans. He just wrapped up a “Gotta be N.C.” summer food menu. On a side note, as we were leaving and thanking Chef for such an exquisite meal, he told me his wife is a fan of mine (a fan of mine, ya’ll!).

Next time a fancy date night of your own rolls around, if you happen to be in the area, do check out his Oktoberfest menu. And, if you need lodging, the Grand Bohemian would be a gorgeous place to kick up your feet and unload. If it seems out of your budget, know that the hotel offers special deals periodically. Also, my budget-conscious sister-in-law found a score a few years back on Priceline, staying a night at the hotel with my brother for their anniversary. It’s a special occasion sort of place, to be sure, which made our date there that much more memorable.

Thank you so very much to the hotel for hosting us!

4 Responses to Weekend Review: Part 1

  • Nicole says:

    Wow! Do I spy pretzel rolls, too? Sounds like a wonderful evening. And this is just the beginning of your weekend? Good for you!

  • indio says:

    Sounds like an amazing place and an amazing night out. I will have to keep it in mind the next time I’m in NC.

  • Ashley Hayes says:

    It’s nice to know the hubs talks about me :) I love your blog posts and follow you on twitter :) I’m a fashion_foodie. Hope our paths cross one day and I can get one of my books autographed.