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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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  • I had the most profoundly memorable experience today. The cookbook club at Haywood County Library (the county adjacent to mine) hosted me, and by hosted, I mean 12 ladies selected recipes from my book
  • What better way to clear out a case of the Mondays than a giveaway?! See that lovely locally-made wooden bag dryer there on my wall? Want to win one of your own (you do, trust me)? Pop on over to small measure to enter. Link is in my profile.
  • This guy right here? While he might be growing bigger every day, the truth is that becoming a mother has helped me to grow. To be more present. To be more patient. To be more empathic. As I tell all my soon-to-be-mama friends, parenthood is the toughest work you'll ever do, with by far the biggest payoff. The lovin', and the learning, are so, so good. Happy Monday, friends.
  • Today was a good day. This view, from the top of our road, certainly helped make it so.
  • I think the 48-hour flu I've been fighting has finally succumbed to my assault of grapefruit seed extract, osha root, propolis, elderberry syrup, Oscillococinum, apple cider vinegar, rose hips, hibiscus, ginger/lemon/honey/cayenne tea, and neti pot with goldenseal tincture. I don't take getting sick sitting down. And now, a winter storm, possibly. Bring it, I say. Happy weekending, friends!!!
  • This guy.
  • I've been waiting, for a book like this, to come into my life. Whoa. Picked this up a few weeks ago at @screendoorasheville as a New Year's gift to @glennbenglish. Just started reading it myself and it couldn't possibly be more of what I need to see, right now. Completely on point, wholly attuned to what I'm presently sensing and curious about and inspired by, and infinitely humbling.
  • Warm enough today to play soccer down in our lower field, do a bit of weeding in the garden, and push a nearly-too-big 4 year-old in his
  • New year, new moons, new calendars. Right on, right on.
  • @shelterprotectsyou has been posting images of the wedding she and @sheltercollective had here in September all week. They built this altar for the ceremony, and it's still here, just past the house, on the way to the chicken coop. We pass it every day. Some days, I casually note its beauty and the way it feels like an outdoor church here in our forested cove. Other days I barely register it as I scurry about, doing this and that around the property. Today, though, in the stark, grey, drizzly setting, it was quietly regal. Happy to have had her visuals prompt me to stop, look, and listen to this physical testament to love.
  • The chickens told me they much prefer the rain this week to last week's frigid weather, thank you very much. I couldn't agree more.
  • These potatoes @tableasheville changed my culinary life. They called them hash browns, but they were unlike any I'd had before. Par-baked perhaps, smashed into halves I'm guessing, and then roasted and maybe finished with a quick fry in the skillet and scattered with large sea salt granules? Whatever the method, the result was a creamy, yellow center and a crispy, salty exterior. Quite possibly the best hash browns I've ever had.
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Weekend Review: Part 2

Happy Tuesday, friends! I don’t know about where you are, but here, fall is most definitely in the air. We’re cuddling up under the down comforter again at night, we’re sliding into wool socks and warm slippers in the morning, and we’re eating apples like there’s no end in sight.

Oh, apples. Glorious, ambrosial, crisp apples. I could eat a bit of apple at every meal. All by itself; or topped with a bit of sharp cheese;  or rendered into smooth, spicy butter; or drank as hard or fresh cider; or baked into pies, cakes, and muffins. I don’t like to choose favorites, but the apple might be the trophy-winning fruit for me. Just don’t tell the pears and figs and pomegranates and persimmons and grapes and other glorious fruits of autumn.

And so it was that part of my magical weekend involved an apple-focused excursion. Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community held their 5th annual Apple Fest in the tiny hamlet of Gerton this past Saturday. Situated about 17 miles east of Asheville, the drive to the festival was as gorgeous as the final destination. Rolling hills dotted with grazing cloven beasts looked like something plucked directly from a European countryside. The road narrows and begins to wind up, and up, and then down, over the Continental Divide and alongside the Rocky Broad creek, past quaint inns with outdoor ovens and ponds with swimming platforms and historic homes from the 1800′s. So, so pretty.

The orchard itself, though small, was loaded with organically-grown apples. There was also a hand-built cider press made by one of Hickory Nut Forest’s residents and powered by a micro-hydro pump running off of the creek that runs through the property. There was an apple pinata, and an apple pie competition, and a creek-side (and in-creek, for Huxley!) walk, and an old grist mill discovery, and a green-built lodge powered by the creek, and a resident of the community who generously gave us a tour of his lovely zero energy home, and a forest full of mushrooms and moss and buckeyes, and, well, just a perfect day.

The community has quite a few home sites still available. I’ll admit, we’re pretty tempted by the place. With over 200 acres of forest for taking ambling, creek-side strolls through and some of our favorite farms located just down the road (and one adorable little natural food store-Candler desperately needs something like this), Hickory Nut Forest definitely called its siren song to us. If you’re ever out that way, pop in and give it a peek. It’s amazing.

For now, though, I’m off to eat an apple. Or maybe make some apple butter. Or perhaps bake an apple pie. Or there’s always apple scones…

*Want to see more? Well, then, come on over here!

8 Responses to Weekend Review: Part 2

  • This is my favorite part of the country. It is so beautiful and every fall my heart tugs me to take the looong trip back. Thanks for sharing a peek!

  • Aimee says:

    Holy cow I forget how different your seasons are! We’ll hit 90 on Thursday! Lovely pix :-)

  • Sweet! How have I never heard of this eco-community?? Before we came to Black Mt we lived in Fairview for about 8 years, and I worked at Troutlily the summer that I was pregnant with my little one, just before our move. Hickory Nut Gap and Flying Cloud are still two of our most favorite farms. Next year I am gonna have to keep an eye out for that festival!

    sounds like a most amazing weekend~

  • Wow! This looks like SO much fun! I would love to find an orchard with organic apples to visit. And an old cider press? HOW COOL!

  • Emily says:

    Definitely adding this to the “must visit” list for my next trip up that way. I was in Gerton during my last trip to Asheville… how did I miss this?

  • Rebecca says:

    The Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community looks amazing! My husband and I are in the market, so I might have to make a few calls. Before I fall too much in love, do you know if they are in the “housing market 2012″ price range or are they luxury eco homes in the half-million range? I didn’t see any of that info on their website and it’s easier to ask on the Internet before I make an ass of myself calling a realtor. ;-)

    • rebecca-all they’re selling are the lots themselves. each resident then builds to suit their own specific needs. as for the lot prices, i honestly don’t know. we didn’t ask, as we’re not quite in a position to relocate just yet.

  • bea says:

    Looks so pretty and lush and still green, despite the signs of fall! Fall is also in the air here too!