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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  • The gleaners. || Yesterday, our land served as the location for a foraging class led by wild foods expert Alan Muskat. So many edibles here, constantly changing with the seasons.
  • 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!!!
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What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! We’ve had an interesting week, to say the least. Tuesday witnessed my first knitting class. I must admit, it’s not a skill I intuitively picked up straightaway. Quite the contrary. I figured out making a slip knot and casting on, but actually making a knit stitch? What? How? Where? I was totally lost. That’s alright. I’m a tenacious sort of gal, so I’ll figure it out, one way or another (big, heartfelt thanks to all of you that set me suggestions on Twitter for books, websites, blogs and videos on gettin’ ‘er done).

On Wednesday, a book idea I’m pretty passionate about was turned down by a literary agent I’ve been chatting with. That’s alright, too. I’m not done with the idea yet, so I’m squirreling it away and letting it simmer for now. Wednesday also presented the death of our two hot water heaters. The average lifespan of hot water heaters, according to our plumber, is 8-12 years. Ours were 8, and totally bit the dust. Hello huge unexpected replacement expense! Yesterday we had a new, single water heater installed. My mom came over and offered me a bit of a mental and physical reprieve by playing outside with Huxley in the garden (or, as he calls it, the “gar-dy”), reading him countless books inside, and otherwise smothering him with the love and affection he so very much enjoys.

Tonight, my friend Jenny is coming over for dinner. The nice twist is that she’s bringing the meal with her. She’s been on a Middle Eastern food kick lately and will be festooning us with meat pies (MEAT! PIES!), some sort of yogurt sauce, and an arugula salad, while I provide the dessert (I’m planning on making Diana Henry‘s “Middle Eastern Orange Cake with Marmalade and Orange-Flower Cream“). Tomorrow, I’m headed with some lady friends to Double G Farm to test out some of Lance’s firearms. I’m still trying to “find my weapon” for my hunting pursuits. That excursion will be followed up by dinner at the home of some beloved friends (who, by the way, are building a chocolate factory!).

The weather is amazing right now. So much so, in fact, that I’m writing this from my covered porch, where we recently relocated the breakfast table to in order to create a larger play space for Huxley in the kitchen. The wind is blowing, the temperature is just right, I’ve got a hot mug of cardamom coffee beside me, and Huxley is busying himself by moving things around on the porch (he watches Hubs and I constantly moving things around and about the kitchen and gets all “business” when he starts moving things himself-right now, it’s candleholders and little bits of soil from some dormant houseplants).

Here’s my round-up of this’s and that’s that drew me in this week:
*The Jam Labelizer (via Marisa).
*Beautiful beets!
*The stories of Gilt Taste are incredibly well crafted.
*Chocolate Earl Grey Cake? I’m in.
*Locals, come meet your farmers!
*Coconut muffins.
*The Edible Balcony looks like a great read for urban growers.
*Learn how to cure your own lox.
*Having just taken on knitting, now I’m ready to quilt, too!
*It’s the season of citrus and these preserved lemons (and salty lemonade recipe) look great.

Wherever you go this weekend, whomever you spend it with, whatever you do, may it be grand!

*Our tiny Englishman is pictured above in the goat pen from last week’s visit to Red Wing Farm. I’ve got goats on the brain, friends! 

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