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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  • Good people, it is 73 degrees today! I've opened almost all of the windows in the house and am spotting daffodils triumphantly ready to unfurl all over the knob our house sits on. @glennbenglish served this reuben with @chopshopbutchers pork pastrami, homemade Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut for lunch as a strong breeze swept thru the house and shook things up. YESSSSSS!
  • Clowning around. || Huxley tried out Tiny Tots Circus Playtime at Toy Boat Art Collective today and really enjoyed it!
  • Chatting about existentialism, and contradicting ourselves, and winter over on small measure today. || Into the woods behind our house.
  • Players gonna play. Huxley and his buddy Bay, doing their little guy thing today at the perennially lovely @thencarboretum.
  • The garden got blanketed with what I'm hoping was winter's last gasp this past week. I'm ready for those snow-covered strawberry beds in the foreground to start putting out juicy fruits, for Huxley to dig in his sandbox again, for cocktails at sunset on the pergola, and for conversing with soil and seeds once more. Spring is coming. Really started to feel it this weekend.
  • Scotch eggs of supreme deliciousness can be had on the regular at @kingjamesavl. @glennbenglish and I savored these beauties today alongside dirty rice fritters, gumbo with poutine, and @sunbursttrout smoked trout dip, all wonderful. There was also a pint of Appalachian Brewery porter that I have to have more of. Oh, and old school White Stripes on rotation. Great food, great atmosphere.
  • Confession: until last night, I had never had honest to goodness snow cream. @glennbenglish whipped up a tasty batch with vanilla and nutmeg, and we enjoyed it alongside @oldworldlevain's heavenly frangipane tartlettes with fresh cranberries, orange peel, and cinnamon. Snow-pretty AND tasty.
  • Scattered, smothered, and covered. Snowy day in the cove!
  • We three Englishes do so very much love snow. Forecast to receive between 3-6 inches tonight! @glennbenglish captured Huxley and I taking in the view on his way back to the house after locking up the chickens.
  • Woke up to overnight snowfall, always a treat. Then heard from my neighbor Lynn, a licensed massage & bodywork therapist, that the snow was preventing her from getting in to her clients in town and, as a result, she had an opening in her schedule and could give me a massage. Whenever she travels, I pet-sit her cat Sophie, and in exchange she trades me a massage. Not only is she a seriously stellar masseuse, she also is an aromatherapist, a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner (a kind of Japanese acupressure technique), and is certified in neuromuscular therapy. So when I get a massage from her, I receive this healing trifecta involving scent, body, and spirit. Plus, in all honesty, I feel like this woman is actually imbuing my body with love when she works on me. I left her house feeling light and bright, and nourished. She has offices in Asheville and Johnson City, TN (the home massages are reserved for family and neighbors!). If you're looking for a rich, wonderful, deeply healing massage, please consider Lynn. You can find her information at www.lynnbernatsky.com. || I passed our bamboo grove and its tiny creek on my walk over to Lynn and Steve's; it somehow spoke to me of good things in store.
  • Woke up to this view. Some kind of wonderful!
  • Spotted Quench in the wild today.Always a thrill to see my books out in the big world, and rubbing elbows with friends @thejoyofcooking, no less!
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What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! It’s a special day today! My beloved maternal grandmother, Ruby (aka “Nanny”), who served as the quiet inspiration for so much of what I’ve come to make my livelihood writing about, turns a young, spry 87 today! Woo hoo!

She doesn’t know it (shh!!!), but my mother is planning a big surprise birthday party for her tomorrow. I’ll be baking my Blueberry Refrigerator Pie (from my book) as an homage to the blueberry farm she used to own with her second husband in Chesapeake, Virginia years ago. Knowing how much she loves peanut butter, I’m also planning to make her that amazing peanut butter pie I fell in love with at the pie contest, as Barbara (the contest’s instigator and creator!) was kind enough to put me in touch with the person behind that dessert of creamy, nutty, chocolatey goodness. Love that pie. Love, love, love it! Happy birthday, Nanny! I’m so, so glad you’re here!

In non-grandmother news, here’s a smattering of this’s and that’s that caught my attention this week:

*Thinking of pitching something to Gather (via Kate).
*Got A Girl Crush is adorable (also from Kate).
*Might be my favorite pumpkin ale yet.
*Speaking of pumpkins, this takes me back.
*Paul Stamets is a remarkably inspiring person.
*More mushroom ideas (mycoremediation to clean up oil spills!).
*Marisa’s tips for preserving all that zucchini!
*Intriguing film about unschooling.
*Joy loves pie (and my book!).
*Gorgeous fruit-collecting basket.

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

*Did you know you can sign up to receive posts automatically whenever I put something new up on small measure? Simply go to the icon on the top of the blog header that looks like a little fire (it’s called “Feedburner”), click on it, and sign up to get new posts delivered to either your email address or to the reader of your choice. Now we can always be in touch!

6 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Nicole says:

    Aw, happy birthday, Nanny! A pie celebration sounds perfect :)

  • Rose says:

    Oh my goodness. Was their farm in the Hickory section of Chesapeake? Did they give out recipes and sell blueberry baked goods too? If so, that’s the farm I took my children to during the late 80′s and early 90′s!! Please let me know. And Happy Birthday to her either way!

    • rose-oh, how i wish i could say yes, but, alas, no, that wasn’t her place. theirs was a small-time outfit, with no recipes or blueberry baked goods (which sounds AMAZING, by the way)! she also closed the farm around ’88-’89, when her husband died.

  • Dana says:

    Hi there
    You are my Friday ritual! Love all your links, so much fun.
    Love your pics of Huxley too, he is adorable.
    Finally got my Where Women Cook mag back from friend so I can make my favorite chicken from your feature with honey recipes.
    Enjoy

  • Lisa says:

    Happy Birthday to your Nanny! I know she will just love your special pie. We have some small blueberries, called Garden Huckleberries, which came from seeds passed down from my husbands grandfather. As soon as they”re ripe, I will be making your refrigerator pie! I bought two or your pie books last week, one for my daughter, and one for me! We both love it Ashley! The peanut butter pie sounds yummy. Is that a recipe you can share??

  • Hazel says:

    Happy birthday Nanny Ruby! I’m not sure if my English Granny has even tasted peanut butter. Think it would have to be fruit pie for her!

    The pumpkin ale sounds delicious- I’ve never heard of it before, or seen it for sale in the UK. My husband brews a large amount of (hard) cider every autumn with some friends. Pity about the large ocean in the way, or I’d have bartered/swapped some for your home brewed pumpkin ale when you make it!
    Incidentally, as you said you were looking into making hard cider at some point in the future, they just scrat (chop/mash) the unwashed apples, (as great a variety as possible to give a good balance of sweetness/acidity in the finished cider), press them and then leave the juice to ferment in air locked demijohns- all very rustic! No added ingredients at all. A lot gets drunk immediately as the best juice you’ve ever tasted (my children’s favourite bit- they must have gallons!), some gets frozen immediately as juice and the rest becomes cider. I was tentative about my first sip, but it’s really very drinkable (and highly alcoholic!!). I manage to make some into cider vinegar too.
    Definitely worth a try!