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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  • 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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What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! Today in the cove, the sun is a little bit brighter, the sky is a little bit bluer, the coffee tastes a little bit stronger, and the wool sweater I’m wearing feels a wee bit warmer. What accounts for all this heightened sensory stimulation is a little thing called turning in my book manuscript. That’s right. I hunkered down, come household-wide stomach flu, a family death, a crapped-out computer, a feverish baby, and a house full of friends and family last week, and took care of business. I even managed to turn it in two days early! Woo hoo!!!

Sending out all those Word document attachments (19 of them-whew!) to my stellar editor at Roost yesterday afternoon felt like gazing out over a mountain top. HUGE rivers of gratitude to that sweet, compassionate, got-my-back-after-only-meeting-me-once woman that is Amanda Soule for hooking me up with Jennifer Urban-Brown, who has made this process a gift in and of itself. With Glenn’s tireless help (that man deserves a plaque, a ribbon, a trophy, AND a marching band), the book left my laptop and sailed its way through the wiley wireless web and into Jenn’s computer. YES!

Of course, there’s plenty more to be done. Copyediting, and revisions, and more photography, but the big belly of the beast has been safely slain (or, rubbed into submission, is probably closer to the truth!). Aaaaaaah. Feels good, friends! Feels really, really good.

Here’s a smattering of this’s and that’s that caught my attention this week:

*The importance of urban farming.

*DIY vanilla, peppermint, and almond extracts.

*Great list of independent artists & designers for holiday shopping.

*No such thing as too much cornbread.

*I have two of these, but I could use more.

*Locals-great winter classes coming up at Small Terrain and Dry Goods Shop!

*These side-of-the-cup cookie cutters are sheer genius.

*Chocolate-covered coconut snowballs.

*Given the massive swath of forest he lives in, I think Huxley needs this.

*Kelli’s blog is full of something for everyone.

I’m hosting my 5th annual Ladies Cookie Exchange this weekend. The fun twist this time is two-fold: we’ll be having it at the home of my rock-star friend and Handmade Gatherings photographer, Jen Altman (she’s got a much bigger home than I do, and it’s nice to change up the photo backgrounds from time-to-time); and, this event is actually going to be included in the book! So, there’ll be lots of lovely ladies, and libations, and things to nibble on, and music (Jen is always, always, always playing music in her house and I, in turn, am always learning of some new amazing band-cool by proxy, I’ll take it!), and crafts, and shared decorations, and all kinds of seasonal goodness. Let the holiday rumpus begin!

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

 

6 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Melanie J. says:

    Congratulations on the manuscript! I know that feeling on a smaller scale, and look forward to when I can turn in my own complete manuscript someday. Have a wonderful weekend; you’ve certainly earned it! :)

  • LOVE the inspiration on Kelli’s website as to what she’s doing in her community. Holla!

  • Kelli says:

    Congrats to you on the manuscript! What an incredible feeling. Thanks for sharing my blog and for the urban farming article. Urban agriculture is quite prominent here in Chicago (and my grad research focus). It’s so inspiring to see that folks are feeding entire communities with a wee bit of land!

  • jen says:

    Congrats on finishing such a huge project! I am testing two recipes today to bring to your cookie exchange. Can’t wait to see what others bring, though I am sure my waistline will insist on moderation. :)

  • Tracey says:

    Ashley,
    I just wanted to let you know I ordered a copy of A Year of Pies to give to my Mother in-law, I have since sat down with a cup of coffee and flipped through the pages and now will be ordering copies for all the girls on my gift giving list along with one for myself. I have been baking for many years and also collecting cookbooks since I was about 7, yours is wonderful and one I will use often. Thank you and have a great weekend.

  • Congrats on getting the manuscript turned in!