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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  • 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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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!