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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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  • 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).
  • A visit today to farmer Tom Kousky of neighboring Hominy Valley Organic Farm yielded: flats of flowers (geraniums, celosia, and marigolds); starts of pickling cukes, zucchini, and yellow squash; 12 basil plants; two bundles of asparagus; a bunch of spinach; a bunch of radishes; two bunches of beets; and two pints of strawberries. The obvious way to celebrate all of this goodness was to blend up some strawberry milkshakes. Happy weekending, everyone!
  • Happy Friday, friends! New
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What I’m Digging

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Happy Friday, friends! Oh, the wind in this cove last night. THE. WIND! I honestly thought, what with all the creaking and shrieking and moving and shaking going on outside that we might have a tree come down. Or the roof blown off. Or the power go out. And yet, thankfully, none of those things happened. We did, though, get a tiny, whispery, taunting dust of snow. It’s the first real snow Huxley has ever seen. He seemed to dig it, yelling every time he saw a bit from one of the windows in the house “Snow Mama. Two snows!” (he says “two” of anything whenever he wants to indicate more than “one”-hilarious, and yet, brilliant!).

For those of you interested in such things, today is the Celtic first day of Spring, or Imbolc. On this day, ancient Celts would celebrate the imminent return of spring. In the Irish climate, the early indications of spring’s arrival appear in February. On Imbolc, the Celts paid homage to Brigid, a goddess revered for her gifts of poetry, healing, and metal-smithing. The fiery Brigid invoked the notions of fire and rebirth.

On these dark days of winter, so cold and frosty, it’s important to generate heat, both literally and figuratively. I’ll be gathering with several lovely ladies tomorrow, to photograph an event for my book Handmade Gatherings (due Spring 2014, Roost Books). It’s entitled “Heartwarming”, and will include such warming activities as hot fires, candlelight, blankets, warming comfort foods, hot libations, crafting heat-generating body care products and, last but not least, dancing. Because, truly, what gets the heart pumping more than some good old booty shaking?

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

*How gorgeous does Aran’s trip to Sitka look? Sigh.
*Jessie & Melanie render their own lard.
*Thinking of starting a blog? Victoria’s got some great advice.
*Exquisitely gorgeous.
*The story behind Bee Man candles.
*With foraging season approaching, I’m on the hunt for a great pack basket.
*Winter citrus!!!
*I’d like one of these.
*And while I’m pining for things, I’ll take one of these, too.
*Fentinman’s Rose Lemonade is one of the most exquisitely delicious things I have ever tasted. Get you some.
*These ladies show you how to make your own tinctures!

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

I always post a photo of Huxley here on Friday, because, truly, he’s what his Papa and I dig the most! 

 

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