• Local friends-whatever your plans are for this evening, change them! Come join me instead at @rhubarbavl for their
  • Great burger and transcendent frites with a charred onion aioli at @kingjamesavl. Great vibe and an exceptional waitstaff, which deftly caught that Huxley was nearing meltdown mode, and saved the day with a lightening fast, perfect grilled cheese. Wonderful seeing Steven Goff and @samlg87!
  • Livin' in an Appalachian paradise. ??(view of Mt. Pisgah, from the top of our road).
  • The finale at last night's Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl was this Chocolate Coffee Tart with Vanilla Orange Marmalade from my book
  • What a surreal experience last night @rhubarbavl, being served your own recipes! Shown here: Chimichurri Deviled Eggs (
  • So much delicious decadence on display yesterday afternoon at my 7th Annual Ladies Cookie Exchange. Thanks to all you lovelies (and your littles!) that made it out! Such a wonderful community of women I'm surrounded by. We three Englishes won't have to bake any more this holiday season! *That's your girl waiting patiently for the sugar frenzy to begin, @littlecoffeebeans !
  • Put this down as a night to remember. Immeasurable gratitude to @rhubarbavl for hosting recipes from all 7 of my books at tonight's Sunday Supper. @glennbenglish couldn't have been more thrilled. Our favorite restaurant in Asheville now feels even more like our dining room away from home.
  • Asheville and vicinity friends, I want to let you in on a secret. @oldworldlevain is a baked goods goddess, a fascinating woman (she bakes AND teaches tango lessons!), and simply a lovely human being. This medley of deliciousness is a mere sampling of the tastiness she had on offer today at her pop-up inside of Wood & Spoon in west Asheville. You can order regularly from her though, and you should. Her goods are creative, imminently flavorful, and clearly lovingly made. Obviously, I am smitten.
  • All kinds of magic percolating up in here.
  • Last night this sweet, tiny elf wanted me to pick him up, and then asked
  • Only a few seats remain for the Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl on the 14th featuring recipes from all 7 of my books. The large dining room is nearly sold out, woohoo!!! Call 828/785-1503 to reserve a spot before they're all gone. I'd love to see you there!
  • So you see, love, actually, is all around us. A pleasant discovery whilst stoking this morning's fire. Happy Friday, friends!
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What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! We had the motherlode of all thunderstorms rip thru here last night. Fortunately, no trees fell on the house, that always being my greatest fear when we have rough storms or high winds, what with living in a forested cove and all. We did get a beast of a deluge, though. The little creek that runs right beside the house, which normally emits a nice little trickle, audible from our entry porch, sounds like a raging river now. The ground of the chicken coop looks like it was given a bath, and the tiny frog pond is “full to bursting’”, as the old timers around here would say.

All of this is great! Everything needed a good washing, as pollen has begun clinging to every surface it can find. The ground was a bit dry, too, so a nice soaker has quenched the thirst all the way up from the tulip poplars towering around us to the moss, chickweed, and dandelions down below (I’ve got plans for those dandelions-alcoholic ones!-and for the violets popping up as well!).

In other non-weather and non-libation news, I’ve got a new profile up on Madesmith. This time its of Joshua Vogel’s Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co.. At first, I took my work for Madesmith as simply another freelance job (albeit an enjoyable one, espousing sustainably minded artisans). Now, though, I really enjoy hearing about the creative process behind each maker. I’m learning so much about production and manufacturing and just about reveling in the slowness and mindfulness and purposefulness of making useful, lovely items.

I’ve also got a Small Measures post up on Design Sponge. This week I’m offering a recipe for making your own Garden Hand Salve. I don’t know about you, but now that I’ve taken to toiling the soil again, my hands needed some TLC. This is the balm that’ll soothe them. Plus, it smells good. My mom put some on yesterday when she was over playing with Huxley while I worked and emitted a heavy “Hmm!” exclamation when she smelled it. Success!

And now, for my Friday round-up! Here’s a smattering of this and that’s that caught my attention this week:

*If ever I had a style icon, it would undoubtedly be this lady right here.
*My sister Devan bought Glenn an early birthday present when she was visiting. The gorgeous black-stained cutting board (the last photos in the link) from local woodworked Goldsplinter is almost too lovely to use!
*These wall panels from Ariele Alasko are stunning (via Door Sixteen).
*Have you heard of Tradesy? I’ve already scored a skirt and a pair of jeans. I’m smitten.
*Scents and sensibility.
*Both the rhubarb and strawberry plants in the garden are putting out new growth, meaning this will eventually absolutely happen.
*The Hygiene Hypothesis sits very well with me.
*Spinach and Smashed Egg Toast? Awwww, yaaya!!!
*So intrigued by Debra Prinzing and her Slow Flowers advocacy (and book!).
*At the suggestion of a number of friends, I’ll be making this for my mother on Monday for her birthday. Kisses to you, Ina!

Did you know that I used to manage a Bed & Breakfast? That’s right. About 7-8 years ago, I cooked and served guests things like homemade crepes and muffins, changed bed linens, and scrubbed claw foot bathtubs in a large Inn built in the late 1800′s. I loved the job and meeting new people, but, above all, I adored my bosses, Marg and Gail. They’re coming over for a cocktail this afternoon, and to meet Huxley for the first time. I’m so excited to see them. They’ve become sort of “honorary aunties” to me, supporting when me I graduated with a second bachelor’s degree from UNC-Asheville in ’06 (I have two bachelor’s degrees, one in Sociology and one in Nutrition), cheered me on at my wedding in ’07, and bought the organic mattress for Huxley’s Moses basket before he was born. They’ve always had my back and I can’t wait to give them both a tight squeeze!

As for Saturday, it’s all garden, all day. I’ve got massive plans for it, and with a sunny 66 degree day in the forecast, I intend to get my dirt on, big time.

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! 


8 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Susan says:

    I love the beautiful clogs on Madesmith…if I ever enough money, I’d love a pair of those! I also have two Bachelor Degrees, one in Visual Arts from Antioch and the other in Computing.

  • Alicia says:

    I am digging that recipe for Garden Hand Salve. I am prepping this weekend before I head north to Vermont for my herbal classes April 20-21. This will be my third year – second as an assistant.

    Have a great weekend, Ashley!

  • The Barefoot Crofter says:

    Great things there. Ina’s chocolate cake is fabulous – our favourite. I have everything I need to make the hand salve too – lots of sun arriving here, so gardening it is!
    Have a great weekend xx

  • Angela says:

    Oh my goodness! I know Josh and Kelly of Black Creek Mercantile! Wonderful profile of wonderful people…love it. I feel an inch closer to meeting you someday…

  • Georgette says:

    You are soooo inspiring. Going to try the hand salve. Have a lovely week! Glad your land got a deep quench of rain. Here in the SF Bay Area I am about to do a Cherokee prayer for rain dance. Are my ancestors listening?

  • Georgette says:

    About the hand salve….because I am a vegan I looked for a substitute for beeswax. I found Candelilla wax that Mountain Rose sells but is currently out of! Just a side-bar. Thanks again for the recipe. I plan to make some for presents as well.

  • psalterfarm says:

    Makes me want to read more Alice Waters! Thanks for sharing!