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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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What I’m Digging

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Happy Friday, friends! As I type this, a warm wind is whipping around outside. The wind is so eerily warm, in fact, that I’ve got the windows in the kitchen open, my mom (who is upstairs laying out wooden train tracks with Huxley, God love her) is wearing a short sleeve top, the wood stove is cold, and I’m thinking about icy beverages to drink. The respite from frosty weather is seriously appreciated, just oddly placed. When you consider that this weather is going to pass tonight and usher in 48 degrees as a high tomorrow for what promises to be a very well-attended cookie exchange here, it’s a bit frustrating, too. I was kind of crossing my fingers for a day warm enough for the crowd to mingle comfortably outdoors around the fire ring, if they were so inclined. We might still, but there’ll definitely be a noticeable nip in the air then that’s conspicuously absent now. Oh, weather, you vexing, fickle muse, you!!!

I’ve got a new post up over at Verve. I’m sharing my love of all things cinders and ashes there, as it seems so many of us invite and celebrate the presence of fire to a greater degree this time of year than at any other.

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

*Hannah, the youngest daughter of Lynne Harty, the photographer I had the pleasure of working with on all five of my books with Lark, has started a college dorm-based cooking blog. Such creative ideas for taking dorm taking to a whole new level.

*Great ideas for simple, homemade holiday gifts.

*I’m kind of a sucker for all versions of “The Little Drummer Boy” (although I maintain that Bob Seeger and his raspy drawl takes the prize). This a capella version from Pentatonix is amazing.

*Our Eggnog Hot Chocolate got some love from Parade!

*Thinking this might just be the year the Geodesic Gingerbread House comes to life, chez English.

*Marisa’s got the 411 on canning turkey stock.

*Love hellebores, those stunning flowers that pop up when snow blankets the ground, offering silent testament that hope really does spring eternal (I do!)? Here’s how to grow them.

*The story of Charlotte & Jonathan is a great reminder that we must always, always, ALWAYS take great care not to judge people based on appearances (I wept both times I watched this).

*Bourbon salted caramels, for the win!

*I’m teaching a class on homemade body care products at a local library this Sunday. Folks attending will learn how to make (and take home samples of!) my lip balm, bath salts, and honey foot scrub, all great, simple items that also make wonderful gifts!

So, my weekend promises to be full and merry, what with ladies, cookies, body care product-making, and merriment in general. This stretch of days through the holiday season is one I look forward to all year long. We three are enjoying it to the fullest!

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

*I post a photo of Huxley here each Friday because, truly, he’s what his Papa and I dig the most. This image of the two of us is from yesterday. Hominy Creek flows along the entrance to our road (we live in Hominy Valley), and faces our mailbox. Huxley and I love to toss rocks in the creek each time we walk down our dirt road to get the mail. Teaching him to skip them is up next! 

10 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Yasmin says:

    Have a good weekend, Ashley! I owe you a HUGE thank you! I made the basic pie crust from “A Year of Pies” over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was my best pie crust ever. I’ve never received so much praise for a crust before. Thank you!!

  • Heather says:

    God bless Charlotte, she is so special, I love the way she loves her dear friend.

  • Marisa says:

    Thanks so much for including my turkey stock post in your round-up, Ashley! :)

  • Jennifer says:

    Wow! You just made my night with the links to both the Pentatonix song and the opera duo.

  • Georgette says:

    You are so good! Is there anything you don’t do well? I am making a few of the homemade gifts for Christmas as well as the heavenly body butter recipe you shared yesterday. The classical duo stole my heart. I play Jackie Evancho’ s Christmas CD in my car whenever I drive right now. Inspirational. I can appreciate the sensitive photo of you and your son sitting by the stream. There’s a timeless element because your faces are not shown. Sweet. Blessings and Namaste.

  • ieva says:

    Ashley, thank you for all of your posts. You are a part of each of my lovely mornings. Especially loved todays and thank you for the link to Charlotte and Jonathan.

  • Joyce says:

    I love your posts. I’m so glad I found you and your writing.

  • Laurie Sprague says:

    LOve love love Bob Seger’s Little Drummer Boy and every other song he does! Also love your posts and the Asheville area! I have been to Biltmore numerous times, but never at Christmas. On my list of things to do eventually…

  • Dana says:

    Oh boy, that Geodesic Dome gingerbread house looks fun! My husband would like that too…. hmmmm

  • Sarah says:

    The bourbon salted caramels were definitely a WIN! Made them this weekend and shared them with very happy friends. Have wonderful holiday season!