What I’m Digging
Happy Friday, friends! Hope you’re warm and toasty wherever you are. This week, in the mountains of western North Carolina, temps dipped to zero, with a wind chill around -15. Whoa. That’s pretty intense for southern climates. In preparation, we sipped hot chocolate at 5 p.m., put on our warmest wool socks and sweaters, and hunkered down, ready to meet this Polar Vortex head on (anyone else think that sounds like the name of a Monster Truck? Or a Swedish death metal band?).
While I knew we’d be warm inside, what with a behemoth of a wood stove like we’ve got, I was worried about our flock of chickens. Their henhouse doesn’t have electricity running to it, so any kind of supplemental heat wasn’t an option. Instead, we reinforced the coop with weather stripping and foam insulation in advance of the cold weather, put down two additional bags of cedar bedding, filled a 5-gallon plastic waterer with very hot water and set it into the coop right before closing up the doors for the night, and rubbed down everyone’s combs with an all-natural lavender salve, to stave off frostbite. The next morning, everyone seemed just fine, albeit it really hungry and parched. Alright, alright!
So, a few things I’ve written or been interviewed for these past few weeks:
*Had a great time chatting about all things pie on the Heritage Radio Network show No Chefs Allowed.
*My friend Kelly Aaron interviewed me for EcoSalon, asking about entertaining, and holidays, and, well, holiday entertaining! Check it out.
*My post in Verve is all about my resolution to let go in 2014.
In other news, here’s a bit of this and that that’s caught my eye lately:
*My Pop and his wife mailed me a shipment of Meyer lemons plucked (with permission!) from their neighbor’s tree. I had lemons, I had honey from our bees, and I had eggs from our chickens, so, naturally, I had to make this curd.
*Been in need of a new laundry basket for some time now. This might just be the one.
*Asheville’s own Urban Farm School is gearing up for 2014. Looks like it’s going to be another incredible year!
*Another Asheville event of note is the Hard To Recycle day, which happens tomorrow. Got goods you don’t know how to recycle? This might just be the event for you!
*I know this has been making the rounds on the interwebs, and for good reason. Astonishing.
*New (to me) blog that is profoundly gorgeous. And inspiring. And full of goodness.
*This photo essay on the Honey Hunters of Nepal is phenomenal. That is some serious commitment to honey’s sweet rewards right there.
*This Irish version of the “Cups” song makes me impossibly happy (plus, SO many lovely gingers!!!).
You might have noticed the image of Handmade Gatherings up on the top left column. It’s officially available for pre-order, with a final cover and everything. I am beyond excited about this book. Everything in it, from the people photographed to the dishes used to the color palette and, of course, the recipes, crafts, and activities it contains are real parts of my life. They’re not props, they’re absolute accurate depictions of how I live. This is a source of ideas and inspiration for throwing seasonal potlucks, to be sure, but it’s also a visual journey of who I am. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Wherever you go this weekend, whatever you do, and whomever you do it with, may it be grand!
*I post a photo of Huxley in my What I’m Digging round-ups because, truly, he’s what his Papa and I dig the most. Last Saturday, we took him to his very first “ninja” class. He was listening intently to the sensei here, in the dojo (which he very cutely continues to call the “jojo”), before going rouge and running around the room. He loved it, and so did we!