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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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  • Scotch eggs of supreme deliciousness can be had on the regular at @kingjamesavl. @glennbenglish and I savored these beauties today alongside dirty rice fritters, gumbo with poutine, and @sunbursttrout smoked trout dip, all wonderful. There was also a pint of Appalachian Brewery porter that I have to have more of. Oh, and old school White Stripes on rotation. Great food, great atmosphere.
  • Confession: until last night, I had never had honest to goodness snow cream. @glennbenglish whipped up a tasty batch with vanilla and nutmeg, and we enjoyed it alongside @oldworldlevain's heavenly frangipane tartlettes with fresh cranberries, orange peel, and cinnamon. Snow-pretty AND tasty.
  • Scattered, smothered, and covered. Snowy day in the cove!
  • We three Englishes do so very much love snow. Forecast to receive between 3-6 inches tonight! @glennbenglish captured Huxley and I taking in the view on his way back to the house after locking up the chickens.
  • Woke up to overnight snowfall, always a treat. Then heard from my neighbor Lynn, a licensed massage & bodywork therapist, that the snow was preventing her from getting in to her clients in town and, as a result, she had an opening in her schedule and could give me a massage. Whenever she travels, I pet-sit her cat Sophie, and in exchange she trades me a massage. Not only is she a seriously stellar masseuse, she also is an aromatherapist, a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner (a kind of Japanese acupressure technique), and is certified in neuromuscular therapy. So when I get a massage from her, I receive this healing trifecta involving scent, body, and spirit. Plus, in all honesty, I feel like this woman is actually imbuing my body with love when she works on me. I left her house feeling light and bright, and nourished. She has offices in Asheville and Johnson City, TN (the home massages are reserved for family and neighbors!). If you're looking for a rich, wonderful, deeply healing massage, please consider Lynn. You can find her information at www.lynnbernatsky.com. || I passed our bamboo grove and its tiny creek on my walk over to Lynn and Steve's; it somehow spoke to me of good things in store.
  • Woke up to this view. Some kind of wonderful!
  • Spotted Quench in the wild today.Always a thrill to see my books out in the big world, and rubbing elbows with friends @thejoyofcooking, no less!
  • Good day to be in western NC. View of Mt.  Pisgah from the top of our road.
  • You will not pass! || Our shorty with his soul sister Raeglan, adventuring in our woods two days ago. @thebriere4
  • Batman Begins. You ought to hear his 4 year-old take on Batman's gravelly, husky whisper.
  • Post meal, pre-hike to the frozen
  • Yesterday marked the very last photo shoot for my upcoming picnic book. 20 picnics, showcasing all 4 seasons, DONE! Snow, the necessary
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What I’m Digging

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Happy Friday, friends! Got anything fun planned for the weekend? We were slated to head to Charlotte with my mom and grandmother to visit my brother and his family, but his nearly 9-month old son, Gray, might have a bit of a stomach bug, so the jury is still out on whether we’re going or not. Either way, I’m looking forward to a wintery weekend. I feel my absolute best when there’s a chill in the air, and tomorrow’s forecast high of 32 suits me fine, whether we stay or go.

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

*10 fantastic winter activities (they’re suggestions for kids, but I know a load of grownups would find many a thrill in this list!).

*Oh, what fun to be a cat with this climbing set up!

*I love eccentrics, and niche concepts, and stories of human triumph, so this story about Giulietta Carrelli and her coffee and toast (and coconut and grapefruit juice) joint “Trouble” in San Francisco warmed my heart on multiple levels.

*Citrus season is upon us! Think ambrosia is cloyingly sweet, full of ingredients of dubious quality, and not something you’d ever consider enjoying? Think again! David Tanis will set you straight.

*Argyll Forest Park, I love you (via Imagine Childhood).

*These photos taken by a Russian mother of her two sons and their animals are breathtaking, and make me really, really wish I knew so much more about photography.

*Great tutorial for brewing your own kombucha (this is Part 1; be on the lookout for Part 2, which will cover creating flavored kombuchas!).

*My blanket crush this week.

*Fans of small batch preserving, Marisa McClellan’s new book Preserving By the Pint is available for pre-order, and it looks wonderful!

*Picked up a pair of these socks in “Loden” two weeks ago and they’ve been amazingly successful at keeping my feet warm (the listing says “Men’s” socks, but on the package, it lists the equivalent in women’s sizes).

This has been a busy week of play dates for Huxley. Tuesday he played at a friend’s house for three hours while I worked on the new book, tossing ideas off of Glenn over coffee at a bookstore (real! grownup! talk! without! chasing! a! wiggly! toddler!). We were worried he might have a bit of separation anxiety, as he’s almost never with anyone other than Glenn or myself. However, as we pulled up in the driveway, he said “You can go now,” followed by “Bye Mama, bye Dada.” Think he was ready? Oh, yeah. Totally ready for some independent play time. Yesterday, he went to my buddy Maria‘s house for a four & 1/2 hour play date with her kiddos while Glenn and I had an incredible adventure (I’ll be sharing it with you in detail next week!). He was a total champ!

It’s a strange, funny thing, parental intuition. Much like just kind of waking up and one day knowing I was ready to introduce solid foods, or fully wean him, or transition him into his own bed, or, now, introduce away-from-home (without us) play dates/childcare, it’s turned out he’s always been right there, right on board, just as ready as I to take the next step, transition to a new way of doing things. It’s so easy to loose sight of what’s right for us and our child. I’m not saying we should scorn advice or suggestion. To the contrary (I’m kind of offering advice of my own here, anyway, right?). Instead, I’m giving praise to the power of developing your own relationship with your child, or spouse, or partner, or pet, or whatever living creatures you’re in regular contact with, and trust that the paths you two choose to pursue, whenever you should choose to do so, are best for you.

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! This little adventurer is a serious force to be reckoned with on his balance bike. 

8 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Jen says:

    what a lovely way to talk about parenting. i’m with ya!

    happy friday!

  • Bec says:

    I really enjoy reading these posts of yours. I can find out about cool stuff I would otherwise never know about! However, this week I had actually already read the Toast story (amazing, raw, touching) and seen the photos of the kids & animals (magical, very talented)! So I feel slightly cool now. Just slightly!

  • Kristin says:

    This: “Instead, I’m giving praise to the power of developing your own relationship with your child, or spouse, or partner, or pet, or whatever living creatures you’re in regular contact with, and trust that the paths you two choose to pursue, whenever you should choose to do so, are best for you.” was so nicely put, Ashley.

    Discount Shoes on Brevard Road has some thick wool socks by Wig Wam that are super. I can’t believe I lived without wool socks for so long–one of those simple things that makes life wonderful.

  • Joyce says:

    Hi. I love all your links. I make Kombucha too.

  • Anna says:

    It is usually very interesting to me to hear other perspectives and approaches to parenting as I do my best to find my own way. As I slowly navigate my way through staying home with my son and continuing to do my own creative work (hoping that both will flourish) I would love to hear more of your thoughts/ideas on how you combine both.