books

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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  • 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
  • This was work today. Sweet, delicious, patio-consumed work. Shrimp & grits, for the win.
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What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! This weekend promises to be a scorcher. Here in the mountains of western North Carolina we might even hit 100 degrees. Yikes! We plan to hit up the Blue Ridge Parkway in search of a frigid creek or swimming hole to cool our jets in. Or, if we’re feeling lazy, just fill up Huxley’s baby/toddler pool, and get in it with watermelon slices, cold beer, and a happy, splashing 20 month-old.

We’re also conducting a quasi experiment in our air-conditioning-less house. It cools down pretty considerably at night here in the mountains. I left all of the windows open overnight and then shut them up tight this morning. Fans are going in every room, so, we’ll see if we can keep our cool (literally and figuratively-this is the one time of year, every year, I tell Hubs we need to move to the Pacific Northwest; I’m a grumpus when I’m hot).

My Small Measure post is up on Design Sponge. I’m sharing a recipe for making Beeswax Insect Repellant Candles. I wrote on the porch the other day with one of these babies going and it most assuredly does the trick!

Here’s a smattering of this’s and that’s that caught my attention this week:
*I’ll take one of each, please. 
*Three friends have now recommended this book to me, so it’s high time I picked up a copy.
*Three words straight outta heaven: Berry. Buttermilk. Bundt.
*Solar dye kit (via Grace).
*Pineapple gin punch? Don’t mind if I do.
*Been drinking, and loving, this local brew.
*Aspiring bloggers, order this book.
*Garlic scape pesto.
*Our friends opened a chocolate factory (the Lapsong Souchong and Malted Chocolate bars are seriously to die for).
*Make a sun print!

We’re off to Short Street Cakes this evening. Robyn Jasko is doing a book signing and talk from her book Home Sweet Homegrown, which I gave away two copies of, along with a sampling of seed packets, a few weeks ago. I’ll be there, providing the jams, as in, spread-it-over-a-slice-of-bread jams.

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

14 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Melanie J. says:

    I've been wondering if I'll have a tougher time finding central heat/air in Asheville homes…gotta start getting Husby used to the idea now, cuz we run the AC pretty much 9 months out of the year here (FL). I'm shifting our move to Asheville (scheduled @ end of year), so may bug you for advice as we get closer. Thanks for all you do, Ashley! I really enjoy Small Measure!

  • Stacy says:

    I just bought The Everlasting Meal! It's on my nightstand as my summer read! :)

  • 105 in Atlanta here today – some sort of A/C is almost a must. We're planning on building a home in the future and putting in geothermic so we can get some nice 55 degree air coming into the house all year long!

  • jen says:

    Even though our house is 90 years old, the elderly lady we bought it from had put in AC a few years before we bought it. I'm so so glad. We don't have to run it much or turn it down low, but it's nice just to suck the humidity out of the air some days like today. I can't believe it's going to be so hot here in Asheville this weekend! Hope it's a heat wave and not an indication of what lies ahead this summer. I, too, get super grumpy when I'm hot. Our neighbors don't have AC so we're having lots of evening spent hanging out at our house. :)
    I fully intend to go lie down in the cold water at UNCA Botanical Gardens this afternoon and all weekend. :)

  • I am a total grumpus when it's hot too. (Just ask my husband. hehe.)
    We head an hour inland, to Eugene Oregon, to sell our wares at market on Saturdays. During the summer, it can be way too hot over there for me. I'm always relieved when we drive back home, close to the coast. In the mountains, with the trees, I can rejoice in the refreshing air once more. :)
    It does get hot at our place too, but not as hot.
    We enjoy Bracken's toddler pool too. :)
    I think Bracken and Huxley are about the same age.

    Now, off to check out some of your links. Have a great weekend!

  • Kem says:

    The Tamar Adler book is great. I'm reading the end few chapters as slowly as I can so I can savor it. I love literary cookbooks and this leans most heavily on the literary side. It is an inspiring, unique read that's helping me to be more frugal-minded in the kitchen, a recent goal of mine. Simple is delicious and do-able!

  • Kem says:

    Also, on the air-conditioning front, I am a cantankerous, wilted beast in the heat. Even up here in northern VT it gets reallly hot for at least a handful of days in the summer. We wait until the outside and inside temps are about equal (usually around 6 p.m., then turn our fans backwards (facing out) to push the hot air out of the house for about 30 minutes, then turn them around to bring the cooler air in. The house temp in the a.m. is always nice and cool, so we promptly close all the doors and windows, running fans if necessary during the hottest part of the day. I also keep a little mister bottle of rosewater (or whatever hydrosol you like) in the refrigerator to spritz myself with during the day. Such a refreshing and aromatherapeutic pick-me-up! My sweltering day cocktail is this: pineapple juice, fresh squeezed orange and lime juices, a can of coconut milk, and some light rum mixed in a pitcher and served over ice. Not bad with a sprig of mint, too! It makes for happier sweating. Good luck!

  • I've been meaning to pick up Tamar Adler's book – happy your post reminded me. We live in a 145+ year old farmhouse with no central A/C either. The stone foundation does help with the natural cooling…..too bad our bedroom's in the attic. :) Making simple syrups this weekend to add to carbonated water to keep us cool.

  • Anonymous says:

    “An Everlasting Meal” is beyond words (in a good way)! I keep reading it over and over, I think you are going to be very happy :-)
    Heather

  • I'm lucky enough to live in a moderate climate, but we do get some scorchers and no AC…only the very swanky have it here. We practice careful window management: if the house starts the day cool, closing things up before ten will usually keep it that way. Also we added extra insulation to the attic.

    But the real trick,if you have forced air heat: turn on the furnace fan. It will circulate cool air from the basement. Heaven.

  • El Gaucho says:

    Here's hoping you stay cool over the hot hot hot weekend.

  • Ruthie says:

    I am in LOVE with those necklaces! Oh, and the Pacific Northwest is a LOVELY place to live :)

  • Morgan says:

    Yes! Move to Bellingham! It is raining and 70 here today. Summer may come after the 4th of July.

  • Tami says:

    Seeing the solar dying kit got me to wondering if you have ever done tie-dye. I have long wanted to give this a try but don't know how to go about it. Maybe I will give it a look on YouTube to see what I can see. Hux would look soo hip in some tie-dyed duds!