Here's a little treat for you, dear friends. The images above are some Polaroids outtakes the lovely Jen Altman took for my new book with Roost. They're from a gathering we hosted out here last weekend, highlighting southern cuisine.
I'll give you little glimpses of the book whenever I can. It's an absolute blast working on this project, and Jen has a wonderful ability to capture people and places in a way that showcases the beauty present in everything.
It's going to be an epic adventure. Just. You. Wait.
Happy Friday, friends! I don't know where you live, but it's been raining like the building of arks is in order for three days straight here. Which is just fine by me. The garden needs it, the water tables require it, and this cool-weather-loving-lady adores it.
It's been an amazing week. Busy, but amazing. My sisters just left about 30 minutes ago. I'm always so excited when they come, and so bereft when they leave. I love having people in our home. Playing hostess is one of my greatest joys. And they are so imminently helpful, folding laundry, sweeping floors, changing diapers-all without solicitation. Plus, they play with my hair, and there are few things I love more than having someone play with my hair.
Best of all, though, they got me a super generous gift card to Terrain for my birthday. Oh, yes. As though that wasn't enough, they sent Hubs and I out on a date to see Moonrise Kingdom (So. Good.) last night, our first movie date together since I was pregnant! Oh, sisters. You're simply the best. You always, always bring the awesome.
I don't have a What I'm Digging round-up for you this week, I'm sorry to say. You see, I was too busy doing this week to do much in the way of digging. And that's actually a good thing, to get away from the laptop and be out in the world; that's really quite good for me.
Instead of directing you towards a smattering of my interests this week, I thought I'd mention one specific event, happening tomorrow. National Can-It-Forward Day, sponsored by the good folks at Jarden (the brand behind Ball and Kerr canning equipment and ingredients), takes place all day. Whether you visit in person (out in East Indiana), or watch the variety of how-to canning videos they'll be streaming all day, you're bound to hone your canning chops. Do check it out, or, better yet, host a home canning party of your own!
Yesterday was nothing short of amazing. It was full of love, and laughter, and food, and rain, and fog, and cuddles, and everything I hold dear. If it set the tone for the coming year, it's going to be a very, very good one, friends.
*This book and this book from Hubs (along with a gorgeous, but too large, ring from Nervous System and a stunning, large, low, glazed hand-thrown ceramic plant pot).
*Hearty pancake breakfast at the Pisgah Inn (we were sat at the window, so we could watch the fast-rolling fog move by).
*Fog & rain-clad hike at Graveyard Fields (we powered through it and went all the way to the Upper Falls-so worth the deluge we experienced on the way back to the parking lot).
*Pretzels and cheese picked up at Pisgah Inn's country store for the rainy drive home.
*Gift certificates from family members that enabled me to score these lovely sandals I've had my eye on.
*A hot bath with my boy.
*My sister Devan fishtail braiding my hair.
*A homemade libation consisting of: Firefly mint vodka, Shrub and Co. ginger shrub, Izze's lemon & lime soda, lemon juice and fresh mint (recipe to come, I promise!).
*Local grass-fed beef burgers with homemade pimento cheese (the recipe will be in the new book!), my Persian pickles, and a corn/roasted red pepper/cilantro skillet side, courtesy of chef-extraordinnaire, Hubs.
*This cake, lovingly baked by my sweet, sweet sisters. Have mercy. I ate 3 slices (!!!), and then rolled myself off to bed.
It was simple, sweet, and grand. My idea of a perfect day.
If you want to see more from our hike at Graveyard Fields, gohere.
Just in time for my birthday, folks! 36 years young today!
My editor wrote to give me a head's up on an amazing sale over at Barnes & Noble. If you have hesitated on buying any of the books in my Homemade Living series, hesitate no longer, dear friends of the interwebs! All four titles are now 50% off! Yeehaw!
This is an amazing sale. If you're tired of waiting for one of my books to get returned to the library so you can check it out again, or want a timely gift for a loved one, or just want to finally check out the pages of one of these books for yourself, now's the time to get on it! The sale runs through next Tuesday, July 17th.
Whew. The past few days have been an absolute whirlwind. We threw a big 'ole Southern foods gathering out here this past Saturday evening, as part of my new book. It was amazing-kids, parents, dancing (cake walk!!!), food, bourbon, and heat! Oh. My. Word. It was hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. But it was grand!
Today I'm off to visit this farm on my way north to Burnsville. My sisters, Huxley and I are going to spend some time with family, enjoying the mountain and creek views provided by the swing on my Mom's porch. Oh, yes.
Tomorrow is my birthday, and we're thinking of beginning with breakfast (and more mountain views) here, before going on a hike at either Graveyard Fields or Black Balsam. For dinner, we might hit up Bouchon for their all-you-can-eat mussels night.
In the mean time, I wanted to share this post with you from the amazing Foodie Crush. Heidi Larsen has a real gem of a publication going over there and it was an honor and a delight to share some recipes, pie-dough tips, and general conversation with her. Check it!
Happy Friday, friends! My sisters are here for the week! I! Am! So! Excited!
Hope you had a lovely Independence Day (for those U.S. readers). We laid low at home, and rounded out the day gathered around our big oak dining room table with friends. Nice and easy, that's my style!
Our over-ambitious attitude in the garden this year seems to be paying off. We put in something like 20 cucumber plants and they are some kind of paying it forward, by the bushel!
To that end, I've spent the better part of the last 3 days making my Dill Pickles, Quick Persian Pickles, and Sweet Pickle Relish. Recipes for the former and the latter can be found in my book, while the middle recipe was featured today on Etsy's blog. Thanks for the love, Etsy!
That's a lot of chopping and jarring, and we're only just getting started! I love it, though. Standing in the hot kitchen, with things simmering gently under lids, and colanders full of homegrown cukes, and herbs and spices all around-this is good, good stuff right here.
What about you? Are you in a pickle over anything lately? On a related note, our beloved friends Jen, Jon and their daughter Awynn visiting from Georgia showed up with a 25-pound box of their state's finest-peaches!!! I'll be moving from vinegar to sugar, it appears!
I hate wasting food. I go to great lengths to ensure we use every bit of food we purchase or grow. That's especially true of leftovers.
Sometimes Hubs cooks like there's an army coming over for dinner, instead of just us two and Huxley. I never complain, because his eats are always amazing. That said, we're sometimes staring down the same dish for multiple meals, across several days.
Which is where we get creative. This morning was one such occasion. We'd enjoyed a Bolognese-ish sauce over tortellini a few days ago. It was filled with tomatoes, spinach, herbs, spices and Hickory Nut Gap ground pork. So, so good. We'd had it over three meals, though, and had a bit more that needed to go into a new incarnation.
Enter the frittata. The meal you can always count on, the friend that's always got your back. As simple as simple can be, the frittata never disappoints. Whatever leftovers you've got on hand, they can go into a frittata. Pasta? Put it in a frittata! On-the-edge veggies in the crisper? Put 'em in a frittata! Or, like we did with our Bolognese-esque "we seriously need to mix it up" sauce-frittata to the rescue!
It's low-fi, affordable, fast, and good. And that, friends, is all you really need.
Making an attempt to craft a good life with my husband and young son in a small mountain community. I find pleasure in the light at dusk, atlases, hard cider, cat antics, dog breath, baby giggles, homemade ice cream and snorty laughter.
Author of the "Homemade Living" book series (Lark Books) which showcases topics related to small-scale homesteading and some of the diverse ways people are reconnecting with their food and food communities and taking up sustainable food practices.
I also host a bi-monthly column every Friday on Design*Sponge:http://www.designspongeonline.com/category/small-measures.
E-mail me directly at: ashleyadamsenglish(at)gmail.com.
"The Big Problem is nothing more or less than the sum total of countless little everyday choices, most of them made by us and most of the rest of them made in the name of our needs and desires and preferences."-Michael Pollan