There’s a weird thing that happens when what you love to do becomes what you must do. The blessing of full-time content creation stays a blessing (totally stays a blessing), but it’s also work (aka werk). I feel the need, every once in a while, to slow to a simmer.
I’ve been in the kitchen most of the year. There is zero complaint in that sentence. I’ve mostly been working on my next cookbook (October 2014!), making tripods out of stacks of cookbooks (totally professional), and washing a lot of dishes.
This Fall I gave myself some fresh air in a place I’d never been. I spent a few glorious days in North Carolina, and I’m not sure exactly how I made it on the plane back to California because I’m sure my heart is still in Asheville.
Original photography shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR. The filmmaker’s camera.
The sky is big. The trees are generous. The people are easy to laugh and kind. The mountains are blue, and green, and orange, and deep. Such a great place!
Let me show you!
I started my little journey in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Have you been there? It’s incredible! The beach is literally covered is shells. In California, you’d be hard pressed to find just one of these shells. On the Outer Banks this is just the ground!
The closer you walk to the water, the smaller and smoother the shells get.
Smooth little seashell stones! You can dig and dig and still find these smooth shell pieces.
This is where I just sat on the ground and stared at these waves.
I feel like east coast waves have a different rhythm than west coast waves. They’re deeper and darker.
I want to walk into these waves forever. It’s like a siren song.
Beach stairway (to heaven).
This is where we stayed in the Outer Banks.
Uh huh. Four floors and multiple decks. I mean…
I was here to teach a few pie baking and food styling workshops. If going to a beach house is work, then I’ll work forever and always.
I drove from the Outer Banks to Asheville, North Carolina.
I only killed two squirrels on the drive. I feel really bad about it.
I made my way to visit Ashley, Glenn, and Huxley. Do you know Ashley from Small Measure? She and her family live in a beautifully cozy home just outside of Asheville. They walked me around the garden and chicken coop surrounded by trees and falling leaves. Even though we’re new friends, we cozied up in the living room and chatted about what is good and big in life. Glenn made us the sort of meal that I never even knew I was missing: ham and apples, kimchi, eggs, and fresh cider.
Theirs is the kind of home that feels like a warm, welcome hug (with really good snacks).
I stopped the car to take some walks.
I watched my friend Tyler throw a boomerang.
I learned that it’s either harder than it looks, or I throw like a girl (both).
Up in the mountains I found a… I want to call this dude a Forest Police Officer, but I know that can’t be right.
I’m sorry. I live in a city.
I really needed to see some green.
And eat some green. I made this Mushroom and Brussels Sprout Hash for breakfast.
It seems I never miss an opportunity to take pictures of my food.
I cooked in a lot, but I also ate at some really wonderful places in Asheville.
Tulepo Honey Cafe, Curate, and French Broad Chocolate were my favorite!
There always comes the day the pack up and ship out. It’s hard to say goodbye to a place with so much fresh air, inspiration, falling leaves, and good light. Asheville, I’ll be back.
I eventually made my way home, found my way back into the kitchen, and make these (self-proclaimed) incredible Pumpkin Pecan Scones. If you want to make Stella Got Her Groove Back jokes… now would be a fantastic time for that.
Tomorrow we’re talking about DIY gift giving. We’re in the holiday game! I hope we can all find some time for deep breathing in it. I love you, byebye!
Hello! I’ve been reading for quite some time, but never commented. This post makes me smile. NC is home to me. Life is slower, words are drawn out, and the people are awesome. Thank you for showing others what I love so much about this state.
Oh, my goodness, this is pure beauty. I’m glad Emily introduced me to you. The Outer Banks is one of my most favorite places on earth. I love how you capture its loveliness.
Love the post! Beautiful photos!
Wow, what a stunning place – thank you for sharing :)
Oh Joy! Asheville has such a huge part of my heart too! My dad lives about a 40 minute drive outside Asheville, up in the mountains. I live in England, so get to go for lots of (always too short) visits. When I was a kid it was a total little podunk mountain town, but now it is amazing, so much great food, cool people, lovely walkable town centre, I love it there. So glad you got to go to that part of the country, and so glad you enjoyed it!
joy so happy you enjoyed my home state of NC. we have spent many a summer or fall week on the outer banks when our kids were growing up. it’s definately one of my favorite places in nc. Also love asheville and glad you enjoyed it as well. Tupelo honey is a fantastic place to eat and i also love cooking from their first cookbook and am looking forward to their newest one coming out in march. of course I’m eagerly awaiting your next cookbook as well.
Waiting on Martha (@Waiting on Martha)
Absolutely stunning!!! These photos…ah! xo Big Hugs @ Waiting on Martha
Shikha @ Shikha la mode
Love that shot of the stairs – everything is so pretty!
Claire @ Health Nut Claire
Your pictures are incredible!
I love Asheville; what a funky and cool place! I took a roadtrip there in September with some girlfriends :) We also loved the Tupelo Honey Cafe and French Broad Chocolate lounge (and learning about silly Southern sayings like, ‘Shoo Mercy!’) Next time, take a tour of Troy and Son’s moonshine distellery!
the pictures of NC are so lovely… so quaint and homey and full of love.
Joy, I was born and raised in North Carolina… born somewhat near the coast, went to college in the mountains (Asheville-ish), and now currently reside in the middle of the state. It’s always a pleasure to be reminded of the good things that we have right at our doorstep. So glad that you got to visit us and a big thank you for this post. You’re wonderful. Hope to visit CA one day soon!
Hi there Joy
Your cookbook just arrived in the mail today. It’s an absolute delight and I am now a happy woman :-)
Except – I want to go to North Carolina! Such beautiful pictures, that yellow house is to die for.
Seems like I won’t be the only viking there, what with people’s last name ending in -sen.
Hi there Joy
Your cookbook arrived in the mail today. It’s an absolute delight and I am now a happy woman :-)
Except – I want to go to North Carolina! Such beautiiful pictures, thanks for sharing.
It seems I won’t be the only viking there, what with peoples last names ending in -sen.