Sunday, June 24, 2007

Good enough to eat.......

What could be better than a homemade double-crust blackberry pie warm from the oven? And just as good is the satisfaction of picking the berries yourself. Today my husband and I spent the afternoon picking blackberries on the 74 acres where our cattle graze. If you've never picked blackberries let me warn you that it is best to wear long sleeves, long pants and gloves to protect yourself from the blackberry vines which are extremely stickery. Besides gathering about a gallon of juicy berries, we also got a little surprise. While we were picking in a very overgrown area where the blackberry vines had grown up and entwined with the branches of a cedar tree, we discovered a baby raccoon sitting at about eye-level getting his share of the warm, ripe berries. He didn't seem too alarmed by us and we moved a little ways from him to give him his space. After a few minutes he moved on to "better pickins'" and so did we. What a sweet surprise from Mother Nature!

Cozy Cottage Recipe of the Week

I will be adding a new recipe each week so check back to see what's cooking here in my Cozy Cottage! This week's feature recipe is double-crust blackberry pie made from the blackberries we picked today.

Double-Crust Blackberry Pie
(modified version of recipe in the 1955 Meta Given's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking)

1 quart of freshly picked blackberries, rinsed twice
1 double-crust Already Pie Crust from the refrigerated section of your grocery

Spread first pie crust in bottom of pie pan. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of flour over bottom of crust. Mix together well 1 cup sugar and 2 rounded tablespoons of cornstarch. Sprinkle half of this mixture on bottom of pie crust. Add berries, making a flat top. Sprinkle remaining sugar/cornstarch mixture over berries. Dot with butter or margarine. Cover with top crust being sure to seal and crimp the edges. Make cuts in the top crust for steam to escape. Spray top crust with Pam Butter Flavor spray or spray butter and sprinkle with about 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Great served with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or cottage-style with Half&Half.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Cottage Renovation

Hi there! I was just thinking tonight that my readers might enjoy reading about how I renovated my cozy little cottage. Just click here and scroll down a bit and you can read the whole story.
You may notice there are no pictures of the powder room.....ummmm, that' s because it is in a stage of deconstruction....yikes! I started removing the icky green plastic wall tiles and also removed a large part of the now I've got to enlist my dear, dear husband's help with this project. He tells me I'm on the list....I just need to find a way to move my little powder room project up to the TOP of his list!
The powder room is tiny by today's standards, but remember this is the original bathroom built in the 1930s. It is exactly wide enough to hold a cast iron clawfoot tub (big smile!), the ceiling is 9 feet tall so that gave me plenty of room to hang the romantic pendulum fixture with prisms (okay, so dear, dear husband did that project too!), and has a nice window above the tub. Those are the positives......the negative is that I can't move the tub out of the room to replace the floor covering so that is going to be an adventure all of its own!
When we get started on the powder room renovation I'll show before pics, and pics along the way and finally some pics of the completed project. It is all in my head right now just waiting for dear, dear husband to say "Okay, let's work on the powder room today." I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Update on lap quilt

And here is how we stand today with the "ragged" lap quilt. I have 10 out of 35 squares sewn together so I am about one-third of the way with square-sewing now!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Putting my plan into action.....

Okay, faithful readers, I promised you a peek at what was next on my list of creative endeavors with all of that fabric.....and here it is!

I'm making my first ever ragged quilt. If you've never seen or made one, they are pretty take a backing fabric, polyester fiberfill, and coordinating fabric for the top of the quilt. Then you cut same-size squares of each, sandwich the fiberfill between the two fabrics and sew a big "X" across the three layers to hold everything in place. Once all of the squares are finished you start sewing them together in strips with the seam on what will be the outside top of the quilt. Once all the squares are sewn together you pop it in the washer for one or two cycles and then into the dryer and this "rags" out the edges of the seams.....pretty cool!

Well, I decided to do a variation on this theme....the backing for my ragged quilt will be the fabric with the green stripes and pink print you see in the photo. Instead of fiberfill, I am using a solid cream color flannel fabric so the quilt will be flatter and not so puffy. Then my topping fabric is the big surprise. I took some of my vintage cotton lace tablecloths and cut them into squares and they will make the top of the quilt.....doesn't that sound pretty?

So here is where I am with the quilt right now......the squares are all cut and ready to be assembled into layers with the "X" sewn across them......and THAT is tomorrow's project!

Stay tuned for the next segment of "Putting my plan into action".......and I'll post photos as I go through the stages of making this ragged lap quilt which, by the way, will be a featured item on my website once it is completed.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Summer Sale!

There's a summer sale going on at Cozy Cottage Gifts & Decor and I'm giving my blog readers first chance at these bargains. Here are just a few of the items on sale..... To see more just go to and click on the Summer Sale page.

On sale now!

On sale now!

On sale now!