Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Cobbler!

Here in the south, we are all about cobblers.  Fresh peach, blackberry, dewberry, blueberry, even chocolate cobblers.   My all time favorite cobbler was a dewberry cobbler made by my grandma Mercer. Dewberries grow on trailing, bramble vines located close to the ground.  Grandma would always warn us to be careful while we were berry picking.  Not only from the brambles, but from dreaded snakes.  It seems snakes like to shade themselves under the vines.  Luckily for me, I never met a snake while dewberry picking!  We would gather our juicy berries in metal bowls until we could find no more or until our bowls were full.  Berry picking was a chore we happily accepted because we knew what was to come.  Later in the day, we would smell the delicious aromas wafting from the oven as a fresh dewberry cobbler bubbled away.  We eagerly awaited the moment when Grandma would place the dewberry cobbler on the table!  Grandma also made batches of dewberry jelly which we enjoyed year round.  Such a wonderful treat on her homemade buttermilk biscuits.  I sure do miss my grandma and her wonderful cooking.  Everything was always so delicious and made with love. Such wonderful memories!
After church today, I decided to make a fresh strawberry cobbler to go with our Sunday lunch.  The strawberries have been terrific and I can't seem to leave the market without a a large container in the cart.  My Uncle Nick made the best strawberry cobbler.  This is not his recipe, but I think he would be happy with my rendition.  It is a very simple, but scrumptious recipe. Put on a cute apron and let's cook something yummy!

Fresh Strawberry Cobbler
3/4 cup self rising flour
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of milk
1 stick of butter
3 cups of strawberries, washed and coursely chopped
1/2 cup of sugar for strawberries

Wash and remove stem from strawberries.  Cut strawberries into chunks.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over strawberries, turning strawberries to coat with sugar.   Set aside.
Place one stick of  butter in a casserole dish.  Place the casserole dish in the oven, allowing the butter to melt while preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of self rising flour.  Slowly pour in milk, stirring until just combined.  After butter is melted, remove the casserole dish from the oven and slowly pour the batter into the dish.  Do not stir.
Gently spoon strawberries on top of the batter. Do not stir.  Do you see a pattern here?
Place back in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.  I wish you could smell this!
Cobbler is best served with vanilla ice cream.  They just make a great pair.  Sort of like good friends!  I recently read that topping a cobbler with ice cream originated in the Deep South.  No wonder I like mine topped with ice cream! So get yourself a bowl and spoon up a generous helping of warm, delicious cobbler.  Don't forget to add a scoop or two of good vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!! 
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse
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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Let's Make Decoupage Easter Eggs!

Today I am joining the Share It One More Time link up party.  This is my first time for the party and thought, what can I share?  My decoupage Easter eggs came to mind.  What a perfect time!  If you are having a rainy day like we did yesterday, it would be a perfect, fun project for the little hands in your house.  They would also make a terrific gift from your little ones to their grandparents.  Before we start, let me show you a vintage Easter egg from Germany.  Believe it or not, these are not that expensive.

Now for our project!  Since they are already having Easter sales, head on down to your local craft store and buy all the paper mache eggs available, select some pretty scrapbook paper, a sponge brush, and a jar of Mod Podge.  If the Peeps are on sale, grab a pack of those.  A little sugar inspiration can do one wonders.  Now let's get crafting!

Supplies Needed:
Paper Mache eggs
Scrapbook Paper
Sponge Brush
Bottle of  Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre  (decoupage in a jar)
Pair of disposable gloves (optional, but I learned the hard way)
Wax Paper
Peeps or my favorite, Reece's peanut butter eggs (for snacking only)
As you can see, I didn't have a sponge brush and it was too late to go get one.  However, I can say from experience that the sponge brush is faster to work with. For my first egg, I began cutting strips about 1/2 inch in width.  After laying everything out on wax paper, I applied Mod Podge with a brush to the back of the paper strip as well as on  the egg.
Next, position the paper strip and then repeat the steps until the entire egg is covered.   Use your fingers to press the paper onto the egg, sealing edges with the pressure of your fingertips.  This process moves along very quickly. I didn't get a picture of this, but I am sure you get the idea. 

Continue in this fashion until all your eggs are done or until you run out of Easter candy!  Lastly, apply a couple of layers of Mod Podge to the entire egg and let it dry thoroughly.  Now they are ready to add a cheerful bit of color to your home for Easter!

I didn't like my first egg with the long strips, so decided to cut the paper into tiny squares.  I have voted the this one "Best Egg"!
Or maybe this should be the "Best Egg"?  Oops, I see a spot I missed.  Do you see it? Good thing about this project is that you can go back and fix it!
I can't decide!  Is this the "Best Egg"?  For this one, I randomly cut flowers from the paper and positioned them on the egg. 
I also did a green and yellow polka dot which you will see in the bowl below.  I cut the yellow pieces too large, so there are wrinkles on the egg.  Make sure that you cut the pieces so that they lay smoothly on the surface.  I still have 18 more eggs to do, but wanted to share this easy project with the ones I have completed.
I think this will be the perfect addition to the Reading Room.  By the way, this is another pair of gloves I picked up for my holiday decor.  They are soft kid leather with small pearls across the top.  What small hands she must have had!
TIP:  I didn't use gloves when I made the pumpkins (Delightful Decoupage Pumpkin Project) and found that Mod Podge, even after repeated hand washing tended to stick to my nails resulting in a  "Mod Podge Manicure", another one of my inventions! In other words, you may want to use gloves!
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse!
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Irish Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

A coworker recently commented that "Still Woods certainly has been STILL".  What can I say, I have been in a blogging slump.  The last few weeks have been full of activity and travel.  I have lots to share, but haven't stopped to write anything down.  Yikes! 

Since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, I thought I would show you one of my new acquisitions.  I am a collector of milk glass, but at this point in my collection, I only purchase unusual pieces or pieces that speak to me.  These definitely spoke to me!  They are the perfect addition to my St. Patrick's Day decor.  We often serve desserts on the Reading Room table.  I have these ready for after dinner coffee.
Each St. Patrick's Day, our family celebrates our Irish heritage by sharing a meal of Irish food.  No green colored pasta allowed here (saw that yesterday at the grocery).  Contributions must have Irish roots.  We have put our thumbs down to a few choices over the years.  Did I mention that everyone at the dinner has a name tag with their leprechaun name?  Click here for the link to the Leprechaun Name Generator .  Mine is Shamus McFits!

If you don't have time for an Irish dinner, make sure to watch The Quiet Man.  My all time favorite movie.  It is a wonderfully, romantic movie staring John Wayne as Sean Thornton and Mauren O'Hara and Mary Kate Danaher.  A delightful character in the movie is the spirited Michaeleen Oge Flynn played by Barry Fitzgerald.  I hear that Turner Classic Movies may not play The Quiet Man tomorrow and to that I say "WHAT?".  It is the best St. Patrick's Day movie ever!
Have you traveled to Ireland?  It is at the top of my "to do" list.  One of the local priests organizes a trip to his homeland each year.  He jokingly told me that he would take a Baptist along!  I might take him up on that.  His family resides in Ireland.  I hear it is a wonderful tour.  Sit back and let's take a quick tour of this beautiful country. Dunluce Castle will be our first stop.  The first castle of Dunluce was built in the 13th century.
I hear that no trip to Ireland is complete without a stop at St. Patrick's Cathedral.  Just beautiful!
Also highly recommened is Boyne Palace.  It features tombs older that those at Stonehenge. 

The Ring of Kerry is a lovely drive encompassing some of the most beautiful sites in Ireland.
Let's stop at Trinity College in Dublin.  The college was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592.  Below is a picture of the Long Room in the old library.
I found this little castle for rent several years ago while researching Ireland.  According to their website:
the castle, an ancient seat of the Comerford clan, is a five story, 16th century towerhouse 8 km south of the medieval city of Kilkenny. The castle has been restored to its former authentic glory using the same techniques and materials as the original 16th century builders. Couldn't we have a great blogger party here?
 Hope you have enjoyed our tour of Ireland.  Irish Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse!