Friday, August 26, 2011


This is my shrink-couch moment.

I am terrified to quilt a quilt.

I know I have an awesome machine for it.

I know I can do it, that I just have to dive in and try it.

I know I can start small and simple.

I know all these things.

Yeah, still terrified.

But I'm wondering what will get scarier: the prospect of quilting or the stack of quilt tops that need to be finished (last count: 15 - SO embarrassing!). The quilt tops are quickly winning out. I want to use them, not look at them in their little boxes and wish I had them to snuggle with.

Here's hoping I get over this fear soon so that we don't freeze this winter!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Still Here

I'm still here, still busy, still pregnant. Got my law student (that's his handsome self up there, posing with a perfectly roasted marshmallow, all for me!) off today and so begins are latest and greatest adventure. I'm so proud of him. I don't get too personal on this blog (usually save that for my other one), but I just love this guy - he's a hard worker and he's determined to make a good life for us.

The least I could do is finish quilts in time for Christmas! I've been sewing like crazy - I've got 56 blocks done on my string quilt. I've got some catching up to do on the FWQAL, but I'll get there. I'm also finishing my last two (hooray) classes at UW. Then I'm a graduate! Hooray!

Our landlords are remodeling the upstairs next week, so we'll be escaping the chaos and chilling in the air-conditioned goodness of my parents' house. I've got sewing projects there to cut out (baptism dress, blessing dress) and lots of fall/winter shopping to do. It will be a nice break, although we'll miss Aaron a whole lot. But it's his first week of classes, so he can really focus and work out the kinks in his schedule without having to worry about neglecting us. We'll all adjust when we get back from K-town.

In the meantime, happy sewing. I'll be ordering a boatload of flannel to back my quilts with - that's decision is a long story, but for another day - and then I will (gulp!) start in on the quilting of my finished quilt tops. Scary. But if Aaron can go to law school, I can quilt a quilt.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberry cobbler and I go way back. Growing up on the southern Oregon coast, blackberries were a way of late summer life. We spent hours picking bucket after bucket of berries that, if they actually made it home, were turned in to cobblers most days.

One summer, my Gran was visiting us. We picked a mess of berries, and brought them home to her. She turned out the best blackberry cobbler I've ever had. I should know. I ate it through my tears that time.

See, I was so excited to get it to the table, and she was letting me carry it there, that I was dancing around. The exuberance of a child and hot, syrupy berry juice do not mix well. I ended up dumping some of that cobbler onto my right arm and burning it something fierce. While everyone else enjoyed their cobbler, I was standing at the sink, crying as the cold water ran over my wrist. I don't remember if I was crying over the burn or because I had to wait to have my cobbler. Room temperature cobbler's got nothing on hot cobbler with vanilla ice cream melting into white pools around the berries.

In honor of that cobbler (and the little white scar on my arm where the burn blistered), and in honor of my Gran who passed away this spring, I made this cobbler today. And did not dump any of it on my arm.

Meme's Blackberry Cobbler (adapted from Bon Appetit, Y'All)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 cups fresh blackberries (which are scarce here in Northern Idaho, so I used frozen and didn't feel one bit ashamed - didn't thaw them or drain them)
1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling, if needed
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of kosher salt
1 cup whole milk (or 2%, which is what I had)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Whipped cream (what we used today) or ice cream, for accompaniment

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Melt the butter on the stove in a large cast-iron skillet. If you brown the butter a smidge, all the better I say.

Place the blackberries in a large bowl. Using a potato masher, mash them to release some of their juices. If the berries are tart, sprinkle over some of the sugar. I skipped this step as my berries were frozen and I'm impatient.

To make the batter, in another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the 1 cup sugar, milk and vanilla, and stir until evenly blended. Remove the skillet from the stove and add the melted butter to the batter; stir to combine. Pour the batter all at once into the skillet, then add the blackberries and juices to the center of the batter.

Bake until the top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the batter comes out clean, about 1 hour. Serve hot (most definitely), warm (still okay) or at room temperature (not in my house you don't) with whipped cream or ice cream. Save some for breakfast too.
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