Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Corset-Shaped Sewing Kit and Alice's Gooseberry Cobbler with Fresh Cream

In a previous blog post, I wrote about my sewing kit, also known as a "housewife."  Quilters' Book Club member Char sent a picture of her sewing kit that's in the shape of a corset.  Isn't it fun?  She included her hand in the picture so you can see the size of the kit.

In the book Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas, Alice writes to her sister Lizzie:  "I presided at the first meeting of the Soldiers Relief quilt group last Wednesday.  Mother Bullock let me use her pretty tobacco-leaf plates, which I never saw before.  They're for good, she says, and I guess I wasn't good enough.  I made a nice gooseberry cobbler, with fresh cream over the top.  Jennie Kate Stout asked for seconds." Alice's Tulips, page 17

Alice's Gooseberry Cobbler with Fresh Cream
1 quart gooseberries, washed, picked and sorted through
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon water

Cobbler Topping:
1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter
1 large egg
¾ cup milk
1-3/4 cup flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  To prepare the filling, place gooseberries in a 9” x 9” pan that has been sprayed with Pam.  Sprinkle sugar and water evenly over the berries.
3.  To prepare the cobbler topping, cream together the sugar and butter.  Add the egg, milk, flour, baking powder, and vanilla extract and mix to create a thick batter. 
4.  Spread batter over berries in the pan.
5.  Bake 1 hour.  Serve warm with fresh cream.   

In the book, Alice used black walnut hulls to dye some homespun.  If you'd like to experiment with some natural dyes on muslin or even Easter eggs, follow these easy directions.

I'd like you to imagine that the Quilters' Book Club is all together in a living room, drinking tea and having Alice's Gooseberry Cobbler with Fresh Cream as we discuss Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas.  We're going around the circle, each sharing something about the book.  It's your turn.  What would you say?  Please answer in the comment section below.  There are no right or wrong answers.  We'd just love to hear your thoughts on the book. 

By commenting, you are entering your name for my giveaway of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini.  The winner will be announced on June 1.  For June, we'll be reading The Lover's Knot by Clare O'Donohue, first in A Someday Quilts Mystery Series. 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.


  1. That is great! I would love to have one slightly bigger for a purse.

  2. I loved reading this book. It gives a unique glimpse into the life of women during the war. It also had little surprises instead of you being able to guess what happened ALL the time. One such surprised was saved for the end when Alice had to admit that she would have to hobble instead of being the graceful butterfly when dancing. It was a great book and I can't wait to start our new book. It should be delivered around June 4th. :)

  3. Through Alice's letters, it was interesting to see her maturation through the trials they had to face. The interaction of the women rallying together to make a go of it, season after season while the war went on was tremendous. I find that women need those relationships and thrive through them. This sorry graceless age finds many of us isolated by our schedules, deadlines, kids' schedules, spouses' schedules with little time for our nurturing, creative selves. I loved the ending.

  4. The world's slowest reader is still a ways from the end of the story, but in one of her letters, Alice talks about the scrap fabric she is putting into a quilt and where each piece came from and the memories they evoke while piecing and quilting. I have to agree that I feel the same way, both in piecing and again while quilting, meeting those fabrics and memories all over again.

  5. I enjoyed this book, maybe not as much as I did "Persian Pickle Club", but I do love reading Sandra Dallas books a lot! I have not read the next book on the list, so am looking forward to starting it soon. I would like to make an "Iowa 4-Patch" for myself, using Civil War repro. fabrics. Also, I want to make another log cabin with a black center, as I gave away my first one to a friend.

  6. Oops..someone give me a napkin quick because I dripped some of my gooseberry pie on it! LOL! much for me in the reading group..that's all I had. LOL! I have not read it yet. Need to see if our local library has the book or if they can get it on loan from another.

  7. I ordered it from the library so I will have it in a few days!

  8. I had a really hard time getting into this book. I couldn't get past this girl being such a whinner. At least that's how she sounded to me. It didn't end up that way though & I really got into it once I put my opinionated ideas aside. I identified with the "living with mother-in-law" feelings she had. Been there, done that. Would love to see quilts in these books!

  9. I haven't read the book. But from what you posted, I would share a few words about the assumptions we make aren't always correct. I would think perhaps the dishes were saved for special occasions, and this was to honor her first meeting with these ladies...perhaps to honor the Soldier's military service and the ladies who were gathered to make quilts for them.

  10. I just love the sewing kit Char, it is very cute.
    I enjoyed the book, I love reading about the civil war era & this story was a unique perspective on it. The letter format was interesting and at times a little frustrating as it would have been nice to read the other characters point of view. It was good to see the war from the ladies side of things & I enjoyed learning about the strength & resourcefulness of these strong women.

  11. I don't think I've ever had gooseberries before.


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