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Showing posts from July, 2010


Day Trips

The nice thing about living in a rural setting is all the interaction with the small communities that adjoin each other. All the small communities here are around one of the largest lakes in the State of Texas. There is always something going on.Last week end a friend from the city came out and we attended a luncheon and tea that has become an annual money making event for one of the churches in a neighboring community. A friend had invited me to attend with her last year, and it was fun, and beautifully presented so I was very excited to bring my friend with me this year.The theme was Celebrations. Each of the tables were decorated in a different celebration theme. There was a Christmas, Valentines, Easter, Brides, 4th of July, August Honey Bee, Fall, and a Coke-Cola Collection. The tables were so interesting, each of the hostesses for the tables had seen to every detail in the table setting as well as the decorations.
My friend sat at the Brides Table, it was decorated in beau…


Tutorial-Canning Season

I am so glad you come by today, I can use some help with this canning project. Canning is always more fun if you have a friend. I remember my Grandmother, my Mother and her sisters and sometimes her friends would get together and can their fresh products. I have my Grandmother's canning book, and I was looking at it the other day. It is a Kerr Canning Book, on the front cover it tells all about a Victory Garden and how to preserve the fruits and vegetables from the Victory Garden. It also talks about how every little bit that we conserve will help the outcome of the war effort. Then I thought how far we haven't come...We are engaged in two wars, and our economy is as bad in some areas as it was during that World War II time frame. More and More people are looking to home gardens to help conserve their resources. I have found in talking to people that some of those home skills like canning is almost a lost art. So come in and we will get started.

Today we are gong to c…


The Garden Gate: Fall Garden Plans

How are you today? I see you found the note I left to meet me at The Garden Gate. I brought us some ice cold lemonade to keep us cool. It is so hot these days it is hard to think about getting ready for the fall, but that is just what we are doing. It is time to start the preparation of our soil, and planting for our fall crops.

The first thing we do is prepare our soil. If you don't know what kind of soil you have the very best way to find out is take a sample to your County Extension Office. Just give them a call they can tell you exactly how to prepare your soil sample and when they can test it for you. They will be able to tell you the right mix of compost to use for your soil. The right balance of nutrient's in your soil is very important.


Here at the Country Cottage we use our own compost. We compost all year round. We compost every thing except, meat, poultry, and dairy products, everything else including paper goes into the compost. We recently emptied the bin …


Squash Squash and More Squash

Hi I'm so happy to see you today. Get a cold glass of iced tea don't forget to put a sprig of that mint in your tea. Come go with me to the Garden Gate. We will just sit here on the Garden Gate patio for a bit and take a look at all these wonderful Squash that we have just gathered.



The Climbing Trombetta, is a very interesting squash. It looks like a stripped Zucchini with a bulb on the end and has a slight taste of an Artichoke. The leaves are really very large and it takes a lot of space in the garden.








I love to cook squash, mostly I just love it steamed with a little butter and some salt, pepper and a few fresh herbs. There are so many ways to cook squash, most all the squash family can be put into a casserole. I have a great green chilies squash recipe in my new cookbook, "Miz Helen's Kitchen Table". Some of the squash are very good dipped in batter and fried, some are even used as an ingredient in bread. I love the fall Butternut squash baked and th…


The Journey Begins

Welcome to my Country Cottage open the door and come in I am so happy to have you visit. Would you like a cup of coffee or maybe a cup of tea? I have just taken some hot fresh blackberry scones out of the oven, would you like one? Have a seat, lets visit.

Some of my friends have been encouraging me for a while to start a blog. I had told them that as soon as I finished my cookbook "Miz Helen's Kitchen Table" and it was published I would start the blog. The cookbook is finished and published, so today I am beginning a new journey with all of you.

It is my hope to share with you on Monday and Thursday with a surprise post from time to time. We will explore together some of my favorite things such as gardening and bringing the garden product to the kitchen table, creative projects, home-keeping and a spiritual path in life. Stop by and leave your comments and questions and we will enjoy our journey together.

I am looking forward to seeing you this Thursday July 22, 2…