Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

National Coffee Day

The coffee of choice at Linderhof

And I'm surprised that we can find it in our little town on the prairie.
It's a good bold coffee and I like the hint of chicory!

Since today is National Coffee Day
A breakfast of coffee and cake seemed like a good idea

In the breakfast room.
Just coffee and cake

I may have lots of tea pots but I only have two china coffee pots
An Aynsley Pembroke one (the good china)
And this Johnson Brothers Indies one (the English transfer ware)

But then everyone knows my love affair with blue and white!
And Cass knows my love affair with Indies!

The coffee cake -- a raspberry cream cheese one that came from
Daughter Sarah.
It's a showstopper whenever she has a brunch
And I must admit that it is a very tasty coffee cake
(And who doesn't love raspberry?)

Of course, we didn't finish the whole thing for breakfast . . . 
But it's also tasty with tea in the afternoon
(But -- gosh -- you would have tea on National Coffee Day?)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I'm a Copycat!

Friend Francie 
had her garden club for their September meeting and lunch.
I was invited to present a program on cooking with herbs.

As you know, I adored her table linens
A wonderful fall table
With a touch of blue and white!

And her menu was perfect

Tomato pie, baby greens salad with berries and vinaigrette
And a pumpkin muffin 

We met for lunch in August and finalized plans for my
program -- what I would do, what I would bring
She told me her plans for lunch --
And such a good ladies lunch it was for this time of year

So in August, when The Lunch Bunch came
I served:

Tomato pie, a salad with strawberries and red onions with poppyseed dressing and a sweet tea glazed corn muffin

Month one -- I copied her menu!

The coveted table linens, I thought, may be a permanent covet
because they were no longer available --
couldn't even find them on eBay!

So I got creative
Ordered a huge tablecloth
And made my own!

They do look like autumn
But they're not full of pumpkins and maple leaves
So actually, they could be used all year long!

France's table had a blue and white planter filled with white orchids.   I chose to use the blue and white in my dinnerware -- my beloved blue and white transfer ware!
But I put them on rattan chargers like Francie did
And instead of orchids, I used a succulent filled pumpkin!
My candlesticks are old clear glass while Francie's were metal.
But it has the feel of Francie's delightful table setting!

Month Two -- I copied her table setting!

And the rest of the menu today?
For once again, The Lunch Bunch came to lunch

A salad dressed with The Olde Pink House 1771 Sherry Cream Dressing

Company Chicken Casserole similar to the classic Poppyseed Chicken
which is one of the traditional ladies luncheon dishes!

Served with white and wild rice and a croissant.
(Actually it should be either a homemade or Sister Shubert roll)

It is Autumn and desserts should reflect the season

A Cran Apple Cream Cheese Poundcake
which I took the liberty of frosting with an orange flavored buttercream and garnished with dried cranberries.

I do hope Francie isn't mad at me . . . for being such a copycat!
But both menu and table setting were perfect and I had to replicate!
I must admit that Francie's tomato pie was much better than mine and I am putting her recipe in my files -- it will be the one I serve now!

I was always told that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
And Francie hit the nail on the head --
Hopefully, I did as well -- but it took me two months to do it!

Thanks, Francie, for such wonderful inspiration!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Pumpkins Have Started to Arrive . . .

In the back garden,

A pumpkin replaces the sorry looking geraniums
on the table under the pergola.

And inside . . . 
A couple of years ago, when friend Martha Jane hosted a
meeting (either garden club or PEO)
she had the most marvelous centerpiece on her dessert table.

This is not Martha Jane's -- I didn't get a picture of hers
A succulent filled pumpkin
I brazenly asked where she got it
She kindly found the magazine where she got her idea,
made a color copy for me
And an idea was born

An idea whose time had come, I decided

On the breakfast room table at Linderhof . . . 

Full of succulents big and little

I've always loved greens with the oranges of fall

It makes a great centerpiece on the breakfast room table!

And it's easy to do . . . 

  1. Pick a pumpkin -- the flatter Cinderella's work best I think
  2. Buy some sphagnum moss (unless, like me, you already have some)
  3. Wash and dry the outside of the pumpkin, cut off the stem
  4. Use spray adhesive to spray the top of the pumpkin
  5. Position moss on top of the adhesive.     About 1/2 inch or so is enough
  6. With dabs of glue on the bottom of cuttings of succulents, arrange on top of the moss
  7. Water the moss with a spray bottle about once a week
  8. If you use indoors, place on a plate . . . pumpkins have been known to ruin tabletops (whether they have succulents in them or not!
  9. Probably by the time you're ready to put out Christmas, the pumpkin may be rotting.    Just transfer the succulents to another pot where they should continue to grow!


Thursday, September 22, 2016

The First Day of Fall -- I Covet . . .

When I gave the program to the Pink Dogwood Garden Club last week,
it included lunch
And Friend Francie had the most gorgeous table

A touch of blue and white, elegant china, earthy rattan chargers, antique glassware 
And the most beautiful runner and napkins
They had the colors of fall
But weren't "False Fall" with leaves and such on them.
They will work as well in January as they do in September
But in September, they won't just be pretty, but they will remind one
that it truly is Fall.

So pretty and Friend Francie was kind enough to tell me that they were
April Cornell linens.

I came home, found April Cornell website, and alas,
they had tablecloths, dish towels in the pattern
But NO napkins or runners.

That was what I coveted --
It would make for a great table at Linderhof
this fall
And for The Lunch Bunch luncheon next week.

So I got creative . . . 
And ordered their biggest tablecloth.

I reasoned I could get a runner and 8 napkins out of the fabric
It was on sale and actually, it was very economical
Much more so than the regular price of similar linens at April Cornell

It came yesterday
And today I had the time

I measured, added extra for seam allowance
made a pattern out of the newspaper

And began to cut out a runner and napkins

The dining room table is always the perfect place to cut out patterns.
I've been cutting patterns on a dining room table "forever"!

All cutout and ready to sew . . . 

All done!
I need to press every thing
(and trim threads off of everything)

But they will be the perfect linens for my lunch next week!

Thank you, Francie, for telling me where they came from
Although I was thwarted by no longer being in stock,
I did find a solution
And it worked!!!!

And, Francie, I'm not trying to totally copy you
(last month Lunch Bunch's luncheon was the same menu as Francie used
for her garden luncheon -- she told me what she was having and I copied!  And now the linens!)
But isn't copying the sincerest form of flattery?

So I'm not copying but flattering
dear Friend Francie

The Luncheon is next Tuesday,
come back and see what a pretty table these linens set.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fall, Part Two

Fall, Part Two
is done!

It's the planting of mums in the upstairs window box

To add a bit of fall color to the front
The red begonias we keep for red is "fall-ish" and so we get "double duty"
from our summer annuals
(which justifies my putting pansies there in the Spring!)

All one color -- a gold color
for I think it's the best fall color for mums
light enough to be seen from the road
yet muted enough to be fall.

Oh, and you may see the jack o lanterns peeking out from under the bench!
They do that sometimes --
They should be turned around until the week before Halloween.
I wonder who put them that way?
Gremlins?   Fairies?

Now to keep the mums watered so that we can have their bloom as long as possible.

And soon after the calendar turns to October,
we shall have Fall, Part Four!

Part Three is Mother's Nature's contribution
the fallen leaves on sidewalks!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Wolferman's Lives On

 The Original Dean and DeLuca of the prairie.

It all started in 1893, when Louis Wolferman mortgaged his home and raised $750 to purchase a bankrupt grocery store.

His son, Fred, joined his father in the fledgling business and a few years later, before he was 25, Fred took over the management of the grocery store while his father ran a farm which produced most of the fresh foods that the store sold.

Their slogan was Good Things to Eat and they sold foods of exceptional quality and even patented his own recipes.

Their flagship store was downtown
With groceries and bakery on the first floor
And upstairs was the Walnut Bakery Restaurant

And, of course, there was a store on the Country Club Plaza

By 1960 the company had grown to include eight locations and 500 workers. As the 1960s progressed, however, Wolferman's Stores entered into decline as the population moved to the suburbs and shopped in larger chain stores with cheaper mass-produced food.

In 1910, Fred revealed the brand's most famous and enduring food creation --
English muffins --
that were cooked over an open griddle in a tuna can!

The last store closed in 1984, yet the Wolferman's company remained competitive in the sale of high-quality bakery items, canned food, and alcoholic beverages. Today, through catalogs, the celebrated Wolferman's brand name survives on the still-famous English muffins, along with breads, pastries, preserves, and gift baskets sold by Harry & David Stores, a catalog and Internet mail order company based in Oregon.

At least once a year, I order a case.
There is no muffin like Wolferman's
And I refuse to eat any other . . . 

Toasted and slathered with butter
Which melts into all the nooks and crannies . . . 
It is just the best!

And Wolferman's was very generous with its recipes.
Often they were published in The Kansas City Star
when people wrote in and requested a recipe.

Mom often would buy cookies when we went to Wolferman's for our muffins.

My favorite were Hermits

Brown sugar and nuts and raisins.
A cookie jar cookie!
And mother would often buy a dozen or so whenever she shopped on the Plaza or downtown.

Saturday, I received a call from a new friend, Suzanne
She and I share a friendship with Cass of That Old House
Although Suzanne now lives in Kentucky, she was raised in the midwest
And we had a lot in common . . .
Swansons, Harzfeld's, Wolferman's, old Kansas City

She asked about Wolferman's receipts and I found that she had some that I didn't!
She graciously shared those two -- Four O Clocks and Rum Cream Pie

Sunday, I made Four O Clocks for my tea treat for the week

A small pecan filled cookie -- just perfect for tea!

Monday afternoons is always a special tea time
For I clean house on Mondays and it is so nice to sit and have a pot of tea
and a nosh
with the house smelling of polish and vinegar
and sparkling clean!

The Four O Clocks are perfect for afternoon tea

Thank you Suzanne
I'll make them often
And when I do, I'll think of you!

Wolferman's Four O Clocks

Wolferman's always sold these delicate tea cookies.   Sometimes they are formed into small balls or crescents.

1/2 pound sweet butter, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 cup pecans, finely ground
2 cups white flour
1/4 t. salt
Confectioner's sugar (to drop cookies in)

Preheat oven to 350
Mix butter, sugar and nuts.    Add flour.   Mix thoroughly.     Roll thinly between waxed paper.    Cut out into small rounds the size of 1/2 dollars.    Bake 3 to 5 minutes.    Drop in extra powdered sugar while still hot.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fall, Part One

It's almost Fall
Next week, actually, is the autumnal equinox
The time when night and day are of equal lengths
And that means that winter is on its way!

Fall touches at Linderhof usually are in three parts

These are the first fall touches around the house
The rest comes later --
in October --

A blue bowl on the breakfast room table full this year of pears
(a generous gift from a friend)
(Some years they're apples if we've been to an orchard)
And sunflowers . . . a transitional flower between summer and fall

The dining room table sports a bouquet of autumnal colored mums

The bittersweet and Chinese lanterns on the table at the bottom of the stairs.
The Chinese lanterns brought back last year from a trip to Wisconsin --
they graced the garden of the house we rented and the owner graciously said I could bring some home.
A reminder of a great vacation and a colorful touch of fall!

And around the armillary in the garden, mums in bud are planted
And the spikes white blooms of garlic chives herald autumn as well.
Soon the mums will add their rust colored blooms to the garden.

Pumpkins will be added in stages in October
And more mums in the upstairs front window box!
And a bittersweet wreath for the front door.

I so love fall and Linderhof embraces fall decor.