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.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

It Was Thirty Years Ago Today . . .

That we changed our citizenship . . .

Both Husband Jim and I were born and raised in Missouri
(Kansas City to be exact)
and I'd never lived anywhere else.

Even though Kansas City spans two states
(Missouri and Kansas)

I thought to live in another state you had to have a passport!

But thirty years ago we switched our allegiance
from Missouri -- The Show Me State

Kansas -- the Sunflower State

Fort Scott, Kansas to be exact
Which was only 20 miles from where we lived in Missouri
It wasn't like we had to trek half way across the country --
we really only moved 20 miles!

The move happened because Husband Jim's employer
wanted us to move.
I didn't want to --
especially to Kansas

But one blustery day in March (a Tuesday to be exact)
on his way to work, Jim happened to see a for sale sign

this picture was taken in 1924 -- not the year we bought it

on an American Foursquare Craftsman
on National Avenue -- the Main Street in our little town

It was the only house we looked at!
We made an offer, it was accepted

And because we had been to England a year earlier and had fallen in love with the fact that houses had names rather than addresses, we decided this house had the same charm that those
English cottages had and needed a name!

At Husband Jim's suggestion, we named it Linderhof
for the builder was of German descent as was I.

That was in 1988
We've been Kansans for 30 years, we've lived in Fort Scott for 30 years
and we've lived in Linderhof for 30 years
It's the longest we've ever lived anywhere!

And that calls for a celebration!

Using the 1924 photo, we made postcard invitations and mailed out a goodly number

We don't like to do things the easy way . . . 
We were in Minnesota for Mother's Day and arrived home Tuesday night
The party was Friday --
Three days to put a party together!

Jim was in charge of the patio and setting up drink

I was in charge of the garden . . .

And the house . . . 

And the food!

We got it all done in three days -- 

The weedy needy garden was made presentable
(and received many compliments)
The house was clean
The patio and drive were made leaf free
and Jim set up the bar with wine, spirits and beer

And our guests came . . . 

A whole patio full

And then off in the corner were the Pergola People!

It was a perfect evening --
Not too warm, no rain, no bugs
The drink flowed
And the food was in the dining room

Rainbow Vegetable Tray

Fresh Fruit with White Chocolate Dip

Ann's Cheeseball

 Lumpy Dip

Stuffed Eggs

Oh, and meatballs, we can't forget the meatballs even though I forgot to take a picture of them!

Dessert was served in the breakfast room

 Texas Sheet Cake
A classic recipe but a good one
For crowds, it is my go-to chocolate cake recipe
And the good news is that it feeds a crowd.

We were happy to share our home of 30 years with our friends as we celebrated
our 30 years in what we consider now our "adopted" home town.

Linderhof 2018

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

An Entertaining Week . . . A Week of Entertainment

Last year was quite a week . . . 
We had company
four days!

On Sunday . . . 

Four  for lunch

The Aynsley Pembroke

Redbud sprigs and white tulips in a crystal vase

Every thing done and we're waiting for company to arrive

Sunday's Menu:

Fresh Pea Soup

Lemon chicken, herbed rice and roasted asparagus

Meringues Chantilly with strawberries

On Tuesday:

Four for lunch . . . again!
But a different four!
The dishes are the Spode Blue Room

Tuesday's Menu:

Sarah's Salad from the Lion House Pantry

Penne with a creamy mushroom Sauce

Sunday's extra meringues were made into Eton mess!

On Wednesday:

The DAR came by to cheer the Combat Veterans 
as they passed in front of Linderhof
No one can come to Linderhof without an offer of hospitality
Cookies, coffee (because it was cold and rainy) and iced tea

Ina Garten's Ultimate Ginger Cookie
(one of my all time favorite cookies)

 We waved as the Veteran's passed by the house!

On Friday:

Four guests for lunch . . . again!

I chose to use the Spode Blue Room

The centerpiece is the first blossoms of my mother's lilac!

The Menu:

One of my favorite salads:
lettuce, strawberries, red onion, pecans with a sweet celery seed dressing

Taking a page from my mother when she entertained
Hot chicken salad, a pickled peach and roasted broccoli

A dessert that I discovered this year and the third time I've made it . . .
Fresh Blueberry Cream Pie --
I, however, made it into a tart

It is fabulous and the blueberries here have been exceptionally good

The week:

Sunday:   the Quaker Lace tablecloth, white tulips and redbud sprigs in a crystal vase, Aynsley Pembroke china and white damask napkins in silver rings . . . 

 Tuesday:  the same Quaker Lace tablecloth, the same centerpiece as Sunday, white damask napkins

Wednesday:   no tablecloth, the same tulips and redbud in the crystal vase and Spode Blue Italian coffee cups and saucers

Friday:   The Quaker Lace cloth, Spode Blue Room, white damask napkins but lilacs in a crystal vase

Thursday:    a bare table and a quiet dining room . . . 
It's nice to have company and I enjoyed visiting with so many friends!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Cookbook Book Club - April

There are several purposes to the Cookbook Book Club
1 - to teach us new things
2 - to have a great meal together
3 - to stretch our wings and cook dishes we might never try

Sara was the hostess in April and her choice:

Now "diet" and Cookbook Book Club doesn't seem to compute
We're not meeting to diet but to cook and taste new and different foods --

But we accepted the challenge
And that is another purpose of the Cookbook Book Club --
to challenge us in the kitchen!

So we all looked up Keto
And the Pyramid . . . 

And as we said at the end of the evening,
we had one of the best meals that we've ever had
at the Cookbook Book Club

We started with appetizers

Donna brought two
A tray of "taco cups"

Taco meat filling in cheese cups.    Topped with tomato and sour cream on some
and sour cream on the others.

We all adored them!
They were good  and completely Keto!

Donna's other appetizer

Avocado stuffed eggs.    We all thought they were good and that the avocado filling was very good . . . 
Rhonda had a hard challenge this month --
How in the heck do you do a "starch" when the theme is Keto?

She did as a lot of Keto dieters do -- she made "potato" salad with cauliflower.
We all liked it and Rhonda said that she would definitely make it again!

A challenge of another sort:

I had salads.    Salads mostly being "keto", I decided to take an old favorite non-keto recipe
and make it keto!
An old tried and true -- broccoli cauliflower salad with green onions and green olives and a dressing made with Mayo and Ott's dressing
Ott's if full of sugar so I made a keto approved version.
I thought the "keto" salad tasted as good as the non-keto versions that I've made
for the last 40 years!

Liz had a salad as well and chose a tossed sald with all kinds of vegetables, topped with bacon and the most amazing basil dressing that I've ever had

Michelle got vegetable and she roasted broccoli -- which she had never done before -- sprinkled with Parmesan cheese
It was a very tasty vegtable

Rita is our bread baker and you know that whenever she has bread, you're in for a treat.     She had a challenge this month, however, as bread is not really one of the keto approved foods.     She found a recipe and made the most amazing bread.    You would never know that it was "lo carb".    
But then she's always been a magician with yeast and flour!
(It was so good that I ate two pieces!)

The hostess always provides the main course and Sara did a wonderful pork chop dish for us topped with green onion and Parmesan cheese.     She couldn't have picked a better entree had she known what we all were bringing!

It was a nice well-balanced plate of food
And it was delicious
Some of us even had seconds for it was really good!

Rita may have had a challenge with bread
but our dessert people also had a challenge 
But they were up for it . . . 
We had

Lemon balls made from cream cheese and lemon and rolled in coconut

Carrot cake balls -- carrots, cream cheese and coconut
Although there wasn't any "cake" in these balls.
Belynda did a great job with these two desserts.

Angela was the other dessert person and she brought almost frozen berries
and white chocolate "soup" -- Oh, my was that ever good.    I thought I saw several of our group eyeing the bowl of soup and wondering if they could just go to a corner and finish it!

It was a fun time -- as it always is
And we're eager for next month when Angela will host
and the theme is Jamie Oliver!