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 14, 2017

We Go To The City for Afternoon Tea

The "we" is friend Priscilla and I
She took care of Doogie and Daisy
(or as they said, kept them from starving after we had abandoned them)
while we went north to celebrate the Grands birthday.

So "they" (Doogie and Daisy) treated her to afternoon tea

Authentic Afternoon Tea
Real authentic English Afternoon Tea!

A painting in the rest room of the bakery!

At the Clock Tower Bakery in Downtown Overland Park

You do have to make arrangements ahead of time . . . it's not a drop in for tea place
(at least not for Afternoon Tea -- you can stop by any morning or afternoon for a pastry and a pot of tea)

They were ready for us --
tablecloths and napkins and china cups and saucers

The menu

And a sheet entitled 
"Afternoon Tea Etiquette)

A pot of tea
(Priscilla selected a green jasmine tea from Twinnings which was very good)
And a two tiered curate
loaded with tea goodies

Sandwiches and savories
(cucumber -- classic cucumber without American frills; chicken salad, sausage rolls, a crostini with Wenslydale cheese topped with jam, and my personal favorite is the roasted vegetable roll (roasted vegetables mixed with something and then spread on a flattened slice of crustless bread and rolled up))
(I wonder if Teresa will share the recipe with me?)

 Scones and Sweets
(real English scones (notice the round shape-- British scones are never triangles), lemon bar, a cream puff, jammy dodgers, lime macarons and Battenburg cake)

The round scones served with real clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam

And my personal favorite out of the whole tea tray . . . 

The Battenburg Cake
Oh, my was it delicious!

And it is obvious, a good time was had by all!

Teresa, the owner, hails from England.    We had a nice chat about American tea versus English tea
and how much I appreciated her Authentic Afternoon Tea.
In fact, I felt that if the street outside the window were narrower that I would really feel as if I truly was in England!

If you like Afternoon Tea, The Clock Tower Bakery is the perfect place!
Everything (but the cream) is made in house and is absolutely delicious --
best lemon bars that I've ever eaten -- and the Battenburg, oh, my!
I can't wait to go back!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Dance of the Butterflies

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

In a small grassy field
With the trees all around
There's a fairy ring ancient and old
And at times you can hear
Perfect echoes of sound --
'Tis the music of ages untold

For the crickets keep time
To a waltz or a reel
And the birds fill that lovely expanse
With the notes to a tune
With a light, airy feel --
In the fields where the butterflies dance

Where the wildflowers bloom
With a sweet perfume
In a rainbow of colors and shades
Where the maids hurry down
From the hill-top town
And the butterflies dance with the maids

Painted Lady

Sedum full of Painted Ladies
(How many can you count?)

Where they splash in the stream
Or they lie down and dream
Where the bullfrogs thrum
While the butterflies wing
And the hummingbirds hum
While the merry maids sing
In the field where the butterflies dance
On a winged pirouette
Or a six legged slip
How they dance, and they wheel and they turn!
And their wings flash in time
To a bright Scottish trip
While the lassies turn 'round by the burn
For the crickets keep time
To a waltz or a reel
And the birds fill that lovely expanse
With the notes to a tune
With a light, airy feel --
In the field where the butterflies dance

Large Orange Sulpher


Where the wildflowers bloom
With a sweet perfume
In a rainbow of colours and shades
Where the maids hurry down
From the hill-top town
And the butterflies dance with the maids
Where they splash in the stream
Or they lie down and dream
Where the bullfrogs thrum
While the butterflies wing
And the hummingbirds hum
While the merry maids sing
In the field where the butterflies dance
A poem by Isaiah Zerbst, Dance of the Butterflies

Painted Lady

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day Weekend

Started out on Saturday at the 
Farmer's Market

Local pears
a whole bag of them
They replace the zinnias on the dining room table
in an old wooden bowl

Sunday we went to the city an hour of south of us

And brought home some fall pansies!

And another alabaster lamp!
(I have a few but finding them are far and few between --
sometimes years between finding them!)
I couldn't believe it
(And I think the shade is original -- it is stained but I left it on the lamp --
for now)

And I put it in the sunroom
on Mother's bookcase

It's a perfect spot for it!
And I like it better than the lamp I had their previously!

I like the neutrality of alabaster lamps --
they're there but they're not brazen like brass lamps
or colorful like ginger jar ones

I loved these Indian Summer petunias but they were getting leggy
(which actually was my fault -- I didn't care for them as I should)

The pansies brighten the center of the herb and flower garden

And in another spot -- a "bare" spot,
I planted two Montauk daisies
They're a fall bloomer
To go along with the Pineapple Sage, Mums and Garlic Chives
Those fall bloomers are always so welcome

And we ate and ate well --

Roasted chicken

And caprese salad
(the vegetables from the Farmers' Market -- the chicken was not)

It was an enjoyable weekend
And now we greet fall with open arms!

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day

We at Linderhof
wish you and yours
Happy Labor Day

As the summer season officially ends
And fall begins!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Cookbook Book Club -- August -- PIZZA

We met last Thursday
in the kitchen of the Catholic Church
For we were cooking together . . . 
The theme was

Sara and Barbara busily working on their pizzas . . . 
the rest in the other parts of the kitchen working on theirs.

And the end result . . . 

My contribution -- pizza dip
an appetizer
served with Fritos
There's something about that "corn" flavor that works better than either bread or crackers
It's full of cheese, roasted tomatoes and basil

a cauliflower crust pizza

Another cauliflower entry with sausage, vegetables, and, of course, cheese!

Another cauliflower crust and she used ingredients on each half so that there were
four different kinds of pizza -- all good!

Traditional crust pizza with spinach and feta

Another cauliflower crust with artichokes, onions, cheese

A traditional crust pizza with cheese and fillings

(she was this month's over achiever!)
traditional crust with blackberries and goat cheese
Can you say "yum"!

(definitely the over achiever)
Thick crust pizza baked in a cast iron pan
And the crust was so good!

Dessert pizza
cream cheese and peanut butter spread on a crust and topped with apple slices, caramel and chopped peanuts!

Some members chose to be creative as to their pizza toppings while others did follow a recipe.   All of the crusts were recipes and many tried new crusts while some used tried and true recipes (which we allowed for the crust.)

We had fun and will cook together again!     
It was fun to see what everyone did for their pizza and it was also interesting that
we had more "no carb" options than we did carb options.
And did we eat pizza!     And more pizza!

A big thanks to Rita and her husband Joe for making arrangements for us to use Kennedy Gym Kitchen -- it was a perfect venue for us to cook together.


pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1 t. olive oil
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated*
8 ounces provolone cheese, grated*
1/4 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese, grated*
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. freshly chopped basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400.    Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and then place tomatoes on top.    Sprinkle with olive oil and salt, then roast for 20 - 25 minutes until bursting.    Set aside.

While tomatoes are roasting, mix softened cream cheese with about 7 ounces each of provolone and mozzarella and then the Parmesan.    Stir in basil, garlic and roasted tomatoes, mixing well to combine.     Transfer mixture to an oven-safe baking dish (I used a pie pan).    Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and provolone.    Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly.   Serve immediately with Fritos.

*Because Provolone is hard to find in my town, I used a shredded mis of "Italian" cheese which had mozzarella, Provolone and Parmesan in it.    I used two 8 ounce packages plus another 3/4 cup from a third package.

I had not made this Pizza Dip before but had made one with pepperoni.    I found that bread or crackers were not the best accompaniment but that Fritos were (and that is what the pepperoni pizza dip suggested using).   I think it's the crunch and the corn flavor (after all you use cornmeal on the pan before baking).

Friday, September 1, 2017

Making A New Lamp Perfect

I love alabaster/marble lamps
But they are rare
I hardly ever see them in high end shops
And in Antique Malls, you don't run into them very often either.
I've been wanting one for the bedside table in our guest room
And I've been searching a long time!

Last week, I found my treasure . . . 
And I even had a silk lampshade that would work,
but . . .

The shade looks wrong
Like the lamp is wearing "high water pants"

Buy another shade, you say --
But this one was a bit more than I like to spend 
thus I'd like to keep it --

In my opinion the culprit

Is the harp
Notice how "tall" it is?
It came with the lamp

We were out and about today
One stop on my list was Hobby Lobby for a new and shorter harp
But first we stopped at a thrift shop

And I found this!
A shorter harp
Not by itself -- it was attached to a lamp
But it was a $2.00 lamp and today was half price day!
The new and shorter harp cost me all of $1.00
(compared to the $8 to $10 I might have paid at Hobby Lobby)

Doesn't even look like the same lamp!
No more "high water pants"

It looks as if the shade came with the lamp!

And I love the new lamp on the bedside table in the guest room!

Oh, and the lamp it came on?    I was going to give it to the local thrift shop,
but first I checked with a friend . . . 
She said she could use the lamp!
So even the bottom gets a new home!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Putting Food By

Is what families have done for centuries.
Summer harvest preserved for winter eating
Grandmother did it in order to have food for the winter,
Mother did it because she liked home canned green beans, she had a concord grape vine
and so "free" jelly, she preferred home canned peaches and the garden always yielded a lot o tomatoes.

A gift from a very generous friend, a five gallon pickle bucket of tomatoes

produced 11 jars of canned tomatoes, two jars of tomato and onion jam
and a jar of pickled green cherry tomatoes
To be put on the fruit cellar shelves

And some jalapeños from that same friend

Yielded 8 jars of hot pepper jelly

Every year, I also make the tutti fruiti
starting with the season's first strawberries and added fruit in season

Apricots are among the last of the fruits to be added

Stone fruit and berries and sugar and brandy 
An age old method of preserving fruit
All the fruit is now added -- time to sit on a dark corner of the
larder -- to age for a month to six weeks.

Also in the freezer (but not as picture pretty) are local strawberries, local blueberries, zucchini shredded and ready to add to cakes or bread, pimento peppers.

We try to save what we can for we prefer our own preserved fresh produce
rather than commercially processed fruits and vegetables.

Still on the agenda . . . more tomatoes, zucchini relish, bread and butter pickles, pesto, and peaches.

I'm an old fashioned canner in fact I use my mother's canner.
I'm a water bath girl -- for I'm fearful of a pressure canner.
Therefore, I do not can green beans (although mother did)
All of my canning is either sugar laden or laced with vinegar

I enjoy canning and I have a sense of pride when I see the shelves in the fruit cellar laden with my home canned produce.

And it is fun when I have company and they compliment me on the strawberry cobbler I'm serving for dessert that it is local and from the freezer!