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.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Lavender Tea

A Lavender Tea, you say!

I see another blue and white transfer tea set

No lavender there!
And no lavender flowers, either!

So where is the lavender?

How can you have a lavender tea
with blue china?

Tea on the porch this afternoon
With a friend

And yes, there was lavender for tea

The cookies were lavender cookies
Not in the cookies but the jam on the cookies!

The tea set is my Wedgwood one,
It's Asiatic Pheasant in pattern
It fits well on the tea tray
and also comes with sugar and creamer
I've had it "forever"

The jam?
A gift Saturday from a friend
Lavender jelly

I baked my favorite thumbprint cookies
And instead of raspberry or apricot jam,
used the lavender jelly

Oh, and instead of the almond extract called for in the recipe,
I used lemon and for an extra hint of lemon, grated the rind of one lemon into the dough.

Lavender and lemon seem to have an affinity for one another.

And for the friend,

I sent her home with a sack of lavender cookies
lingonberry cookies
(for she gave me some lingonberry jam as well)
(And tomato bacon jam but that's not for dainty tea cookies --
it's a "man's" jam!)

We spent a pleasant afternoon
Talking food
nibbling cookies
And sipping tea
(Earl Grey -- not lavender!)

The recipe -- from Tasha Tudor
I make these quite often for they are a perfect tea cookie!
And you really can use any kind of jam you like -- raspberry is not mandatory!


1 cup butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1/2 t. almond extract
Raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350.   Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat.   

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the jam.    Chill dough for a half hour.    Roll dough into small balls and make an indentation with your thumb; fill indentation with jam.

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown.    Place on a rack to cool.

I like to sprinkle with powdered sugar after they cool.

It's Tuesday and I'm sharing my lavender tea with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday.

It's Finally Fall!

Or will be at 10 something tonight

Most years we relish fall
for summer has been both hot and dry
And we're ready for cooler weather
And perhaps some fall rains.

But this year, summer has been pleasant
A few weeks of really hot weather
But mostly it was cooler and wetter than normal.

The perfect summer?

And once fall comes

We buy jack o lantern pumpkins for the front of the house
Used as pumpkins until Halloween
when they'll be carved into scary jack-o-lanterns

And in the back garden, 

We've planted mums in the armillary planter in the herb garden
And some pansies as well

The first of the pie pumpkins that decorate the house
until we decide to eat them!

Made into gratin, pie, bread or muffins

And a fall tradition
But the reward is not until next Spring

This year I got greedy and bought two bags
White daffs and red and white tulips
I'll plant them in big bunches for impact

I almost can't wait until Spring!

And a bowl of perfect apples on the sideboard
For snacking

And a big basket of apples
(a gift from friend Mary Ann)
for apple chutney and apple butter

I made a recipe of each on Sunday
And they're on the shelves in the cellar.

I love the natural decorations of fall,
the mums, the pumpkins, the apples

It's Monday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Met Monday

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Lazy Saturday Tea

As much as I bake myself,
I do buy baked goods
When it is a "fundraising" bake sale

Photo by Kate Emmett-Sweetser
 This one held by the Old Fort Genealogical Society
At the Farmers Market this morning

I bought a loaf of Apricot Nut Bread
It's something I don't usually bake
And I needed a tea treat for this afternoon

Two slices, a wee pot of tea and my latest mystery
for a tea for a lazy (and too warm for the garden) afternoon tea.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The September Garden Part 2

Part Two
Because the "haul" from Family Tree
has been planted

Some you can see
like the chives and pansies
And some you can't
Like the bulbs!

I spent the morning in the garden!

The weather was perfect!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The September Garden

I was in the city today
I stopped by my favorite
Garden Store

Family Tree Nursery

From bulbs to pansies to herbs
I'll be busy tomorrow

I should hang out my sign

So any company can come to the back gate.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A September Lunch

The Lunch Bunch comes once a month
Except this year . . . 
We've missed many a month this Spring
I've a fat file of recipes I want to try
And no one to try them on!

But we were all together in Sepember
of us!

I first chose the menu,
then the table follows
I prefer white tablecloths and napkins
And, of course, there is my beloved
Blue transfer ware!

Yellow flowers in a Williamsburg flower frog
Store flowers -- the garden is winding down!

A menu, of course,
the French water goblets
A lace tablecloth
The Spode Blue Room

A white damask napkin in one of my silver rings
and Jim's grandmother's cutlery

The lunch?

If I do casseroles, I like individual ones
They look pretty when they're in a dish
versus piled on a plate
(piled on a plate looks like a dog's breakfast!)

A Gaida recipe
penne with roasted vegetables and cheeses

Served with a salad with tomatoes and carrot
and roasted garlic bread

Dessert is an old family dessert

Dutch Peach Pie
Grandmother made it,
perhaps her mother as well
And as far as I know it's never been written down
Passed from mother to daughter-in-law by mouth only

And only served in the summer
during peach season
For it is a fresh peach pie!

At home, we always cut it into fourths
(for it is a thin pie)
But the girls wouldn't hear of it
So I cut it into sixths
Which left two pieces
for Husband Jim and I for dessert that evening.
(Of course, my childhood serving size would have been only one piece
But I played nice and shared!)
(And it is the only recipe that I will never share)

The table setting that I like best
Is not that perfect table of the before luncheon

But the empty, messy table of the after luncheon
Not a crumb remains
The coffee pot is empty
It means that everyone had a good time!

The casserole is good, easy, and can be made ahead of time.
I baked it a little less because mine were in smaller dishes.
And I'm sure you can use whatever vegetables you want


2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1 inch wide strips
2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cremini mushrooms, halved
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb mix or herbs de Provence
1 pound penne pasta
3 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
1 cup grated fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander.

In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.

Pour the pasta into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Top with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and butter pieces. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.

NOTE:   I only made a half recipe which filled 5 gratin dishes plus one bigger one.    I also baked it at 350 instead of the higher 450.   And since I couldn't find smoked mozzarella and fontina cheese, I used the Italian type cheeses I could find at our grocery store.

It's Thursday and I'm sharing my September Lunch table with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Frost Isn't On the Pumpkins But the Pumpkins Are On The Mantle

Pumpkins are at the Farmer's Market
Most are jack-o-lantern pumpkins

But one vendor does have the little sugar pumpkins
Three came home with me today

They'll be decoration until we eat our way through them!

Practical as well as decorative!

I see pies and breads and muffins
in the future at Linderhof!

And if you've never had pumpkin pie made from a real pumpkin
Let's just say that you're in for a treat!

You can compare canned pumpkin to real pumpkin
Like you can compare fish to fish sticks!

I'll keep you advised as to what dishes these little beauties are made into!