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.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A June Tradition -- Salads!

The church we belonged to when we lived in Nevada, Missouri
St. Paul's Lutheran

Holds a Salad Luncheon every year as a fundraiser.
I forget initially what we were raising funds for
But it's been happening ever since 1979
(with only two cancellations in those 39 years)
And over those 37 years, it has raised lots of money not only for St. Paul's
but also for local charities
(this year it was Nevada's Outreach Soup Kitchen)

As we came in, there was a rosette iron
(a very welcomed cookie for the first few luncheons)
And the three cookbooks that St. Paul's had published

The ladies were busy in the kitchen . . . 
A much bigger kitchen in this newer church
than the first 10 or so luncheons they had in the old one.
The kitchen built, I am sure, with the salad luncheon in mind!

A tradition is giving the recipes for the salads

Instead of filing them in with recipes I like to try,
they now get tucked into the blue St. Paul's cookbook
(which means that I have each and every salad recipe since the first one in 1979)

They decided that this year they would recreate that very first one
Held on December 4, 1979
So decorations were Christmas!
evergreen surrounding a candleholder with a red candle
(the very same decorations they used for that first one)

They also decided to serve two meat, two vegetable and two fruit salads
along with a bread and dessert

They've kept to that tradition every year since
(although the first few years one of the meat salads was always a hot one --
now all of the salads are cold)

And the salads this year?

Patsy's Taco Salad
A yummy taco salad dressed with Catalina dressing

Layered Salad
It falls into the meat category because it has bacon in it

Carol's Potato Salad
An eggless potato salad 

 24 Hour Cabbage Slaw
A perennial favorite

Cranberry raspberry salad
There is always a jello salad

 Fruit Salad
An old favorite often taken to potlucks or salad suppers made with
a can of peach pie filling

And there has to be bread
(Susie, one of the original chairs, insists on it)

And although the first two or three luncheons didn't use this recipe,
it is now always served.
A simple recipe made from hot dog buns

There is dessert for everyone and for the first few, dessert was rosettes
Member Julie Sits made all 400 plus rosettes for the dessert this year!

And early on, when it was held in December, beside dessert, the ladies raised even more
money by selling Christmas cookies -- a plate of 12 at those early luncheons was $1
(but it was all profit for each lady was tasked with brining a couple of batches of Christmas cookies.
The members on the day before would make mixed plates of cookies, wrap them in Saran Wrap and stick a bow on them.    They always sold out!

I have done my part in chairing the luncheon, chair of decorations, baking all of the desserts one year (Linda's holiday crescents), and, of course, helping to serve and clean up and dish up the day of.

I must admit that it is nice to come as a guest!

Thank you, St. Paul's, for a great late spring/early summer tradition!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Late Spring Ritual

In February, I plant pansies in the garden
I adore pansies
They're the flower that smiles back at you!

They thrive in the armillary planter in the herb garden
(I've added some Indian summer petunias a few weeks ago -- that's the yellow)

But, alas, with the heat they begin to grow leggy . . . 
Pansies don't like heat!
They're a spring and fall plant on the prairie

My ritual . . . candying them

I harvest a tray full -- all shapes, colors, sizes

With a bowl of egg white and a saucer of sugar, a couple of brushes used just for this ritual,
and a parchment lined tray

I paint egg white on the pansies and then dip them in the sugar

And lay them on the parchment paper to dry


To decorate cakes and cupcakes in the winter

The armillary . . . . 

In it's summer mode --
this year, the Indian Summer petunias
And some deep purple salvia

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fifty Years Ago Today . . .

Fifty Years Ago Today . . . 

This twenty year old

 Landed in Saigon
And then helicoptered to

 Nha Trang Air Force Base

Which would be his home for three years

Nha Trang situated on the South China Sea

The hills across from the base . . . where water buffalo roamed during the day
Where Viet Cong fire came from at night.

And he brought home pictures of his time there . . . 

And he was one of the lucky ones . . . 
He came home!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Lunch for Four

I donate a gift certificate to non-profits for the opportunity to join me for lunch.
Friend Malinda joined me today and invited Whitney and Michelle to join her.

The table in the dining room set for four
No tablecloth but placemats and matching napkins -- from April Cornell

The Spode blue room and because there are birds on the placemats and napkins . . . 
there are also birds on the table
(a Christmas gift from The Lunch Bunch)

Garden flowers in a blue and white Spode bowl
This time of year, I often use my unplanted bedding plants for centerpieces.
After the party is over, I plant them in the garden.

These are petunias and a new variety (or at least to me) --
Indian Summer
A wonderful petunia that's yellow and coral and peach
(depending on how much sun they get)
I adore them!

There's always a menu.
Since there are birds on the placemats and birds on the table,
there needs to be birds on the menu

 It's been hot on the prairie so I opted for a cool lunch --
Anna Pump's chicken with basil cream (a chicken salad full of summer flavors)
a chilled zucchini soup
(I adore cold vegetable soups in the summer and they are so easy)
And corn madeleines

Dessert was seasonal as well --

A cherry tart
Served with coffee

We had a grand time visiting.    And I was sorry to see them go!

Often with one of my donated luncheons, I get to meet new friends
And this lunch was no exception

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

We Remember . . .

In 2011, we were fortunate to be able to visit Normandy and "The Beaches" and The American Cemetery.    It certainly is hallowed ground.     I'm sharing my first post on this, the Anniversary of D-Day:

Those men who landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.    It certainly changed the course of the War, it was the beginning of the liberation of France and it cost us dearly in lives lost.

We've been  to Normandy --

A view of Omaha beach from the German view.     The day we were there was quite like the day in June in 1944 . . .

And the beach itself.

Approximately 12,000 Americans lost their lives on this beach.  

And at first were buried here.

Very near Omaha Beach, this first burial site.

I Stand Here Now

I stand here now
Amongst . . .brave men
With whom . . . I've stood before
The last time . . . when we landed
On June 6th of '44
Back then . . .we were all young men
Eighteen or little more
Their lives . . .cut short . . . that morning
On this distant . . . windswept shore
I stand here now . . . and wonder
What would they . . . have become
Had they survived. . . that morning
Their lives . . .  allowed full run
One thing. . . I know . . .for certain
Of which . . . there is . . .no doubt
These brave young men
My pals . . .from then
Would be . . .old
White haired . . .with wrinkled brow
Just like me . . .
As I stand here. . . now
                   Tony Chapman

The American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach . . . American Soil, the burial place of  Nine Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty-seven American Heroes . . .

Some known only to God.

It is eerie being in Normandy, visiting the ceremony and the beaches.    The stretch of beach certainly made a difference in history.    And the brave men who were up to the task knowing full well that they might never return.

We salute all the military who participated in D Day seventy-one years ago.    You certainly understood that "freedom isn't free"!  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Company for Lunch

The Lunch Bunch came today . . . 
a week late
But it was because of me --
I was in Minnesota with the Grands!

It's still May, it's still Spring
but temperatures are warming up and so I wanted a "cool" lunch

My "new" linens (new because I've never used them) -- From April Cornell -- a runner and napkins to match.
The wicker chargers and Spode blue and white plates, and Jim's grandmother's cutlery

The orangey zinnias in a blue and white Spode bowl.
They hold a secret -- they're in the pot they came home from the nursery in --
After lunch, they'll be planted in the garden
A centerpiece that I'll enjoy till frost
(and who knows, the blooms may be back on the table for another luncheon
this summer!)

It's a simple menu:

A shrimp and avocado salad with Sauce Gribiche
From a new cookbook, Goldy's Kitchen,  by Diane Mott Davidson --
In the book it's called "Hard Core Prawn Salad" but I didn't like
that name so I just called it Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Sauce Gribiche!

Served with a hot roll and real butter


Strawberry Hazelnut Pavlova Roll from Wives With Knives
It's a to die for recipe
And her instructions were very clear
And it's an easy, few ingredient recipe as well --

A roll of meringue layered with whipped cream and strawberries.
The hazelnuts dot the outside.

It is s-o-o-o-o good!
So good, in fact, that I printed the recipe off and will make again!

It's perfect served on blue and white!
And, as always, there is a menu for everyone

Although I like the anticipation of company and how fresh the table looks
And how it looks as if it waiting for company . . . 

I like the table "after" . . . when everyone has gone home.
You can tell that a good time was had by all!

We get together once a month and in June, we'll be traveling to Nevada
for The Annual Salad Luncheon of St. Paul Lutheran Church
It's an annual trek for us as well . .