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, July 20, 2017

The Garden

It's Mid July --
The garden is still lush thanks to an abundant supply of rain

The begonias

There's always "thyme" in the garden
my favorite Indiana Summer petunias and a dark purple salvia
and thyme, of course!

the lilies in the pond are even blooming
(in fact, it looks like the lilies are trying to take over the pond!)

And there is always time to work in the garden . . . 

Garden chores are constant!

But when it's hot out, one stops for a glass of icy tea and a nosh
(in this case pecan shortbread)

I am afraid, however, that the heat and dry that we are beginning to have
will put an end to our lush garden.
I've been watering . . . and trying to keep ahead rather than get behind.

But as it gets hotter, the garden gets tended to less --
for I am truly a fair weather gardener!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Simple Dinner for Company

Friends Anne and Tim had his brother visiting from back east.
We enjoy David and always try to have them over for dinner when he visits.
It has been hot on the prairie
So no garden party last night
But rather an inside dinner
In our cool air conditioned dining room

It was company
So we used the lace cloth
Blue and white dishes
Damask napkins in silver rings

And a bouquet of garden flowers in the center

A simple meal
But a company meal . . . 

Mashed potatoes, with a lump of butter and a sprinkle of paprika
(otherwise they look pretty bland)
And Farmer's Market green beans fixed my grandmother's way

Rich thick beef gravy to go on the potatoes

And the star of the show,
an Angus rump roast -- cooked to perfection
Served with Yorkshire Pudding
(and homemade Horseradish Sauce --
the recipe from Stephenson's Restaurant)

Dessert was Husband Jim's new favorite:

Strawberry Pavlova Roll

A meringue topped with hazelnuts and rolled around strawberries and whipped cream.
It's a made ahead dessert which is good for a company dinner
And it's an "ice box" dessert which is good when the temperature is pushing 100

It's a good meal even though it is a simple one
And a meal enjoyed by all!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Small Change

In the Guest Room

We have wood floors
the original 1920 wood floors
that we refinished 17 years ago

And I adore them
And in the guest room . . .  

The wood floors are bare . . . 
(which actually makes it easy to run a dust mop in there)
But like an outfit needs jewelry
I think a room needs a rug . . . 
The finishing touch -- the jewelry for a room

And I've been searching . . . 
On eBay, at Estate Sales, Flea Markets and Antique Malls
For it can't be "just a rug"
It needs to be a "perfect rug"!

Yesterday, I was in the city
And on a whim I ran into a Tuesday Morning
And there it was!

A braided rug
(which fits my old house style)
neutral in color
(which I've learned -- keep the main pieces neutral -- you can get creative and colorful
with inexpensive pillows and curtains)

I think it is the finishing touch for the guest room
And I adore it!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Most Entertaining Weekend

Saturday was a busy day at Linderhof . . . 

Company for Lunch and Dinner!

Luncheon Company were Air Force Reserve Friends Don and Denise
who came to visit our Fort and the Symbols of Sacrifice
We invited them to stop by for lunch . . . 

A table for four in the dining room
My blue and white plates, of course
A pretty summery table runner
Blue napkins in silver rings
The plates on wicker chargers

And a bouquet of garden flowers in the center of the table

A cool lunch for a hot July day

Homemade chicken salad, fruit and a roll

Strawberry cobbler and ice cream for dessert

We spent a good part of the afternoon visiting
And after they left I cleaned up and prepared for
Party II

Dinner company were dear friends Jack, Shirley Ann and Steven
Invited because he did a favor for me and I can't pay him . . . 
in money but I can pay him in steak!

Same table, same napkins (well Jim and mine were -- I did get out new ones for the company!),
same plates and chargers
Why reinvent the wheel?

A steak house meal --
A tossed green salad with vinaigrette
served family style


Steak -- a KC Strip from our local meat market, The Butcher Block
and a "naked" baked potato
Toppings were on the table so everyone could top as they wish!
A pound of a potato!

And since it was The Fourth of July weekend . . .

We served our most patriotic dessert --
cherry pie
What's more American?
(well, perhaps Apple Pie)
Instead of lattice, we make stars and stripes!

Served with vanilla ice cream!

It was quite a day for entertaining
And we enjoyed each and every minute!

Happy Fourth of July!


Fourth of July

from all of us at


Friday, June 30, 2017

Cookbook Book Club - June - Venezuela

Hostess Sara declared that the theme for June would be


None of us have ever been to Venezuela
Nor has any of us been to a Venezuelan restaurant

We did learn that:

Venezuelan food is both tropical and Andean, with European infuences (especially Italian) as well as traditional dishes from native cultures.  Coconut, plantains, seafood, goat, corn, and Italian pasta dishes are all part of the vibrant mix that makes up Venezuelan cuisine.

And we learned enough to put on a very traditional Venezuelan meal:

The food on the table --
We're ready to tuck in

The food:

My contribution which was "bread"
Not a dinner bread but a sweeter dough, wrapped around ham, brushed with egg white mixed with sugar and baked.     They're eaten for breakfast.    
They're not all that difficult and they are tasty.
I think of them more as an appetizer than a breakfast bread!

Venezuelan Chicken and Avocato Salad
Donna's Contribution -- a chicken salad with no mayo and no dairy.
We all thought it was a good recipe and I think some of us may make it instead of our tried and true chicken salad

Main Course Beef
The hostess always provides the entree and Sara choose this beef dish
She took 3 recipes to come up with this final dish --
We all liked it!

However, it needs to be served with:

A cornmeal bread that is the National Bread of Venezuela
You put the meat inside . . . and you can use Donna's chicken salad to fill arepas as well.
It does take an ingredient that's not readily found in a small town
but Sara improvised.
They tasted to me like a thick corn tortilla

Corn cakes with cheese
Michelle brought these filled not with a Spanish cheese but rather with provel from St. Louis.
They were good!

Rhonda brought this.   It's fried plantains and yes, you can find plantains in
a small town on the prairie.    Rhonda told us that they needed to be black to be ripe . . .
 unfortunately, our markets think the black ones are past their time . . . 

Ensalada de Remolacha
Beet Salad.    A pretty pink dish that Rita brought.   It's really potato salad with beet and it was good! And look how pretty it is!

Angela brought the next dish which is a two part dish . . . 

The rice

The beans

Pabellon Criollo

Very good and very Spanish -- beans and rice.   We all liked the flavors

Corn Cakes 2
Similar to Corn Cakes 1 -- but no cheese and Rhonda, who brought this version, added a cilantro lime sauce which we all thought was very good!

A tale of two flans . . . 
Our dessert persons were not in attendance
And so, Sara and Belynda stepped to the plate
And each made a flan!

The first one served with strawberries
And a light caramel

The second one with a deeper caramel
And, of course, we all had to have a slice of each!

It was a fun choice.
We all agreed that we really felt as if we were really in Venezuela and had been invited
to a local's home for dinner.
It was that good!

And just before we started . . . 
Around the table at Sara's . . . 
ready for our first experience with Venezuelan food!

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!