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, March 2, 2009

Ladies Who Lunch

The tradition of a ladies luncheon dates back to my childhood when once a year, it would be my mother's turn to host the bridge club. I think the ladies always had the same luncheon -- chicken salad! I don't think all of the ladies had the exact same chicken salad nor the exact same side dishes although the meal always seemed to include a fruit salad and a bread as well as the chicken salad. Desserts were where the ladies showed their culinary skills for they were often over the top!

I love having ladies at Linderhof for a luncheon. It if is only 4, we eat in the breakfast room overlooking the garden. If it's more, we serve them in the dining room. For memories, I love the chicken salad/fruit salad plate. A muffin, a savory madeline or my favorite -- banana bread accompanies the salad.
I have my favorite chicken salad which is an adaptation of my mother's and which I call Linderhof's Chicken Salad, but I am always eager to try new recipes.

A favorite place in the city is the Nelson Gallery. A much beloved place from childhood on, I was thrilled when they put a roof on Rozelle Court and created the most European of dining spots outside of the Continent. Their chicken salad is a favorite and I was lucky enough to receive the recipe. It does have a "secret" ingredient which is what makes it so special.

The ladies had a grand time and the afternoon passed all too quickly. Unlike my mother's luncheons, there was no bridge involved. Just good food and good conversation.

Rozelle Court Chicken Salad

3 pounds chicken breasts, poached, cooled and shredded into bite size pieces
2 cups mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce for chicken (see note)
1 1/2 cups black olives, sliced
1 1/2 cups celery, small dice
1/2 cups water chestnuts, chopped
To taste -- salt and pepper

Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, sweet chili sauce, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add shredded chicken and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings.

NOTE: You can find the chili sauce in the Asian Market --it's from Thailand and called Maeploy.

NOTE: This makes a ton of chicken salad and I usually halve the recipe when I make it and it still makes a lot.


Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Thank you for your recent visit to my blog. I'm so glad you stopped by, because it got me over here to see your lovely blog. Your chicken salad looks delicious. I'm off to scroll through some of your other posts. laurie

The Norwegian said...

What a lovely plate - with the most appealing luncheon menu! I grew up with a mom who served this same kind of fare at ladies bridge club gatherings. Pretty hard to improve on your combination of food. It must be a treat to be a guest at your house. Your post is ALWAYS delightful.

Nancy Yoakum said...

The recipe sounds delicious....ALL of your recipes sounds delicious. I had to print the apple tart recipe immediately. Can't wait to try it! I'll really been enjoying your blog and looking at all the lovely pictures. Your home is beautiful! Sounds like you and your DH are on the same page, which makes home resotration and decorating more fun! So glad you came over and said "Hi". I know we are kindered spirits!

jesse said...

Sweet chili sauce?? Who knew? Thank you for sharing, the chicken salad does look pretty darned amazing!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Sometimes a girly lunch just hits the spot! This one looks delicious!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Martha, do you remember how the lunch ladies would get dressed up for their outing? The salad sounds delicious.

Kathie Truitt said...

Hi Martha! I think we've 'met' before on the Victoria website. (I'm from El Do, MO, now living in Virginia).

I LOVE your blog and your home. Keep up the good work.

Caroline said...

I love chicken salad, I'll have to give it a try.

Your plating always looks so refined and...delicious!

xoxo KB

Martha said...

Kathie --

We have met before at Victoria -- welcome to Linderhof.

Martha said...

Mary -- oh, yes, stockings, heels, the best dress, a hat to match or coordinate and gloves -- always those gloves and my mother wore red red lipstick and I remember sitting on her bed watching her get ready at her dressing table!