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, March 31, 2010

A Blue and White Birthday Luncheon

A birthday luncheon at Linderhof. A blue and white birthday luncheon at Linderhof.
With a touch of pink in the stargazer lilies that form the centerpiece.
In a great blue vase -- a Christmas gift from a very dear friend who knows me all too well. It goes so perfectly with my Spode!
Since this was a birthday lunch, I did use the Spode, but chose blue linen napkins (that was a great foil for the blue centerpiece) and my "good" flatware.
The white part was an antique white lace tablecloth. A favorite and it makes for a very elegant luncheon table.

The menu for this special birthday luncheon:

Spring Pea Soup
Sarah's Chicken
White and Wild Rice
Rosemary Biscuits
Chocolate Birthday Cake

It's Thursday which means that it is time for Tablescape Thursday so please join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for tablescapes galore!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Soup Class

Mid March a friend and I headed north to the town of Louisburg to the Cider Mill. But the Louisburg Cider Mill is not just for cider.
It hosted a soup class with Instructor Lois Hart. It was fun as we learned some new technics, got some great kitchen tips and . . .

Got to taste three great soups.
Sweet potato and apple will definitely be on my menu this fall.
The corn and pepper chowder was spicy but not too. And I love any kind of corn chowder.
And the berry soup with Louisburg blackberries (frozen from last year's supply). A cold sweet soup that was delicious.

It was a fun outing and a nice day for a drive.

It's Wednesday which means that it's Outdoor Wednesday with Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. Join her to see what else is outdoors this Wednesday!

Monday, March 29, 2010

On Top of the Chest in the Guest Room

Next to the bed in the Guest Room is a chest -- with drawers to be used by guests, with a lamp for reading and a mirror (which could be used for makeup application or combing hair).
And of course, there are other "things" as well -- an Oriental vase with some branches, a blue and white cachepot with a topiary and pictures -- of fun family vacations. (Because Daughter Sarah and her Andy are our most frequent guests).

The mirror is a Venetian Mirror which is leaned against the wall rather than hung. I love the fanciness of the mirror resting atop the plain painted chest.
The vase is a favorite although it's not blue and white -- I love the oranges on the handle. The cachepot is Spode and a small topiary fits inside perfectly.
The lamp -- a bouillotte lamp is perfect for a bedtime read. The on/off switch is handy which is very important for a bedside lamp!
It is a bit cluttery for a guest room. But we do like a bit of clutter. And besides, there are other spaces in the room where guests can put things so it's not terribly important that the chest top be bare.

It's Tuesday which means that Marty at A Stroll Thru Life is hosting Tabletop Tuesday. Please join her and see what everyone has on their tabletop this Tuesday.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Blue Monday

Daughter Sarah and her Andy have left, Sister-in-law Patti and her family headed home on Friday and so we are alone once more. Sunday morning after breakfast finds me in the breakfast room, writing the many thank you notes that need to be done.

But I am not alone.
For on the table is a beautiful blue hydrangea. A gift from a dear friend in Florida. I love the pale blue white of the plant and the deep blue of the pot. She knows me and my love for blue. It was so sweet of her to send it and it shall be planted outside when it gets a bit warmer. In a place where I can see it from the breakfast room table.
And for a bit of nourishment as I write the notes, is a piece of apricot cheesecake. Quite a tasty gift from a dear friend.
I am not alone for I am surrounded by kindnesses from friends. From the hydrangea and the cheesecake to the many memorials and cards that we received last week.

The notes were not a chore but a labor of love.

It is a blue monday here at Linderhof as we continue to mourn.

Please join Sally at Smiling Sally for more Blue Monday posts.

Reprise - Our Fairy Garden

One of my first posts in May of 2008. Their needs to be some whimsy in all things and so a bit of whimsy in the garden at Linderhof is our fairy garden. A wee lawn with a house that is often inhabited by the wee folks. Of course, anyone who owns a corgi also believes in the wee folk. For corgis are the coach dogs of the fairy queens!

I'm joining Chari at Happy to Design for Sunday Favorites.

It's a wee garden for wee folk -- this fairy garden at Linderhof. Planted with herbs -- thyme, camomile and sweet marjoram. A few pansies are in the garden this spring for fairies do love flowers.

The cottage is a "Scotch" cottage made from hypertufa. It reminds Husband Jim and I of the miniature garden in Bourton-on-the-water in England. That garden, however, is not a garden for fairies but a replica of the town.

It's fun to tend this wee garden in the hopes that fairies will move into the wee house. I think, perhaps, that we've been successful for if you look closely, isn't there one hiding amongst the plants?

Thursday, March 25, 2010


We lost Husband Jim's mother on Wednesday. The lady we affectionally called Granny. It is a sad time at Linderhof.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Welcome Spring!

Saturday, the first day of Spring we awoke to this!!!!

Sometimes in December, and mostly in January but sometimes in February we get snow on the prairie. A March snow is not unheard of but it doesn't happen very often.

Saturday mid afternoon, we had quite an accumulation of snow (also a rarity on the prairie -- 3 inches or snow is a good snowfall for us) and the snow kept falling.
Sunday morning, it had finally stopped and we had at least a foot of snow in Linderhof's back garden.
Oliver just had to go out Sunday morning -- and he was not impressed! His tummy was below the snow!!! That is no fun!
Which means that it is time to come in in a hurry! Not a good day to sniff at all of his favorite spots!

It's Wednesday which means that it is time for Outdoor Wednesday. Please join Susan at A Southern Daydreamer to see if there is anymore March snow!

Monday, March 22, 2010

An Asian Inspired Tabletop

One of the round tables that sit by a wing chair in the living room. It's an old table, a tilt-top table, with a tripod base. I'm not sure of it's age but guessing perhaps 20's -- I don't really think it is older but it might be. It does have that "pie crust" edge which makes the table prettier I think.
Most of the items on the table have an Asian influence. It's one tabletop that I don't change much because I really like the combination of things.

The tea caddy lamp, I found in my favorite shop here on the prairie. It's not new but it's not ancient either. It looks great on the table.
Cloisonne is my husband's collection. The two ginger jars in the back he purchased on an R and R trip from Viet Nam when he was in his 20's. Of all the cloisonne pieces, these are my favorite. Although they were new when he bought them, they now have a bit of "age"! The little piece with the lion on top was a recent estate sale purchase. Things should be displayed in threes -- my three little cloisonne pieces.
Blue and white -- the theme that runs through all of Linderhof's rooms. Husband Jim purchased it on a trip to Tokoyo. The bowl is prettiest on it's side and that's the way we usually display it.
My latest purchase -- a great vase -- that's handy for bouquets (from the market in winter -- from the garden in summer).

It's perfect for a bouquet of market tulips!

A cozy spot by the fireplace -- it's one of my favorite tabletops!

It's Tuesday which means that it's Tabletop Tuesday so I'm joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life.

But since there are three cloisonne jars on the table, I'm also joining Tam at The Gypsy's Corner for Three or More Tuesday.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Dining Room Chair Seats

I don't change things on just a whim. (At least for the most part!) And I do like patina -- in things and in furniture. A scratch, a bit of wear. It just means that something has been used and loved but . . .

Tattered (not just worn) upholstery is not patina but shabby. And not chic -- just shabby! And sometimes I tend to redo things in the same fabric as they were . . . but alas, most times you can't even find that fabric anymore!

My dining room chairs were upholstered with a rooster print with a gold background. It worked well with the wallpaper and the drapes we had in the room. I liked seeing the gold chair seats from the living room.

Alas, some (but not all) were very tattered. (Comes with living with a cat who climbs on the chairs -- if you don't quite make it, your claws help pull you up!)

New seats were in order -- not gold but blue (which brings out the blue of the wallpaper.)

The blue of the rug seems more pronounced as well with the seats being blue instead of gold.
It has flowers which work well with the wallpaper and a bit of an oriental design (in fact, the name of the pattern is Orientalia).

It's by Schmacher and Greeff and I got a 3 yard end of the bolt piece for a ridiculously low sum. There is no way that I could have afforded it at the retail price!!!! And, the 3 yards were enough to cover all 8 of my dining room chairs!
I like the blue of the chair seats -- it gives a fresh look to the dining room. (To see the old look -- look at the sidebar -- gold curtains and gold chair seats)

In January, once we took the curtains down from the dining room windows that looked out over the breakfast room, we bought some robin egg blue panels to replace the gold ones (which have been repurposed to the upstairs sunroom).

"New" chairs and drapes in the dining room were less than $100 for all. I think I got a big change for a bit of little change.

The dining room feels lighter and brighter with the blue and the blue in the carpet seems more pronounced.

I like the change!

The new dining room chair seats is one of my big metamorphosis that I have been planning. So join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch and see what else is happening on Met Monday!

And, because the new seats are blue, visit Smiling Sally to see what else is happening on this Blue Monday!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lemon Poppyseed Bread

We awoke this morning to find the spring pansies huddled in the snow which fell during the night and continued to fall during the day. It is, after all, the first day of Spring! But Mother Nature, it seems, is "stuck" in winter mode!

Which meant that yesterday, we were raking leaves off the back patio . . . today we're shoveling snow off the front sidewalk!

And a snowy day which keeps us inside is perfect for a bit of baking. With a few lemons left in the bowl and a jar of fresh poppy seeds, a lemon poppy seed bread sounded like the perfect treat for afternoon tea on this snowy afternoon.

Instead of one big loaf, four small ones. Small loaves really suit us better.
Three were wrapped and stored in the freezer while the other was for today.
It made a great nosh with tea this afternoon. As we listened to Mozart on the stereo and watched the falling snow.

And the birds in the back yard -- busy this snowy day with finding seeds under the snow!

As I look at the snowy frozen backyard, I find it hard to believe that the calendar says Spring.

Alas, the first day of spring on the prairie finds us with a fire in the fireplace and a big pot of bean soup for dinner!


2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. milk
1 c. butter
3 eggs
2 T. poppy seed
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 T. lemon peel

Combine all and beat on medium speed 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan (I used 4 small pans). Bake at 350 for 1 hour. (Note: if using small pans, baking time is less -- I just keep watch)


1/3 c. powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 t. poppy seeds

Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice. Add poppy seeds. Pour over warm bread.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Today is the first day of Spring -- that magical time of year when things green up again after the dreariness of winter. Bulbs are poking their noses above ground, trees have fat buds, and soon, very soon, the yard will be abloom.

These are not from Linderhof's garden, alas, but rather from the market -- a $2.99 purchase which, when in a few short weeks we'll have an abundant supply, may seem like a silly purchase, but they make me smile and for that, it is worth it.
The vase is one of our cloisonne pieces. Actually, one of husband Jim's cloisonne pieces. He's the cloisonne collector. I just get the benefit! It's a newly acquired one, too. I love the colors. The blue background and the flowers in pink and violet and yellow and white.
It's the perfect size for my bedside table -- replacing a blue and white vase that I once had there. This vase is more special -- a reminder of a trip and the pink in the vase picks up the pinks of the Master Bedroom.

It's Saturday which means that it's Pink Saturday. Please join Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Pea Soup

One of the rites of spring is Spring Pea Soup. A wonderful lunch or a great first course for a ladies lunch. It's easy to do and tastes so like Spring!

It's Friday which means that it's Foodie Friday so let's join Michael at Designs by Gollum to see what everyone is cooking up this Friday!

Spring Pea Soup

1/2 onion (white or yellow)
1 package green peas
1 quart chicken broth (homemade or storebought)
salt and pepper to taste

Chop onion and saute in a little olive oil until soft and golden. Add broth and then peas. Cook until peas are done (not very long). Salt and pepper to taste. With a handheld blender puree until smooth (or you can use a regular blender if you wish). Heat until hot and garnish with fresh mint leaf.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An Irish Tea

It's Saint Patrick' Eve at Linderhof and two friends have joined me for tea. An Irish Tea!
With my Emile Henry teapot (it's not Irish but is' green!) and an English tea set that is actually a pretty pale green and white -- not the beige and white that it looks here.
An English pearl handled dessert fork and a linen napkin. Irish styled lace covers the table.
Flowers -- pink rather than green. Flowers rather than shamrocks but in a Waterford vase.
Cups of cups of Irish breakfast tea were sipped while we enjoyed the chocolate and Guinness cake. In the background, soft British folk songs by the Kings Singers.

It was an Irish sort of day at Linderhof on St. Patrick's Eve. And although none of us are really Irish, we did feel like we were in Ireland this afternoon.

It's Thursday which means that it's Tablescape Thursday at Susan's. Go over to Between Naps on the Porch to see what others have on their tables this Thursday!