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, March 31, 2011

Let's Do Lunch . . .

Taking a line from friend Patricia at Mrs. Blandings, Let's Do Lunch at Red Cedar Gardens on either Wednesday, April 6 or Saturday, April 9.

For I'm teaching Cooking With Herbs classes on those dates. And "lunch" is early for the classes start at 10:30. And it won't be a whole lunch -- but tastings.

And I'll talk a little about growing herbs as well (for I'm a Master Gardener and my specialty is herbs).

And the tastes . . .

Rosemary Walnuts

Corn and Basil Soup

Chicken Salad

Lavender Lemonade

and . . . a dessert . . . but I've not decided which so it could be . . . either

Lavender Fairy Cakes

Lavender shortbread

Lavender Poundcake

Rosemary Shortbread

I've not decided which dessert to bring but I enjoy putting herbs into sweets as well as savories and it's always fun to watch the class as they taste an herbal sweet.

I so enjoy teaching herbal classes whether it's about growing herbs or cooking with herbs. Most of Linderhof's back garden is an herb garden and we so enjoy adding fresh herbs to our meals. And I enjoy sharing that love of cooking with herbs!

I hope to see you next week at Red Cedar. Call Ricki and reserve your space. We're hoping for good (read warm) weather so that we can have the class in her garden.

It's Friday and I can't think of a better post for Foodie Friday than Herbal Food!!!! Please join Michael at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday and see what everyone's been up to in the kitchen!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An English Breakfast - Prairie Style

One of our favorite breakfasts is the one that we had in the bed and breakfasts in England. It's known as an English breakfast.

What fun on Sunday to have friends Jim and Paulette join us after church for a "full" English breakfast!

The table, set before we left for church with the Easter lambs, a bouquet of hyacinth, and, of course, the Spode blue and white china.

"Toast Coolers" as Husband Jim calls the toast racks (for they take hot toast and give them a chance to cool -- Husband Jim prefers hot toast), the perfect blue and white salt and pepper set (a gift from Pat from On Crooked Creek who visited on Friday), a bowl of butter, a bowl of orange marmalade and the yellow pitcher filled with cream for the coffee.

Napkins, of course, in the silver napkin rings, and the bowl of orange marmalade (the only jam served for breakfast. Real Crosse and Blackwell marmalade -- made with Seville oranges)

And the menu . . . the full English breakfast

Rashers of bacon (real English bacon bought at a shop that specializes in food from the British Isles in Kansas City), beans (English Heinz beans -- not American pork and beans), sauteed mushrooms, grilled toast underneath the eggs which are cooked basted.

The toast "coolers" filled with halves of crisp English muffin bread toast. We were told that the toast under the eggs are eaten with the eggs and the "cooled" toast was eaten after, spread with butter and orange marmalade.

Normally, we would have a pot of P. G. Tipps with this breakfast but our guests were coffee drinkers -- and only coffee drinkers and so, instead of tea, we drank cups and cups of freshly brewed coffee.

We lingered over breakfast enjoying the antics of the birds in the garden and the company. It's a great way to spend a Sunday after church.

It's Thursday and time for Tablescape Thursday with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Join Susan to see what other tablescapes there are this Thursday!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Clean Porch

A rite of Spring at Linderhof is the Cleaning of the Porch. (Our front porch, which a former owner screened).

Every piece of furniture is taken off the porch and the whole porch is scrubbed from ceiling to floor, the railings and then the screens are washed with the hose.

It's a rite of Spring for from fall through the winter, the porch gets very very dirty!!!! Fall leaves seem to have gotten into the corners, Christmas evergreens are found in the corners as well. And a layer of dust!!!

Once the porch is clean, the furniture is brought back piece by piece and it, too, is washed, and the cushions are freshened. The table even gets a nice new tablecloth!

The bamboo chairs and the table with it's new clean tablecloth. Ready for afternoon tea with a friend.

A clean porch, after all, deserves a celebration!

And since it's spring . . .

The iron pot is filed with violas.

Fresh plants definitely brighten the porch and soon, some inside plants, will make the front porch a green space!

The two wicker chairs and a wicker table. A great place to enjoy a glass of tea on a spring or summer day.

I invited friend Sally to come and have tea with me on the porch -- a clean porch should be celebrated!!!

A wicker tray holds the teapot, two teacups (for we both take tea black -- no need to bring out cream and sugar) and a plate of grandmother's tea cakes.

Which are wonderful soft sugar type cookies. My grandmother always had them whenever we visited and I can't eat them and not think of her.

A perfect way to celebrate the Annual Spring Ritual of The Cleaning of the Porch!!!

It's Outdoor Wednesday and I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer --


2 C. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. buttermilk
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda and baking powder together. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Dough should be soft. Roll dough out onto a floured surface until approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut dough with glass or round cookie cutter (grandmother always used a glass -- one of those green "oatmeal" ones) and bake on a slightly greased baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes.

NOTE: It is important that they be 1/4 inch thick when rolled out so that the inside is "cakey" -- they are, after all, tea cakes!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A New Bedroom Chair

Although I loved the pieces in my bedroom, I didn't think they looked that well together. The chaise is from an old Fort Scott family which I bought at their estate auction many years ago. It's from the 20's with a down cushion and still covered in the silky pink fabric.

The loveseat on the right was a recent purchase and although I loved it, to me it seemed as if the two pieces were at odds with one another.

And then, I took this book off the shelf and leafed through it . . .

I loved the old Colonial Homes magazines and although some had very primitive and early interiors, most were ones I could identify with. I love the classic lines of that era of furniture -- even though it may be 20's reproductions.

And inside, I found . . .

This inspirational photo -- with two chairs on either side of the fireplace and a small table between and in the next article, I found . . .

Another similar bedroom fireplace with two smaller chairs and ottomans.

Therefore, I decided to hunt for a smaller chair for the other side of the fireplace . . .

And last Wednesday, at my favorite furniture consignment shop in Kansas City, I found


A darling chair, covered in green damask. Not only was the chair the perfect size but the chair was also the perfect price -- $33!!!

Thus, the fireplace in the master bedroom now looks like . .

this. Very reminiscent of my inspiration pictures. My original intention was to recover BOTH pieces but I put a mostly pink pillow in the green chair and a mostly green pillow in the pink chair and now I'm not sure!!!! The chaise is a bit taller in the back and a bit narrower, but the arms are very much alike and the chaise has a pillow in the back while the chair has a tufted back. I would hate to think of them being identical twins.

And so I moved furniture around a bit. I loved the love seat and decided I needed to keep it in the room so . . .

I decided that the bench at the foot of the bed had to go . . . to be replaced by
the love seat. Which actually, I do like better than the bench in that spot!

And I love the fact that it really looks like a sitting area now -- with the chaise, the chair and the loveseat.

Enough seating so that I, like the Duchess of Devonshire, could partake of afternoon tea in my bedroom.

I'll live with the green chair for a while before I decide what to do about upholstery. My inspiration pictures after all, were covered in the same fabric (actually, they were the same chair).

My first thought when I found the chair was to have them both recovered but after living with it for a half a week, I sort of like the green. And the upholstery is in really good condition, actually. The pink pillow on the green chair and the green pillow on the pink chair unifies them.

It will be fall before I have to make a decision -- upholsterers seem to be booked up!!!

It's Monday and time to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Met Monday.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Reprise -- The Frost is On the Pansies!

I thought that it was fitting that this post from April 6, 2009, be my Sunday Favorite (please visit Chari at Happy To Design because we're under a freezer alert tonight. Yes, I was outside, picking blossoms for the inside once again. I guess sometimes, you can "fool Mother Nature"!!!

Mother Nature can fool you. Warm March days with temps hovering near 80 made us think that Spring was really here! Alas, there will be frost on the pansies tonight as both Southeast Kansas and Southwest Missouri are under a freeze warning.

The bulbs this year were at their best -- the loveliest in several years. The back garden was abloom!

Although there will be frost on the pansies, it will not harm them -- but it will harm the bulbs and lilacs.

So I went out with a BIG basket and scissors and cut away. Yellow daffs for an antique spooner on the breakfast room table.
A big bouquet of lilacs on the living room coffee table.
The white daffs in a Wedgwood white vase in the living room. I love the sheer beauty of pure white both in the flowers and in the vase.
The tulips upstairs on the bedroom mantle in the tulipiers.
And on my bedside table, a bouquet of jonquils. If money were no object, I would have fresh flowers beside my bed every day and clean sheets on my bed every night!

I'm thinking that this is the last hurrah for Jack Frost -- he'll be on his merry way after tonight. Not to be seen again until Fall. BUT . . . the average last day of Frost for this part of the prairie is April 16. He could return and wreck havoc on our gardens once again for that date is still 10 days away!

Friday, March 25, 2011


It has a name -- called simply, "Stove" (with a capitol S). An always wanted and finally got. It demands a commanding presence in the kitchen. Mostly, because the kitchen at Linderhof is so small!!!

It's a pro series Thermador which we bought seven years ago -- off the internet!!!! We had decided that we wanted a new stove (when we moved into Linderhof it was an electric stove which we quickly replaced with an inexpensive gas one) and so went looking.

At Nebraska Furniture (which has every kind of stove manufactured), we were looking at the GE and Westinghouse . . . and then I turned the corner and there, right there, were the professional series of home stoves.

I never looked back and knew that in my heart was the only kind of stove that I wanted.

We looked at different brands and finally settled on the Thermador. The Stove was paid for with money that I had earned doing luncheons and teas -- a bit here and a bit there. It gives you some satisfaction to save for something you truly want.

We looked at prices and found the best price on the internet -- and they delivered and put in place!!!! No shipping either and no sales tax! It was a very good deal.

And it came -- on St. Patrick's Day 2004. Early enough so that we were able to cook the ritual corned beef on Stove and invited company to boot!

I loved Stove when I bought it and I still love Stove.

Linderhof's kitchen is small and Stove is a commanding presence in that little room. But I cannot think of cooking on anything but Stove!

It is one of my favorite things in the kitchen at Linderhof!!!

It's Saturday and so please join Laurie at Bargain Hunting With Laurie for Favorite Things Saturday!

Does anyone else think their stove is a favorite thing?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Spring Dinner Party!

We love to have company for dinner -- a dinner party if you will and our ideal number is six. Since our table is rectangular, six makes for perfect conversation with everyone. With 8, you often have "two tables of four" for conversation. We like everyone to be involved!!!

The best part of a dinner party is right before the company comes. The table is set, the house is spotless and we're in our best bib and tucker awaiting our guests. Often with a martini in hand! Which we feel we've "earned"!

I love the look of the dining room just before the guests arrive!

The table, set for guests with wine in place -- six guests -- three bottles. Seems like the perfect number to us!

And the table -- a spring table, set with gold chargers, Spode Blue Room plates, Spode Camellia soup bowls, blue Irish linen napkins in my silver napkin rings with the menu atop and my hotel flatware.

And the centerpiece -- it is Spring after all, the first of the garden flowers, hyacinths in shades of blue and white and two birds -- one facing each way so that no one only has the "backside"!

And the menu for a Spring dinner party at Linderhof . . .

Creamy Fresh Pea Soup garnished with garden chives

Roasted Leg of Lamb
Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Lemon Cream Napoleons with Blackberry Sauce

(I'll demonstrate how to make these wonderful Napoleons at my class on phyllo dough at Life+Style tomorrow night).

It's Thursday and there is nothing better than a Spring Dinner Party for Tablescape Thursday. Please join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch to see other great tables this Thursday!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tea Time With Friends

We love to have tea and every afternoon at half past three we stop for a cup of tea. Sometimes, we have a friends over for tea and at other times, we venture out . . . to have tea at a friends.

And on Sunday, to the city we went to have a Sunday Afternoon Tea with Cecelia and Connie . .

A pretty table -- so Provencal in color reminding us that it was the first day of Spring and a lovely day as well

A wonderful rabbit, a terra cotta carrot and some dried magnolia leaves made the perfect centerpiece

Sandwiches, strawberries and cream . .

Cookies, wee muffins and tiny poppy seed tea cakes

And tea, of course -- our favorite, a French blood orange -- what is left in the tin is the last of this amazing tea -- they have enough for one more pot -- which we'll share the next time I come visiting

And to finish --

Christopher Elbow Chocolates. If you haven't had one, you've missed a great treat. They are absolutely the best chocolates!!!!

The afternoon passed all too quickly and I headed back to Linderhof. The car filled with gifts (and a box of Elbow Chocolates!).

It was the perfect way to spend the first day of Spring!!!! A leisurely afternoon tea with friends Connie and Cecelia! What a treat!

It's Tuesday which means that it's Tea Time . . . . Let's join these parties!!!

Tabletop Tuesday with Marty at A Stroll Thru Life

Tea Time Tuesday with Terri at Artful Affirmations

Tea Cup Tuesday with Martha at Martha's Favorites

Tea Pot and Tea Things Tuesday with Pam at Breath of Fresh Air

Tea Time Tuesday with Katherine at Lady Katherine's Tea Parlor

Tuesday Tea for Two with Wanda Lee at The Plumed Pen

Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pansies on the Garden Gate

For more springs than I'd like to remember, I've made a pansy wreath to hang on the back garden gate.

At a class friend Miss Pat and I took together in Paola, we learned to make the wreath and as part of the class, we were given the form to make the wreath.

A spring ritual is renewing the wreath on the garden gate and I do think that of all the incarnations of the wreath, that the pansy wreath is my favorite!

It looks so pretty and so like spring . . . with the wee pansies in the wreath.

The dirt filled moss lined wreath form, ready for the insertion of the pansies. Even though I'm a color purist most of the time, I love a riot of color in my pansies!

I think the blues and purples and yellows and even whites say spring more than just a single color!

It's not a chore but a labor of love when, every spring, I make my pansy wreath!

There is nothing more springlike than pansies and so I'm joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday!