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.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Traditions -- Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday . . .

We don't celebrate "Carnivale" on the prairie but we do have traditions associated with Lent.

For on Ash Wednesday, we get out our Easter decorations. Although not as elaborate as the Christmas ones, it wouldn't be the Lenten season without these special touches to Linderhof.

Some years, when Ash Wednesday comes early, the Easter decorations clash with the Valentine decorations!!!

But not this year -- one of the latest dates for Ash Wednesday (and subsequently Easter) -- Valentine's Day is long gone and Spring is almost upon us.

So up from the basement . . .

Came the Easter eggs. A dozen of real hens eggs which we got long ago on a Lenten trip to Germany. This was before Easter eggs and Easter egg trees could be found in just about any store. We adored this custom (but the Germans like to celebrate holidays with decorated trees -- they, after all were responsible for the Christmas tree!)

And so before we left, we went to Woolworth's and bought a dozen real hens eggs just like the ones that hung on the trees at the bed and breakfasts where we stayed. A wonderful reminder of a wonderful trip!

Perhaps because the eggs we so admired were always in the dining room of the inns where we stayed, we, too, have always displayed the eggs in the dining room. And like the German's, we've not got caught up in boughten trees but rather we prefer branches to hang the eggs from. Pussy willow are the best and a blue and white Oriental vase the perfect holder.

Each egg is hand-painted and we are amazed that the dozen have lasted all these years. It wouldn't be Easter at Linderhof without these dear eggs!

Of course, now that we have a second table to decorate . . . the breakfast room . . . we wanted something special for that table as well.

These dear French pottery lamb molds with some age are perfect on either side of whatever flowers we have on the breakfast room table.

As the Lenten season progresses, we change the flowers -- the hyacinths for this Ash Wednesday -- when Lent starts earlier, it is often a pot of paperwhites! We love these little lambs that watch over the breakfast room flowers during Lent!

And of course, the Tuesday before is Shrove Tuesday . . . traditionally Pancake Day. When I was little we always had pancakes for supper on Shrove Tuesday. But in our adult years, it seems so many restaurants have "Mardi Gras" celebrations and specials and so we're often choose to dine with friends that evening.

Alas, I cannot imagine a Shrove Tuesday without pancakes and so . . .

Big stacks make up our breakfast . . . .

For Shrove Tuesday isn't Shrove Tuesday without pancakes!!!!

It's an old and easy recipe -- the pancakes my mother made. They're especially good with blueberries added but for Shrove Tuesday they should be plain. With rashers of bacon, pats of butter and real maple syrup. Pots and pots of steaming coffee as well.

Linderhof Pancakes

1 cup milk
1 egg
2 T. sour cream

Mix together well.

1 cup flour
1 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. mace

Mix together then add the wet ingredients. If it is too thick, you can add a little more milk. Spoon onto hot griddle and cook until done.

NOTE: A cup of fresh blueberries can be added before baking but for Shrove Tuesday we like them plain!

It's Wednesday and I'm joining Susan for Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer for although my "Easter Egg Tree" is inside -- it is a tree with branches!!!!


Mary Bergfeld said...

Where to start! I love your eggs. They are really beautiful and I'm most anxious to see your table fully decked for Spring. The pancakes have set my stomach growling and I'd love to join you at the table. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

those lamb molds are great. I like the tradition of putting out your Easter decorations. I am glad Easter is a little later so I can even decorate my front porch!

From the Kitchen said...

I'd like to come with Mary to the prairie! The eggs and lambs are marvelous. I'm going to head to the basement for Easter decorations soon.


Bill said...

Hi Martha,

I enjoyed seeing your beautifully decorated Easter tree and loved reading about your hand-painted eggs from Germany. Your Shrove Tuesday pancakes look delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

Hope the rest of your week goes well ...

Southerncook said...

Your eggs and lambs are just beautiful, such wonderful treasures. I had almost forgotten to get out my Easter decorations and will do just that tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder.


On Crooked Creek said...

Lovely pussy willow branches laden with German hand painted eggs certainly add a festive touch to linderhof's dining tables. Those darling little lambs, too sweet! I can only imagine how festive your home is throughout the year. Thank you for sharing this lovely glimpse into your home as the Holy Season begins!

La said...

My grandfather used to bring my mother pussy willow when I was young. They bring back such wonderful memories.

Kathy Walker said...

Thank you for sharing the tradition!

Donnie said...

Such lovely traditions and a beautiful table and recipe too.

...just another preppy shopaholic said...

Love your Easter decorations! I also celebrated Shrove Tues. with pancakes for breakfast! YUM!

Vintagesouthernlife said...

Your hand painted eggs are lovely
and the pancakes look delicious!

Priscilla said...

I begin to paint my yearly series of eggs beginning tomorrow. I have been blowing every egg that I use since Epiphany. I usually can't wait for Easter when we can once again have boiled and fried eggs.
I will begin to display them about mid-lent.
I have been saving one or two each year since the 1970's. I have carted them along each move, even half-way around the world, when we moved to England. I was so thrilled a few years ago when we were in Austria. The lady we were staying with had a whole vase of eggs her friend had painted. Her friend was painter who decorated dishes at a nearby factory. They were quite lovely. Each year I pick a style and paint dozens to give away. I will be posting soon. Today I posted some green, blue,and brown natural eggs from special hens.

Pondside said...

Like you, we became acquainted with the Easter Tree tradition when we lived in Germany in the early 80's. I also have a collection of papier mache eggs that I bring out at this time of year.

Cathy said...

Your table decorations are beautiful, Martha. The lovely German eggs and sweet lamb molds are sure signs that spring is on the way.

Sue said...

I love your dining room and your Easter, pussy willow tree is adorable. I may have to take a page from your book and try to assemble one of my own.

william said...

Martha, both of your Easter tables are darling. You have such great taste! We made your pancakes tonight and they were wonderful. Thank you!