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, July 20, 2011

A Summer Dinner Party

We love to have people over for dinner -- sometimes we plan way ahead and send proper invitations by mail while other time we decide on the spur of the moment to invite company for dinner.

It was the latter last Saturday for on Thursday, we decided that we'd like to have company for Saturday dinner and so phone calls were made. I prefer six (or four guests) because all the chairs match and we don't have to put any leaves in the table but . . . sometimes we decide to invite more than two other couples.

Saturday was one of those times. Eight were invited for dinner and so on Saturday morning, as Husband Jim went to the city to get our entree, I cleaned house. Upon his return, we put the leaves in the table and then we set the table. It is a joint effort -- I do china and silver while Husband Jim does glassware.

I always love the house when the table is set, the food prepared and the house has the quiet expectancy that it always does just before company arrives.

Often, when we put all the leaves in the table -- we'll angle it a bit so that it's easier to get around.

And since it was summer and since it was impromptu . . .

We decided on a simple setting -- the Spode Blue Room plates, my hotel cutlery, a blue napkin in one of my silver napkin rings, a classic red wine glass, one of my silver birds holding the place cards and, of course, a menu for the evening. Dessert fork and spoon above the plate European style.

And a simple centerpiece as well . . .

My new Spode Camilla vegetable tureen in the center flanked by my artichoke tulipieres into which I put yellow mums from the market. Because the mums looked the most like garden flowers (but because of the horrible heat, there aren't much in the way of garden flowers!) and two silver candlesticks which were the light of the evening.

The artichoke tulipiere holding the yellow mums. I use them more for other flowers than for tulips but I think they're the perfect flower holder for a dinner party because they're low -- a low arrangement is a must for a dinner party.

And the menu . . .

Baby lettuces tossed with vinaigrette and topped with panko coated and fried coat cheese rounds.

Moroccan style lamb shanks with potatoes and peas and Farmer's Market tomato provencal.
With a good crusty bread and rosemary butter.

And, of course, there must be dessert . . .

A blueberry tart. A new recipe from Martha Stewart -- it has blueberries cooked down to an almost jelly, fresh blueberries coated with the jelly and then on top of that fresh blueberries.
And pure blueberry flavor for only sugar and lemon juice and zest were added to the fruit.

It was the perfect summer dessert -- served on Blue Italian salad plates.

Everyone had a good time, the wine flowed (which always indicates a good dinner party) and we hated it when our guests bid us goodbye.

It's Thursday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.


Backdoor Blessings said...

Your table setting was gorgeous and your food looked amazing. My inlaws spent several months in England and they loved it. My mother-in-law would love to join you for tea. My Internet is so slow I couldn't find a "favorite" book list but my guest room has two bookcases that look like yours too. Thanks for sharing. Mandy@backdoor blessings.

Pondside said...

Lucky guests! It looks wonderful.

bj said...

As always, Martha, your table is beautiful and the food looks and sounds amazing. I know your guests had such a good time.

I have no garden flowers, either. This heat and severe drought out here in West Texas has destroyed my little garden, lawn and flowers. When I get all depressed about it, I, too, head for the flowers at the market....O, and I have a new window box with plants that I baby so much, I am thinking of spending the night out there with them. :)))

Rebecca said...


Anita@Theycallmejammi said...

Your tablesetting and dining room are gorgeous...the food looks so yummy.

Bernideen said...

A meal like this with great conversation - now that's a delight!

On Crooked Creek said...

Casually elegant, dear friend! Linderhof is a vision of loveliness! Your table and menu look scrumptious! I'm sure the guests enjoyed the atmosphere, food, friends and lingered long into the coolness of the evening!

Karin Şen Cankan said...

Your table looks lovely and the food even better.

You can take me to heaven with your blueberry tart I wish I had a peice to eat with my coffee.

Thank you for sharing.

Lots of Love,
Karin Şen Cankan

Alycia Nichols said...

Beautiful! The yellow mums really brighten up the table!!! I know your guests really loved the effort you and your husband put into this fabulous impromptu gathering.

4HGTV said...

You've been busy since I last visited your blog. Your dinner table and menu look wonderful.

Marlis said...

Your guests must have felt extremely pampered and cared for with your lovely table and your fabulous menu. I love the spode on the nito chargers, so lovely. And I love love your menu. Many blessings, marlis

Monica @ Happily Playing with Dishes said...

It looks lovely. Lucky guests.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Gorgeous table Martha!
And the food looks devine, lucky guests indeed!

Marigene said...

Beautiful table as always, Martha. Your menu sounds wonderful, especially the salad!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Your table is as beautiful as your food looks delicious! What lucky guests at Linderhof House.