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, November 28, 2011

The Breakfast Room Table in December

I'm not slavish about what goes on the breakfast room table in December -- some years I get out my fruit pyramid, others years it may be a Christmas cactus (assuming it is cooperating by blooming in December!).

My roots are German and Linderhof was built by a German.     What more fitting for the breakfast room table than . .

A pyramid, a cake and a plant!

A German wooden pyramid, a cranberry spice cake and a poinsettia!

Nothing says Christmas like a cranberry cake and a poinsettia.

The pyramid takes pride of place in the center of the table . . . . the poinsettia is in a "temporary" spot awaiting my next trip upstairs and the cake . . . the cake . . is for the Rotary Potato Feed tomorrow!

A real German pyramid.    Made from wood with wee red candles.

The pyramid we've had "forever" -- well, perhaps not, but it was a pre-Linderhof purchase.    For years, it's December home was the table at the foot of the stairs.    But as we tire of things sometimes, we did tire of the pyramid and so when it went down to the basement storage, it didn't come up again the following year . . or the year after that . . . or the year after that . . . or . . .

We decided that this year it "was time" and so up it came -- to the breakfast room table!

I hope there will be a slice left when I come for lunch tomorrow.

The cake is a Dorie Greenspan and it is delicious (at least the batter left in the bowl was -- I've not tasted the cake!) and is for the Rotary Potato Feed tomorrow.    All Rotarians were asked to bring a dessert for the feed and I chose this one because it sounded so good and so seasonal!      It went together quickly, used up a partial bag of cranberries and the last of a bag of dried cranberries (which is a good thing) and made the house smell wonderful (as only spiced cakes and cookies can).

On "floor 2", the carolers

We've filled the stereo with Christmas music which, if alone, I like to sing along to.     This little fellow on the pyramid heralds the "Birth of the Newborn King"!

Christmas in the Breakfast Room at Linderhof

Late afternoon is always a nice time to be in the sunroom.   A great time and a great place for afternoon tea.   Sigh, my afternoon tea was not a slice of this wonderful cake but rather some of the Christmas cookies that I baked this weekend.

It's Tuesday and I'm joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday.     See what other tabletops there are this Tuesday -- I'm sure there will be several Christmas ones!

And the cake . . .


2 cups flour
3/4 c. almond flour
2 1/2 t. Chinese five-spice powder
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1 up unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 cup plain Greek style yogurt (or 1 cup buttermilk)
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
1 cup halved fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw)
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries

2/3 c. powdered sugar
4 t. orange juice

Preheat oven to 350.    Butter and flour 12 cup Bundt pan (or tube pan).   Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend.    Using electric mixer, beat buyer in large bowl until smooth.   Add both sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.    Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.    Beat in vanilla, then yogurt (or buttermilk).    Add dry ingredients, beat just until blended.    Fold in almonds and all cranberries.    Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes.    Cool cake in pan 10 minutes.    Turn can tout onto rack and cool completely.


Stir powdered sugar and 2 t. orange juice in small bowl until sugar dissolves.   Mix in more juice by 1/2 teaspoonfuls to reach consistency of heavy cream.    Spoon icing over cake, allowing it to drip down sides. Let stand until icing sets, at least 30 minutes.

NOTE:   I soaked the dried cranberries in a bit of Grand Marnier to plump them.    I also used a teaspoon of Grand Marnier in the icing.


On Crooked Creek said...

Oh, how well I remember the German prymaids! Gorgeous on your table, dear friend!!! I can almost imagine the wonderful aroma coming through Linderhof as your cake was baking! Reading through the listing of appears to be a really moist cake.I assume we will have to take Jim's word...I fear you won't get a sampling...not even a crumb. Thank you for sharing your lovely breakfast room!

Ivy and Elephants said...

Oh Martha I am totally drooling over your cranberry cake. I will be trying this recipe out over the holidays. I would love for you to share your post at our new linky party. Come on by.


Pondside said...

It sounds sooooo good - and what doesn't taste even better with a splash of Grand Marnier?
I have a sweet pyramid that matches the angel orchestra. I love to light the candles and then turn off the lights and watch the pattern on the ceiling.

Marilyn said...

My mom has a German decoration like yours, but my SIL gave it to her, so it's not likely that I'll get it someday. It is such a sweet piece, similar to yours.

The cranberries soaking sound so good. Maybe I'll have to try that.♥♫

Kerin said...

I love the table decor!

Very fitting for your breakfast room and for the Christmas season .

Thanks for sharing that delicious looking recipe. Another 'need to try.'

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

your wooden pyramind is such a lovely one. I too use to have one out but have not for a few years...maybe it is time again. I remember my grandma lighting hers.

Cass @ That Old House said...

So what happened to the REST of the bottle of Grand Marnier after you soaked the cranberries, eh, Martha?


PS Cake looks fabulous! I used to have one of those carousels, and we gave a BIG one to my parents years ago -- I should dig it out of the attic at the beach house!