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, January 25, 2012

A January Lunch

The Lunch Bunch, three dear friends, meet once a month, on the third Tuesday of every month -- usually at Linderhof.   It's my chance to try new recipes and that's really the reason that The Lunch Bunch came to be.    We've been having these monthly lunches for 11 years and sometimes we do "road trips" to restaurants in the city or to museums or art galleries.     Lunch, of course, is always included!

This month one of the "Bunchers" is in Oregon with her daughter who just had a baby and rather than change the date, we've decided that the date would be the date and if someone couldn't make it, then we would see them next month.

We did have to change January, however, for on our regular day Husband Jim and I were in LAX awaiting a plane for Kansas City.     Therefore, we moved it back a week.

So, on Tuesday, the Lunch Bunch minus one came to Linderhof . . .

The weather on the prairie this winter has been fabulous -- unseasonably warm and no snow.    But it still is winter, January has "blahs" whether it's warm or cold and Spring in January seems so far away.

A Spring table, I decided would be perfect for our January lunch . . .

The First Lunch Bunch Lunch of 2012

Lace tablecloth and new linen napkins from William Sonoma.   On sale at a ridiculously  low price -- but, alas, there was only 4!    In silver napkin rings, of course!

Only three of us -- one was enjoying a new grand baby in Oregon!

Alas, no blue and white on the table . . .
The hyacinths were almost in bloom!

They weren't quite opened but the hyacinth vases with almost blooming white hyacinths in them.    Two little ceramic birds bode Spring!

I love this pattern and collect them as I collect my beloved blue and white .

My Wedgwood Cuckoo.    A similar pattern (and usually in similar colors) made by many of the English potteries.

I love the big streak of green that the Crown Staffordshire has.

Crown Staffordshire Roc Bird.   Another similar pattern.     Husband Jim's grandmother's cutlery.

A table that brings promise that Spring is around the corner!

A table full of greens and pinks and white with a bit of blue.

And the lunch? . . .

ham and leek and potato pie.    A perfect pie to use leftover Christmas or Easter ham!

Ham and leek and potato pie.

Love these tiny zucchini -- finger sized!

Roasted baby zucchini dusted with a garlic dill mixture.    The perfect side dish.

And no Lunch Bunch lunch is complete without dessert.     Since I had made lemon curd over the weekend, I thought a cake would be the perfect dessert . . .

It's really a Meyer lemon curd cake -- decorated with blackberries and Meyer lemon wedges.

A lemon curd cake.     A lemony cake filled with lemon curd with a cream cheese and lemon curd icing.

When there isn't many at table, I often do just half the cake.     I freeze the other half for later (or if I can, make only half) and then create a "half" a layer cake.    It's the perfect size!

Blackberries on the cake and blackberries on the plate.

Blue and white was the perfect plate for dessert.    These are French from Tuesday Morning and it took me three years to acquire them at a price I could afford!

Blue and white and yellow.

Three perfect pieces of cake . . .
We savor dessert and linger over another cup of coffee.

Served along with freshly brewed coffee in my Spode Blue Italian cups and saucers.   You know I don't mind mixing and matching my blue and white!


3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
2 T. lemon juice, fresh
1 t. vanilla
1 1/3 c. buttermilk
1/4 t. cream of tartar


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sift before measuring
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/3 cup lemon curd (purchased or homemade)


1 cup lemon curd (purchased or homemade

Preheat oven to 350.    Grease 2 straight sided 9 x 2 inch round cake pans; dust generously with flour, tapping out excess.   In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and salt.    Sift into another large bowl.   In large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed 2 minutes, until fluffy.    Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each.    Beat in lemon juice and vanilla.    At low speed, beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture (about 4 flour additions and 3 buttermilk additions).    Beat just until blended.   In small bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.    With rubber spatula, gently fold egg white mixture, in thirds into batter.    Spread batter in prepared pan.    Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean.    Cool in pans on racks, 10 minutes.    Invert onto racks.    Cool.

Frosting:   In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter 2 minutes, until fluffy.    At low speed, beat in powdered sugar, cream and lemon curd until smooth.    Cover; chill 20 minutes until spreadable consistency.

To assemble:   place one cake layer on plate, top with lemon curd, then second cake layer.    Spread frosting on top and sides of cake.

NOTE:   I prefer to frost cakes "English style" -- only the top.

NOTE:   I made half a recipe of frosting which was more than enough to spread on top of the cake.

It's Thursday and I'm sharing my first luncheon of 2012 with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.    


Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

How special it would be to have a lunch at the Linderhof!

Kerin said...

Beautiful table and delicious looking lunch!
Thanks for sharing your pictures with us and the recipe.

lindaraxa said...

Oh Martha,that lemon cake looks to die for. The fact that it's 4 o'clock and I'm starving doesn't help any. Maybe a cup of tea and a scone...trying yet another new recipe today.

Tricia said...

I always enjoy seeing your pretty tables -- lucky Lunch Bunch! Your china is lovely, and those two patterns play so nicely together! Glad you managed to get the blue and white plates at Tuesday Morning, despite the long wait!

Rosemary said...

What a beautiful springtime tablescape. You give us hope that spring will indeed arrive! And what a delicious menu... yummy photos. Thanks so much for sharing.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Ham and leek pie and lemon curd pie? What a wonderful that must have been!

Chandy said...

Wow, I am so there at that table having that cake! Yum! And your table, just lovely!

Entertaining Women said...

Those groups of dear friends who are a part of our lives year after very special. The collection of plates with the birds are wonderful...and thank you for the Lemon Curd Cake recipe. I'll make it for my Garden Friends. Cherry Kay

Helen's Decor said...

What a lovely celebration to have 12 times a year with dear friends and it's been 11 years! Your flowers and cooking look and sound wonderful. Thanks, Helen
Also, I'm trying to follow you.

Marigene said...

What fun to have a lunch with 3 friends each month...especially with home cooked food!
Love the Cuckoo pattern.
Yes, the weather has been exceptional this winter, but I am wondering what we will be in for the next couple of months...