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, January 23, 2012

Lemons and Blueberries and Tulips . . .

I am always excited in January when I see the first tulips for sale.   I buy a bunch, of course, for they are a promise of the spring to come.     This winter on the prairie has been mild and snowless but I still bought tulips, nevertheless, for now it is a ritual . . . and soon Linderhof's own tulips will fill a vase or two!

An old wing chair and a tilt top table . . . and my latest needlepoint cushion.

Although we like flowers on the breakfast room table, in winter, we prefer a Spode bowl filled with fruit -- handy for snacking -- and the flowers go into vases in the living room and master bedroom.    This end table next to the wing chair is in my line of site as I sit in the living room -- seeing the tulips make me smile!

The pictures are so dear to me -- far better than something done in a photography studio!

A blue and white vase is the perfect holder for the tulips.    A Chinese tea canister lamp and a Chinese bowl filled with my potpourri.    Two pictures -- taken 23 years apart -- "family"pictures taken at Stonehenge.    The little one in 1989 with us and  13 year old Daughter Sarah -- the bigger one taken last year with a very grown up Sarah and her Andy.    What a difference 23 years makes!     The amazing thing is that Husband Jim and I have not changed hardly at all!!!!

We love to travel and we love to share our travels -- not boring friends with photos but instead just visiting and sharing our experiences and answering questions.     Today I had two friends to tea -- two friends who were eager to hear all about our trip through the Panama Canal.

I love the afternoon sunlight in the breakfast room.

And so as we sat in the breakfast room with the sun streaming through the windows . . .
A blue and white table.

That pretty late afternoon winter sun that seems so mellow and often is rarely seen on the prairie.

Spode makes the perfect china for tea.

Spode tea cups and tea plates and tea pot and some pearl handled English cake forks.

Anna's lemon blueberry cake is a favorite here -- perfect for breakfast or tea!

A wonderful lemon blueberry cake from Anna Pump and her Country Weekend Entertaining.    I make it a lot and I've shared the recipe before -- Lemon Blueberry Cake.    This time I made it into two loaves for I took one to a sick friend yesterday.

Meyer lemon curd 

And if the cake weren't decadent enough -- some Meyer lemon curd to slather on.     And slather we did!

For my tree this year produced one lemon -- but it was a big one -- the tree put all it's energy into making sure that it was a "super size" lemon!

And then, at Wal Mart, the only sack lemons you can buy are Meyer's -- can you believe that?   I've bought three sacks so far for besides the cake . . .

The big lemon is from my tree -- the little ones from Wal Mart!

I made some lemon curd -- which is so good with breakfast or teatime toast.    Lemon Curd is good -- Meyer lemon curd is wonderful!

Yellow "gold" for breakfast or tea!

Two jars and enough for my breakfast toast this morning.  

It was fun sharing my trip with my dear friends.    That's part of the fun of traveling are the stories and remembrances from your trips that you can share with friends.

We had a grand time and too soon it was time to say goodbye.    We did make a definite dent in the cake (I've enough left for a tea time or two) and I must say that that bowl of curd is all gone!

I use Ina Garten's recipe for lemon curd -- it's easy and so delicious.    You can make it with limes or oranges as well (wouldn't a blood orange curd be wonderful?) and I suppose even with grapefruit.


3 lemons
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 pound butter, at room temperature
4 extra large eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/8 t. kosher salt

Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith.   Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.    Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.

Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture.    Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then the lemon juice and salt.   Mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes) stirring constantly.    The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees or just below simmer.    Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.

It is Tuesday and I'm sharing my tulips and my lemons and my blueberries with:

It is Tuesday and I'm joining the following tea parties:

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

Tuesday Tea for Two with Wanda Lee at The Plumed Pen

Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage

Tuesday Cuppa Tea at Antiques and Tea Cups

Tea Party Tuesday at Sweetology 101

And I'm also joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday


Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Last week when I walked in the grocery store and saw the tulips, it was like a breath of fresh air..I am ready!

Blondie's Journal said...

Your tulips are beautiful in that vase! I have been looking at all the spring flowers in the grocery store as well! A nice hint of spring would be wonderful!

I have to check out the recipe for the cake and I have some lemon curd...yum! Love your huge lemon!


Nellie's Cozy Place said...

I love tulips too, they are just so springy........and if I come across some red ones soon, they are coming to my house!! lol
Your lovely table for your friends was delightful and oh so cozy looking with the sun streaming in.
Lemon Curd, I have had it in on pound cake but never on blueberry bread,
but bet it is to die for..........
Blessings for a wonderful week ahead, Nellie

Beth said...

Martha, You always set a pretty table. Your lemon curd looks great! I am looking forward to spring too.
Hugs, Beth

acorn hollow said...

the flowers are lovely the bread sounds yummy and I could eat lemon curd right out of the jar yummmm
as always lovely

Antiques And Teacups said...

What a lovely table setting. I do so love blue and white! Thanks for sharing. The cake looks delicious!

highheeledlife said...

Spring can not come soon enough!! I too love seeing the tulips at the grocery stores this time of year. Thanks for sharing your recipe for lemon curd..xo HHL

Bookie said...

Everything looks inviting, but the lemon berry cake looks best of all. It reminds me of an old lemon bread recipe I have somewhere...must dig it out and share! It is so perfect with hot tea!

Dana Bishop said...

Hi there. Thank you for leaving such a nice comment on my blog, Northwest Texas. Regarding the UK, this will be our first trip to Hastings, which is where we hope to stay for the most of our visit (probably 1 week). My husband is a retired airline pilot and I was so blessed to have been able to travel with him for many years. So this is not our first trip but it's the first trip we've actually planned! Glad I found your blog. I love it. And I love making lemon curd. I used to own and operate a tea room in Hermann, MO. Glad to be following you.


MarmePurl said...

I haven't thought to make lemon curd in a few years. Thanks for the reminder of how good it is.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hello Martha,
I love tulips too and I got myself some over the weekend from the grocery store.
Love your blue and white china. You always set a pretty table. Thank you for sharing your lovely Lemon Curd recipe. I'm going to try it. Thanks for joining me for tea and enjoy your week.



The flowers look very pretty, so does the cake and lemon curd....Thanks for sharing with us.

Diann said...

Oh your Spode set is beautiful! Everything looks lovely. thank you for the lemon curd recipe. I have been wanting to make some!

Carol at Serendipity said...

Good morning,

I just added lemons and blueberries to my shopping list. I am hoping that there will be tulips and daffodils at the market. We are having friends in for dinner on Saturday and they would be perfect!


Cindy said...

I'm also a fan of tulips, they signal a sign for me...Spring is on the way. Yours are lovely. That lemon is a big one, imagine only one on the tree, I'm trying to imagine having a lemon tree at the least. I made lemon curd also this past year however I have never put it onto toast, but put it out for ladies in my tea room to enjoy with their tea. Have a wonderful week, Cindy

Snap said...

Your table is beautiful with the sun shining through the windows. Beautiful blue and white. I bet everyone had fun ... you telling about your trip and your friends taking notes! Tulips!!! I do love tulips!!! Happy Tea Day!

Anonymous said...

The tulips are wonderful and your tablescape is gorgeous. You always set the most wonderful table and I love that you do even for just the two of you. Beautiful. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Your tulips are a nice reminder of spring and I like to buy a bunch or two when they're in the grocery store as well.
The blueberry lemon loaf and lemon curd are a real treat for tea today.

CEO Lisa Anne - L.A said...


Your table setting is so lovely and tulips are a great way to brighten up a room on a cool winter day! Lemon, blueberry cake sounds so delicious! Hope you will visit Magnolia Cottage.


Johanna Gehrlein said...

Hi Martha,

your cake and the Lemon Curd sounds great. I will try it sometimes. Your blue china is perfect with tulips. A promise of spring sounds so great.
best greetings, Johanna

Bernideen said...

I am just not a blue person. My mother loves blue and we had blue willow at home. I have no idea why I am not drawn to blue. You, however, have the most beautiful presentations of blue china!

On Crooked Creek said...

Lovely tulips! Does make one think about the arrival of Spring, doesn't it? Thank you for sharing your photos of Sarah through the years! I, am always grateful for your shared recipes, as well!

Suzanne said...

I love your home! Good thing you don't live close. I might invite myself for dinner or breakfast. Oh, any meal would do! Love your yummy post! I am now a follower:-)

Two Cottages And Tea said...

Hi Martha, I always enjoy viewing your dining room and your beautiful blue dishes. Your dining room with the large windows remind me of my dining area with your darker tones of wood. Tulips are such a wonderful sign of spring, even when we know there is lots of cold weather ahead.
Thanks for sharing,
Nancy @ Two Cottages And Tea