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, February 15, 2012

The Before -- The After -- And The Inbetween

The Before

The dining room -- table all set and ready for company.     I love this part of entertaining.    That small window when everything is done and the guests have not yet arrived.

The After

Company came.   Lunch was eaten.     And a good time was had by all!      The table after we got up and my guests said their goodbyes!

The Inbetween

The party -- with the table all set for my Annual Valentine's Luncheon.     And even though it is Valentine's, it's not a red day at Linderhof but it is a "red letter" day as dear friends join us for lunch.

I love to select the table linen and the dishes and those little touches that make my guests feel special!

A centerpiece and not favors but extra "nibbles" . .

Since it's not a red Valentine's but a pink one, a big bouquet of pink carnations put, not in a vase, but in a glass ice bucket.    I love ice buckets and wine rinsers as containers for centerpiece flowers.     They're short enough that the guests can see over the top of the centerpiece -- a must at any luncheon or dinner party at Linderhof.

A Quaker Lace cloth -- I adore them and have several for they set a pretty table.    

And at each place, my Grandmother's Noritake Marcasite plate, an Irish linen napkin in a silver napkin ring, and Alvin Romantique cutlery.     A steal of a deal at a long ago auction.    

And so each guest would know where to sit . . .

A Valentine heart, painted with flowers and their name.     Another keepsake to take home.

And the luncheon menu:

Valentine's Luncheon at Linderhof
February 14, 2012


Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Lemon Chicken
Roasted Asparagus
Chive Corn Madelines
French Silk Pie
Freshly Brewed Costa Rica Coffee

The soup, served in matching soup bowls with a ball of frozen pesto (from last year's garden) to melt into the soup.

Lemon chicken, fresh roasted asparagus and chive corn madelines.     It's Ina's recipe and I simply adore it and it's frequently fixed at Linderhof -- and not just for company.    

After luncheon, there is always coffee service . . .

With cups and dessert forks lined up on the sideboard.     Ready to be placed on the table while the silver pot is filled with fresh hot coffee.

It may be a pink (instead of red) Valentine's at Linderhof but dessert has to be chocolate.    My chocolate dessert of choice --

French Silk Pie.    Topped with whipped cream flavored with Grand Marnier and a slice of kumquat (from the tree in the breakfast room).    

i've not made this pie before and I'm not sure why.    Perhaps it was with some encounters with a commercially frozen version which, in my mind, was just acceptable (as most commercially frozen dessert is).

It's certainly easy and if you're squeamish about the raw eggs you certainly can use egg beaters or pasteurized eggs.    

It's a classic recipe and one that I'll certainly make again.    


2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 t. vanilla
4 large eggs, room temperature (pasteurized eggs are an option)
One baked pie shell (Pillsbury refrigerated, baked according to directions or your own favorite recipe)

Beat sugar and butter for 10 to 15 minutes using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer.    Beat in the chocolate and vanilla, then add two of the eggs and beat for another 5 minutes.    Add two more eggs and beat for 5 minutes.    Pour into cooled crust.    Chill 2 hours or until firm.     Before serving, top with whipped cream.    You can garnish it with shaved chocolate if you so desire.

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


The Tablescaper said...

What a lovely luncheon. I'm sure that all attended felt so special. Great touch to use the cookies as place cards.

- The Tablescaper


What a gorgeous luncheon, wish I had been didn't tell me on time, lol...Guests at your house must feel like royals with such lovely set table and everything so perfectly planed. I am like you, I love those minutes before guests arrive and everything is just so! The cookies as place cards, clever. The menu sounds fabulous. Thank you for sharing.

Entertaining Women said...

Beautiful table for a special luncheon. Every detail is thoughtfully presented for an elegant result. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

On Crooked Creek said...

What a precious dining table with pink carnations and your grandmothers china!You made a luscious luncheon...I could almost taste the asparagus! French silk pie and coffee...divine! I'm sure there were ample portions of loving friendship @ Linderhof's Valentine Luncheon, dear friend! Thank you for sharing!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh my, such a lovely tablescape and the menu is devine. I am sure your guests were thrilled and so enjoyed the lovely dinner and company. Hugs, Marty

william said...

Oh, Martha, it all looks dreamy and beautiful! I know your friends enjoyed it so much.


Michelle said...

As a new blogger, this is what I am absolutely loving, getting to see beautiful posts like this one and getting the skinny on so many fabulous looking recipes! I want to try those corn madeleines soon! What lucky friends you have =) Thank you for sharing! Your neighbor to the north, Michelle

lindaraxa said...

Lovely! And where was Oliver when all this was happening? certainly not in the garden!

Martha said...

Oliver WAS in the garden -- he's a little beggar and barker. But he DID get some leftover chicken -- so it made being out in the garden worthwhile. (Or at least that is what I told him!)

The Style Sisters said...

Beautiful!! What a fun idea to host an annual Valentine's lunch!! Cookie placecards...I must try that...what a great idea! Come link up to Centerpiece Wednesday on my blog and share you ideas with everyone.


highheeledlife said...

Lovely luncheon setting! Your friends must have been over the moon delighted with such loveliness and tasty menu... the personalized cookies .. adorable! xo HHL

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Your making me hungry!!
I love the heart cookie place markers!

Pondside said...

What a beautiful lunch, Martha, as always at Linderhof. Every last touch intended to encourage the guests to feel a sense of occasion, and that an effort was made for their pleasure. I love it!

Donna and Miss Spenser said...

Your luncheon looks wonderful...I am so hungry right now, wish I could sample just a bit!! The pie looks to die for!! Donna

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

What a delightful place to 'bump' into.... a treasure trove of loveliness.

My first time visit, but I've already linked as a follower as I think we share some kindred heart things in the way of living a beautiful life.

I'll come again soon... in meantime, here's wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places.....

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a delicious and beautiful luncheon! Those corn and chive Madeleines really caught my eye. Beautiful cookies and the pie sounds luscious.

Southerncook said...

Your luncheon table looked fabulous, loved the soup (may need that recipe), and your Chocolate Silk Pie was perfect for a Valentine's luncheon. Beautiful post.


Bernideen said...

Beautiful table at each interval and alsoand food - delightful as always!

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

How nice of you to host this lunch. Everything looks wonderful. The pie is certainly easy but very impressive. Did you make the heart cookies? So pretty.