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 22, 2012

A Blue and White Table Times Four

We love our blue and white and use it on a daily basis.    It is always such a pleasure to me to set the table with my collection of blue and white.    And I'm not a purist.   I often mix and match patterns at each meal!

This isn't one table -- but four -- breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner -- Tuesday's meals!

Breakfast is always in the "breakfast" room!    The small room that we added on to the house 4 years ago -- the room that most people think is a porch we enclosed (and that was our intention!).    A small oval English table is our breakfast table.    I like to cover it with a white tea cloth for meals and the napkins are white linen ones from William-Sonoma -- they get a wonderful "patina" (meaning the more you launder them the softer they get) after a while.    

Coffee for both of us this morning -- Husband Jim always takes his in a mug -- a Spode Blue Room one while I prefer a cup and saucer -- Johnson Brothers Indies.     The plates are Johnson Brothers Asiatic Pheasant.

English blues, I think, go together well.    A great breakfast for a very warm late winter morning is bagels, cream cheese and lox.    The bagels are left over from church on Sunday (as is the cream cheese) and the salmon is wood smoked from Scotland -- from the freezer!

Husband Jim was gone at lunchtime.    But during the winter (even a warm winter) there is usually a Dutch Oven of homemade soup in the fridge.     A bowl of berries always makes a great dessert!

And if I eat alone, I read -- decorating books about Nancy Lancaster and one of Keith Irvine's interiors (a gift from a dear friend and a beloved book).     The tablecloth is the one that I always keep on the table between meals -- and I'll keep it on when I dine alone (I'm more careful than Husband Jim about spills and such!).    The Asiatic Pheasant makes a great under plate and the bowl is Spode Camilla -- I especially love the color -- a great buy, these bowls at Tuesday Morning for a mere fraction of their cost!

The soup -- one of our favorites -- Plaza III steak soup made this time with chunks of steak (rather than ground steak!)

Tea time is always half past three (or as close to it as I can make it) -- if the mail has any new magazines or books, I always save them to savor at tea time!      Monday, I read a favorite blog, Tea With Friends,  and she gave a review of a book, Southern Teatime Pleasures, and I immediately ordered it!     We live close enough to an Amazon facility that I often get next day service for regular shipping prices.    Such was the case with that book.

A cup of tea and the book to savor.     Leaf tea.   A blend from a tea room in Wyoming that was a gift form dear friend, Joyce.    It has a most floral aroma and a wonderful flavor.    It was the perfect tea to sip while reading the charming Southern the book.     My cup of choice?   The Johnson Brothers Indies (for I've a wee tea pot to match)!  

I usually have a nosh with tea but not today -- I was still full from luncheon soup and berries!

Since we built the breakfast room, we've taken all of our meals there (except for the ones we've eaten in the living room while watching TV -- not  a frequent occurrence at Linderhof) and so I decided to set the table in the dining room for dinner.    The house was spotless and the dining room sparkled.  

Green linen placemats on the table, a blue and white ginger jar and a blue and white vase with the Valentine's Day pink mums in it as a centerpiece.    The white linen napkins (we use them for several meals before they're laundered), and glasses of water.

The blue and white?    Spode Blue Italian -- I've six or eight plates of this pattern -- that I keep in the kitchen and use more than the Spode Blue Room.    It's a great pattern that's been around "forever" and I'm always looking for interesting pieces when I go to Antique Malls or Flea Markets.    You don't see much -- but I am on the hunt for not one but two sauce tureens -- I feel that I need those -- and I'm not picky about age either!

Husband Jim knows to check to make sure that I've taken the picture before he sets down!

And dinner . . .

Ina's easy risotto which is easy to make especially for the two of us -- no standing and stirring over the stove for 20 to 30 minutes!    With some leftover blanched asparagus spears and frozen peas added to it.    Risotto (like a frittata) is a wonderful vehicle to use up leftovers!


1 1/2 c. Arborio rice
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. dry white wine
3 T. butter, diced
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. blanched asparagus, cut in 1 inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 350

Place the rice and 4 cups chicken stock in a Dutch oven (such as Le Creuset or Staub).   Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente.     Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt and pepper, and stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy.    Add the peas and stir until heated through.    Serve hot.

Slices of roasted pork tenderloin and sautéed spinach finish out the plate.  

After dinner, we do take coffee in the living room and out of mugs -- it's the way we end a meal!

I adore my blue and white and use it daily -- four times a day.    It's sometimes fun to set the table all with one pattern but most of the time I prefer to mix it up!

I am always looking for more and I always regret pieces I've passed up -- either because I felt that I've bought quite a few things this trip and shouldn't spend more or do I really need that?

My biggest regret -- a big Indies tea pot -- a 12 copper at least -- $40 I think it was but it was at the end of a trip (and we were purchasing the living room chandelier so I felt that I had spent enough).    Sigh -- I keep looking for another!

It is Thursday -- and I'm sharing my day of tables with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for her Tablescape Thursday!     Visit her and see what fun and creative tables there are this Thursday.   I predict there will be some Easter ones!

For Friday, I'm sharing this with Michael at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday.    Visit her and see what is cooking.   She's made some luscious Bailey's Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day!


Aledia said...

Each of your settings look wonderful! Your food looks so comforting and tasty as well.

Love your china!

Have a great night!

Bookie said...

Martha, it must be so much fun to live at your house! I lingered over your post today because I love blue and whites so much.I used my Blue Willow everyday too, but not with your flair. But I did have to smile when you said you eat on the nice cloth because you aren't as messy as the mate...hum,that thought is echoed here!

Blondie's Journal said...

Each one of your table settings is so pretty, Martha. They make us savor our meals and companionship, even if it is a book or magazine. I love all of your blue and white dishes. They showcase your wonderful meals so well!


Meredith said...

Just beautiful. I love mixing my blue and white china too. Blue Italian is so, so pretty.

KathyB. said...

Love it, love it, love it! Blue and white in so many ways every day. I can't get enough of it and like you said, often I pass up blue & white dishes thinking I have too much, or don't want to spend the money at the time, then I regret not having bought it later as I set my table .

Although so many people think of blue as a cold color, it just warms my heart with joy as I see a beautiful blue & white table-setting such as yours.

Suzanne said...

OH, this looks lovely and delicious. Too bad we aren't neighbors:-) Hope you're having a great day!

On Crooked Creek said...

Your blue & white is such a beautiful tablescape regardless of the setting...breakfast room or dining room! Your menus are divinely delicious! I always enjoy seeing scenes of Linderhof!

Pondside said...

Beautiful settings, all.
You know, Martha, I'm convinced that there is a 23-cup pot out there with your name on it. Whenever I pass something up like that, if I think about it enough I just know I'll come across it again.

Abi's Blog said...

Very pretty!
Blessings from Texas,

Martha said...

Me, too, Pondy and it has happened! After years I've found another at a great price as well! So I keep looking for that BIG Indies pot!

Entertaining Women said...

I'll keep my eye out for you for that large Indies tea pot. I love the challenge of a good hunt. Thanks for inviting us for a peak at your day of lovely blue and white
tablescapes. Cherry Kay

Savannah Granny said...

Martha, I always love your tables. You have the most beautiful selection of blue and white that I have seen. Everything looks elegant but comfortable, if that makes sense.
Have a great weekend.

Martha said...

Cherry Kay -- the funny thing is that I found it in TULSA -- and I am still mad at myself for not buying it!


I have the same Spode Blue Italian which I use as my everyday set. It's so cheerful and versatile, particularly mixing it with chartreuse green such as you've done here; a combination I'd not have considered but love it! The rich mahogany ties it all together beautifully. I adore blue & white so much that it's often the subject of my oil paintings. But that! where did I recently see a set of wonderful, chartreuse green quilted placemats...? :o)

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