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.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Summer Breakfast Room

Changes at Linderhof are seasonal.     The big blue bowl on the dining room table filled with poinsettias at Christmas, pumpkins and gourds in the fall, and replaced during Lent with the Easter egg tree.      

Our biggest change, however, is probably in the breakfast room -- and it's a twice a year change.    For in the Spring (and usually on Truman's Birthday -- but this year we rushed a bit) the plants that winter in the breakfast room (the citrus, the jasmine, the agapanthus) go outside.    It's a Jim chore and this year with the really warm March, we moved the agapanthus out early -- for it can stand a bit of cold.    But the citrus and jasmine need warm days and nights.    

They're now in their summer home -- close to the house where we can watch them for scale and to make sure that they get plenty of water.

With the plants outside . . .

The breakfast room looks a little barren.     We do leave some of the plants inside . . .

My newest ivy topiary and

The clivi a.    Who absolutely adores that corner of the breakfast room.

The breakfast room a week or so ago -- with the citrus and jasmine in front of the windows . . .

And now -- our spartan breakfast room where the view to the garden is unimpeded  by citrus or jasmine foliage.

It was a cold rainy day on the prairie . . . and I was gone most of the day (to a wonderful production of The Barber of Seville at the Kaufman in Kansas City).     Although the rain had stopped, soup seemed to be the best supper.    (Especially after the wonderful lunch and dessert we had at Webster House)

A new and favorite blog is Nine and Sixteen and last week Tessa posted about the best soup at Panera --
lemon chicken orzo soup.   She made the soup so appetizing that I wanted to go to a Panera immediately for a big bowl!

Not having a Panera in our little town on the prairie, I did what she did and made my own!

I did forget the roasted lemon garnish but it was a good soup and perfect for this rainy Sunday!    The recipe -- as developed by Tessa:


2 t. olive oil
1 cup diced carrots (I used a package of shredded carrots from the market)
1 c. diced celery
1 small onion, diced
half of a chicken breast, with skin and bone
1 cup roughly chopped spinach
2 t. fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 c. orzo pasta
salt and pepper
8 to 10 cups chicken broth
2 lemons

Preheat oven to 350.    Rub chicken breast with olive oil, season liberally with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, loosely covered with foil and let sit.    Turn up the heat to 400.   Slice one lemon and place on parchment lined baking sheet.    Roast lemon slices for 20 minutes.    Remove and set aside.

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 t. olive oil over medium heat.   Add carrot, celery and onion and sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes.    Add 8 cups broth, spinach, thyme, and orzo, season with salt and pepper.    Bring to a boil, cover partially with lid and reduce heat.    Let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

While soup is simmering, peel skin off chicken and cut meat away from the bone.    Shred.   Add chicken to soup along with the zest and juice of one lemon.

Stir and serve.    Top soup with roasted lemon slices.

NOTE:   You may have to add additional broth.    After soup sits for a while the pasta absorbs broth and you'll need to think it back out.

It's Monday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Met Monday --

And I'm joining Yvonne at Stone Gable for What's On the Menu Monday


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

The breakfast room looks amazing with or without the plants. The soup sound yummy too. Hugs,Marty

podso said...

Seasonal changes help to celebrate the new season, right? I would think that in the sunroom now your windows now afford a much broader view of the beauty outdoors now that spring has come!

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Rooms do seem empty when the plants go outside. I have a few that stay inside always too but most appreciate the chance to be outside.

Pondside said...

I enjoy the little rituals that mark the seasons - the taking the plants outside, the changing to summer slipcovers etc.
That soup sound very good!

Mary Bergfeld said...

The soup sounds wonderful, Martha. I suspect the view into the garden is a stunner and you don't miss the plants that have been moved from the breakfast room. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Anonymous said...

On the coast in California we don't have the real changes of the seasons like you all do; it's so nice to see the rituals and moving of plants and furniture.

Always enjoy your post and love your home.