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, May 16, 2012

A Garden Luncheon

It was predicted to be a perfect Spring Day . . and the Lunch Bunch (minus one) were scheduled for lunch.     Before the heat of summer drives us inside, we enjoy porch and patio and pergola.     And what better place for a luncheon than under the pergola!

The pergola in the herb garden

Herr Squirrel was mad as I went about preparations for he jumped from feeder to tree every time I passed through!     A Squirrel just can't eat in peace!!!!

The table under the pergola and the three iron benches on each side makes for perfect stetting for a lunch in the herb garden.

Alas, no dishes are on the table for they're all inside -- waiting for my guests -- for we're not fond of unexpected visitors on the china or in the tea!

Begonias and birds for the centerpiece

The cloth is a Williams Sonoma one that I got at a deep discount a few years back.    I have two yellow ones in the same pattern for my round tables on the patio.     This square one seemed perfect for the big square table under the pergola.   It's really an air vent from an old store downtown . . . and a base was welded to fit.

It's a wonderful table . . . but alas, it doesn't get moved around a lot for it is heavy!

Fresh flowers for the center . . . borrowed from the baker's rack on the patio.     And two iron birds.

The jug topper to keep our "swimmers"!

A pitcher of icy tea with the British "milk jug topper" (in this case would it be an ice tea jug topper?   It's what I call Cynthia's Tea -- 2 family size bags of Luizianne and one regular size bag of Harney's Hot Cinnamon Tea brewed together.     It's our favorite tea of summer!

Friends visiting

It's a great place to sit and visit and sip tea while the hostess is inside getting dessert!

A simple lunch and a spring lunch . . .

blue and white, of course!

Cups of zucchini vichyssoise with a hint of dill and a snippet of dill on top, a cold salad of bow tie pasta with garden peas and my pesto topped with a basil leaf and a Fresh Herb Garden Scone from my newest cookbook, Sweet Remembrances.  

We talked and lingered over our lunch -- catching up as we always do.

Dessert was as fresh and seasonal as the main course . . .

Victorian bowls make the perfect dish for the "clouds"!

A strawberry mousse.     From a recipe by Giada de Laurentis.    It's easy and tasted so springy.  

Refreshing and pink!

Topped with one of my last garden strawberries.    I renamed the dish "Strawberry Cloud" for it certainly was a light dessert!

The Strawberry Cloud started out life as a raspberry ricotta mousse.     I think it would be good with blueberries as well.    

Strawberry Cloud

15 ounce container ricotta cheese
1/2 cup strawberry jam (Homemade is best!)
1 cup whipping cream
3 T. powdered sugar

Fresh strawberries for garnish.

In a mier, blend the ricotta until light and fluffy.    Add the jam and until well combined and the mixture is pink.     Transfer to a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream until thick.    Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until the cream holds still peaks.     Working in batches, carefully fold the cream mixture into the ricotta mixture.   Spoon the mousse into serving bowls and refrigerate for 1 hour.    Garnish with fresh berries and serve.

It's Thursday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday and I'm joining Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish!    Join these lovely ladies for some lovely spring tables!    They are always inspiring!


PAT said...

Lunch looks wonderful Martha. The weather here has been perfect for dining outdoors.

Jocelyn said...

Wow, everything looks so delicious. What a lovely setting.

Jocelyn @

Deb said...

Your choice for a simple spring lunch looks wonderful. Deb

Michele M./ Finch Rest said...

Oh how lovely - and delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe!

Bernideen said...

Martha - as always - you have done an outstanding luncheon and all is delightful!

Aledia said...

Beautiful!! Your little dessert bowls are just gorgeous! Thank You for sharing the recipe....have a wonderful evening!

Aledia @ Plum Perfect

On Crooked Creek said...

Lovely tablescape and luncheon under the pergola in your enchanting garden @ Linderhof! This Strawberry Cloud dessert sounds 'heavenly'!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Martha, the setting is so pretty and the lunch looks wonderful! What a great, easy dessert.

CEO Lisa Anne - L.A said...

Hi Martha,
Your lunch under the pergola looks scrumptious. Beautiful setting!

Anonymous said...

Hello Martha ~~ Your pergola is stunning surrounded by all your lovely herbs. Be still my heart. :)
served with a beautiful lunch.What more could a girl want.
Hugs Rosemary...

Bookie said...

What a lovely day! I would feel so at home here...with iron birds, beaded pitcher cover, begonias and eating outside. You would find all of that on my deck yesterday where I had a tea party! Don't you love the beaded cover...have you seen them anywhere recently as I would like to have more. That dessert is different! Must try soon...can't imagine just how it would taste. I had three cookies yesterday, all popular but I forgot to take pictures of the food! Like you I am trying to use the weather all I can...tea party in the morning, lunch on the deck with friends in afternoon, taco salads with friends on the deck tonight...

The Tablescaper said...


What a lovely luncheon. everything looks delicious.

- The Tablescaper

Cindy Adkins said...

Yum! Everything looks good and I love the blue dishes! Thanks for stopping by and commenting on "Buster's" post!

Mary said...

What a wonderful setting for lunch~ outdoor dining makes everything more special! Lunch looks delicious too :)

Rose H (UK) said...

Perfect, just perfect :o)

Sarah said...

I'd love to enjoy this delicious food at your beautiful outdoor table.

KathyB. said...

What is not to love about lunch and tea in a herb garden, all served on blue & white dishes? I want to have lunch with you in your garden!

Modern Country Lady said...

I wish I could walk right in and have lunch with you!! Gorgeous!XX Bea

Pondside said...

That lucky Lunch Bunch! Your alfresco luncheon sounds like a wonderful idea. We have to take advantage of these beautiful spring days.


How wonderful this luncheon is Martha! Lunch looks yummy and I'm loving the Vicvhyssoise in the cup, I like the zucchini idea, I've made it with cucumber before. I love the begonias as centerpiece, lovely. Under the pergola your luncheon looks fabulous.. magazine worth! You deserved to be featured, one of your most gorgeous tables, my friend! Hugs,

Two Cottages And Tea said...

A perfect place for lunch. Everything is so lovely. I'm going to try your recipes. Thank you for sharing them. Have a wonderful weekend.

Mimi said...

THANK YOU for visiting me and I will add you as my new friend!!So i will be following you from now on!!
Your garden lunch/tea looked perfect....I have a structure out back just like yours...that wooden one, you had a name for it, I will have to go back and learn we just call it the structure out back.....when it needs painted I say to hubby the structure out back needs painted!!!!!
The food looked delicious and the presentation even better!!!
happy spring to you, it is HOT here!!!

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Looks yummy as always. I like the pitcher topper. A dressy way to keep it covered. Enjoy the beautiful spring weather every chance you get!

Kathleen said...

What a lovely luncheon, Martha. it all looks wonderful!
Thanks for linking to Let's Dish.