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, July 16, 2012

A Monday At Linderhof . . .

Our day begins after breakfast.    Some days Husband Jim joined cronies for coffee and breakfast.    On those days, I take my tea and the paper and Ollie and I sit in the breakfast room while I read the headlines and work the crossword.       My breakfast follows -- sometimes a boiled or poached egg and toast, sometimes yogurt and other times cereal.      A "just me" breakfast is often simple!

Today after breakfast and the dishes, I got busy finishing up a new project . . .

Prunes, Armagnac, simple syrup -- all ready.

Prunes in Armagnac.      I have had great success with my apricot liqueur and when I read about the prunes, I was curious.    With a bottle of Armagnac in the cellar and prunes in the larder. . . 

It was a "whole" day project.    Last night I steeped some tea (chamomile) and set the prunes to soak.    This morning, I drained the prunes and while they were draining, I made a simple syrup of 1/2 cup water and a cup of sugar.     I let that cool.    I added the prunes to the jar, poured the simple syrup over and added about 3 cups of the Armagnac.      They are to steep in a dark and cool place (the cellar) for a couple of weeks.    

There's a prune and apple dessert that I'm anxious to try as well as an Armagnac prune clafouti.

It's down cellar now where the prunes will soak up the Armagnac.

I decided to make a cake this morning as well.     A Swedish tea cake for tea this afternoon.

Mrs. Patrick's Swedish Cake -- Mrs. Patrick was Swedish but her husband wasn't -- it's an old family recipe.

A simple cake.    Requiring one bowl and a whisk so clean up was easy.     A shower of powdered sugar when it was out of the pan and cool.

Monday is always cleaning day at Linderhof and often, I do some rearrangements as I take everything off tables to clean.

The top of the Asian cabinet that holds our television.

I change this often -- perhaps because I stare at it when I watch TV and tire of it quickly.

A blown glass vase, a lampe berger, a wonderful old Buillotte lamp, a Jefferson weather forecaster, a bronze bird and a globe.     The last two items stacked on top of a couple of coffee table books.    Our "Vango" makes the perfect background.

Prunes in Armagnac made, cake made, rearrangements done and the house clean, it was time for a cup of tea.
With a promise of a slice of cake, Husband Jim decided to have afternoon tea

With a freshly baked cake as tea food, Husband Jim joined me this afternoon.    (He doesn't always!)
And since the heat has returned to the prairie -- no porch nor garden but the breakfast room where we can watch the antics of the birds who have returned to the feeders.      We've not seen the hawk since yesterday afternoon -- perhaps he's returned to his home!

Real cups and saucers, a teapot for the tea and a pedestal for the cake -- even though it was "just us"!

It's a Blue Italian kind of day -- cake plates, cups and saucers and tea pot.     Even the dried hydrangeas are in a Blue Italian pitcher!

The cake is easy but it is a European cake so it's more rich than sweet.    But we like that kind of cake with tea.    It seems to go better with tea (or coffee) , we think, than layer cakes with lots of buttercream!

Mrs. Patrick's Swedish Cake

3 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 c. flour
1 T. cardamon

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat eggs with the sugar.     Add melted butter, flour and cardamon.

Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 inch round cake tin.

Bake for 40 minutes.    Check cake.    When it is light brown, turn off oven and let cake cool in oven.

Cut in wedges and serve.

It's Tuesday and I'm joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Tabletop Tuesday and I'm joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday.


Apple of His Eye said...

Your title got my attention. I love your blue dishes and the display on the TV cabinet. Your receipe for the cake looks good. I'll have to print it out and give it a try. I'm not so sure about the prunes though.... :)


Bookie said...

Oh I want to try that cake! Cardamon...have not used that but want to try. Should not have the sugar and won't have time for a week or more, but surely...some day soon.

Beautiful pictures...prune and apple cake sounds different, but like you, I like a tea cake best.

Oh and the weather says no break until after next Monday...100 all the way...well, it is July but....

Deanna said...

Sounds like a winner to me! You made your swedish cake look lovely on a cake stand.

Pondside said...

That's my kind of cake! When my sister and I go into a cafe she'll always go for the sweet and I'll always go for the pound cake or apple cake or some other kind of rich-but-not-sweet cake.

Mimi said...

I love simple just me breakfasts..of course MY hubby goes off to work early--so breakfast for me usually is alone....unless I am watching my grands......then they join me...and that is fun...cause we always mhave french toast or pancakes...soemthing child friendly and MIMI friendly!!
Loved your table and that CAKE oh MY!!!
Love that idea!!
let us know how your prune drink comes out!!

podso said...

A wonderful life you lead! I would think it grand to bring out the teacups and make a cake just to celebrate life with the two of you! The cake looks good ... except I would leave out the cardamon .. I am not a fan of that spice. I think you either love that or you really don't love it!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Love your teascape and the cake sounds soooooooo good. Beautiful mantle decor. The prune liquer sounds interesting. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

On Crooked Creek said...

Your Monday (or anyday)@ Linderhof is always full of great inspiration!!! That cake sounds simply divine...once the heat has subsided! Unbearable...I'm heading to the lower level for the rest of this week!

Tea Party said...

I'm excited to try your Swedish cake! Usually I make an almond cake in an almond cake pan (kind of a bunt cake in a log form), but this will be a new look...and still including all the favorite Swedish tastes. Your presentation very much reminded me of "coffee" with friends in Sweden.
Martha, what time do you rise to get so much done by tea time? I so admire you...

Lottie said...

Thank you for the Swedish cake recipe! I can't wait to make it! I love Mondays, too, because I get so much done! Have a great week!

Michelle said...

Your tea settings always look so pretty and soothing!

Savannah Granny said...

Goodness, Martha. I am exhausted just listening to your day. You always have such interesting recipes. Thanks for sharing, Ginger :)