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.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Proud To Be An American

I'm proud to be an American . . .
Especially today
When I had the privilege of witnessing 80 immigrants become Naturalized Citizens 
of the United States

At our Fort Scott National Historic Site

The program

Remarks by the Superintendent of the Fort Scott National Historic Site

And the Mayor of Fort Scott

Judge Waxe moved his courtroom to the Fort Scott National Historic Site

And the Fort Scott High School Ensemble, Choir and Band provided the music

And finally, the moment these 80 immigrants have been waiting for

When they took the Oath of Allegiance
of the United States of America

It gave a person goosebumps to hear these 80 individuals swear their allegiance to the United States led by Courtroom Deputy, Kathy Grant

And then, for the very first time, as United States Citizens, along with the 200 or so spectators
said these very special words:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

After the ceremony, the Friends of the Fort Scott National Historic Site hosted a luncheon
for the new citizens and their friends and family.
Their first meal as a citizen.
I was happy to help serve.

And as one of the speakers said --

they were not Spanish Americans or German Americans or Italian Americans

these 80 individuals were


Thursday, September 27, 2012


One of my joys is teaching cooking classes at life+style
Tonight, my class . . .

Apples aren't just for tarts or pies or cakes or muffins or breads --

They're also good in . . .

A sample of the curried apple soup

Curried Apple Soup

Salad and Chicken

Normandy Chicken and Apples
A Salad of Mixed Baby Greens, Roasted Apples and Roasted Hazelnuts dressed with an Apple Cider and olive oil dressing

And, of course . . . dessert --

And apple to end the meal!

French Apple Tart
Caramel Apple Ice Cream

Handouts for the class included recipes for the soup, the chicken and the tart.    I showed how to make the salad and I promised that the ice cream recipe would be on my blog.

For my students --


3 Granny Smith apples, cored (do not peel)
(and it's really easy if you have one of those corers from life+style)
1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
large pinch of kosher salt

Chop the apples into small pieces.   Set aside.    Put sugar in heavy bottomed pan.    Cook over medium heat watching the whole time.    In about 10 minutes, the edges of the sugar will begin to melt.    Begin to stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to allow the rest of the sugar to liquefy evenly without burning.     This may take an additional 5 minutes.

Stir in the apples.    When you do, the sugar may become thready and solid.   Keep stirring and it will melt again.    After totally liquid again, cook 5 more minutes until apples are soft.

Remove from heat and slowly stir in the cream until fully combined.    Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.    Once cooled puree in a food processor.    Pour into a bowl.   

Cover bowl and place in refrigerator until fully cooled.   Once cooled process in ice cream machine.   Once it's ice cream, place in a storage container and place in freezer until you're ready to eat it!

It's Friday and I'm joining Michael at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Our First Breakfast At Home

We've been gone for a while
Breakfast eaten in hotels, on Cape Cod, and with friends Cass and Howard

It's nice to be back at Linderhof
for breakfast!

Eaten, of course, in the breakfast room

A simple weekday breakfast of eggs and toast and coffee

Served on blue and white transfer ware, toast in a silver-plate "toast cooler" (as Husband Jim has nicknamed the toast holders) and French press coffee -- a mug for Husband Jim and a cup and saucer for me.   
The lacy tablecloth was an Estate Sale find on Cape Cod -- a $1 find!
Napkins in silver rings -- always!

It was a nice way to start our first day back home.

After breakfast

I put my tutti fruiti sauce in quart jars to store in the fridge.
Grandmother would store hers in the crock in which she made it in the cellar --
but her cellar was colder than ours.
I prefer to store mine in jars in the fridge.

It's ready to use -- it makes plain vanilla ice cream and
a simple pound cake into a spectacular dessert!

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where Does Baking Powder Come From?

Clabber Girl, of course!
Clabber Girl in Terre Haute, Indiana

Clabber Girl Bake Shop

And if you're in Terre Haute, I highly recommend the Clabber Girl Bake Shop.   
We breakfasted there when we stayed in Terre Haute last week on our way home from visiting
 Cass and Howard

Too many choices!

Mostly bake shop items but there is also gravy and some egg dishes

And more choices!

And a pastry case full of baked goodies.   (All made with Clabber Girl baking powder)

Our choice?

Good choice!

Biscuits, of course.   Because their whole name is often "BAKING POWDER" Biscuits!   What else to have at the Clabber Girl Bake Shop which is attached to where baking powder is made!

There's also a museum next door to the Bake Shop

Love 1940s kitchens!

I loved the 1940's kitchen!    Look at the stove and fridge!

A store of yesterday year.

And the old fashioned store.    With shelves of canned goods.

Reminded me of my grandfather's butcher shop

A case for fresh meat (which also could be cut to order . . . and not encased in plastic!)

bread looks freshly baked!

And loaves of fresh bread for sale.

Did I bring home a souvenir?   Of course!

A can of Clabber Girl baking powder.    THE baking powder of choice at Linderhof.   And it always has been.    I would have needed a new can soon and this can will be special -- bought from the Clabber Girl herself!

And . . . I got the recipe for the biscuits.   They're big biscuits and were very tasty!    I must admit that it wasn't "hush, hush" and the "secret" recipe passed to me written on a napkin in pencil.    No, it was a printed copy that they give to anyone who asks!


2 cups flour
1 T. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup shortening, margarine or butter
2/3 c. milk

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, Clabber Girl Baking Powder, sugar, cream of tartar and salt.   Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening till mixture resembles coarse crumbs.    Make a well in center; add milk all at once.   Using a fork, stir just till moistened.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 10 to 12 strokes or till the dough is nearly smooth.   Pat or lightly roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness.   Cut dough with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts.

Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.    Bake in a 450 oven for 10 to 12 minutes or till golden.   Serve warm.

Monday, September 24, 2012

THE Chair

Everything at Linderhof has a story -- or almost everything.    We remember the place we found our treasures and how much they cost.    They're not just pieces of furniture but memories!

The chair -- many memories

Last September we made our first trip to New England.    We fell in love with Route 20 in Upstate New York.    A scenic drive with enough antique shops to make the drive even more interesting.

And at one shop, there was a chair.

I looked.   I sat.   I debated.   I walked the store some more thinking.
And my "better sense" got a hold of me -- for I had "no place" for the chair.
And so I left it!

When you buy antiques, you often have to make an immediate decision as to whether to purchase an item or not.
For if it is a tag sale or estate sale, it won't be there tomorrow.    And antique shops or consignment shops often have a good turnover of merchandise.

Because of that, I've bought things I've regretted.   A "why did I buy that!"
But I knew it was because I was caught up in the "now or never" moment.

But because of those "shouldn't ofs", I've left items I should have bought!

That chair was the latter!

Fast forward to 2012.    We plan a vacation to Cape Cod.   Husband Jim decides to drive.   The route . .  Why Route 20 in Upstate New York, of course.   I insisted.

And we wandered into that same antique shop.
I RAN to the place where I had last seen the chair a year ago.
And there it was!

I love a cane seated chair

Not quite in the same place, but almost and still for sale!

I told the owner that I had been here in September last year and that chair was for sale then.    It is now September 2012 and the chair is still for sale.   I am interested in the chair but could he give me a better price for it.

He agreed.

The chair was mine -- a year later after I first saw it!

I assume the gold paint is old

It's painted black and has gold painting -- not stenciling on the back

Even a small detail of painted leaves on the front of the seat.

And the front of the seat.

I fell in love with the birds last year . . . it is such an unusual chair.

Besides the gold there are a pair of birds -- fancy birds!

A year's wait but the chair is perfect in the Master Bedroom

It looks good in the place that I knew would be perfect for it.     The Master Bedroom.   It would have looked good there in September 2011!    But I couldn't figure that out then!    Only after I had been home for a while did I realize that I truly did have a place for the chair!


I'm grateful that I had a second  chance -- with antiques that doesn't happen very often!

I'm joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday

Sunday, September 23, 2012

'Ritings from Rockaway -- or Linderhof East

Instead of "Lines from Linderhof" -- it's 'Ritings  from Rockaway -- 

The location of That Old House . . . where we were guests of Howard and Cass.

The conservatory -- I want one!    What a great room!

I've read Cass's blog for a long time and I can't tell you how exciting it is to see pictures come to life!

After our "harried" drive through New York City . . . we arrived and enjoyed a New York style deli lunch -- complete with

Closer to prairie coleslaw and really yummy!


My first taste of real New York deli potato salad -- I am a convert!

And potato salad.    Quite different from my Grandmother's German potato salad and different from prairie potato salad -- no eggs, no pickles, no onion and no mustard!    (Cass shared the recipe and found it odd that we added all of those extra ingredients to our potato salad!)

Part of our friendship lies in our fondness for china . . .

Noritake -- it's not a Christmas pattern but doesn't that look like a Christmas ball?

She has a cup and saucer . . .

And I use mine at Christmas

And I have plates.    It's a Noritake pattern nicknamed "Christmas Bell" -- mine I found in a box at an auction and I use them sometimes for Christmas.

And we both have Johnson Brothers Indies . . .

Cass's shelf of Johnson Brothers Indies -- it rivals mine in quantity.   I don't have the darling coffee pot -- she does !   Sigh!

And we both use it and often!

The next morning we headed to the "wilds" of New Jersey for thrifting and antiquing.      One gets rather hungry traversing the wilds of thrift and antique shops.

Lunch was traditional East Coast Italian . . .

Real East Coast Italian

At a great Italian restaurant in Summerville.

True New York Italian food!

I had veal parmesan.   A favorite and it was one of the best I've had!

After, we visited

An antique mall

Where Cass has a booth.    The BEST booth in the whole antique mall.    Everything you see is either on sale or for sale!     Cass ships!

They're tasty!    And go down really easy!

I've read about the famous Muttinis on That Old House and I got to taste one!    Howard and Husband Jim preferred their Scotch neat and single malt!

What a warm and welcoming parlor.    Tuesday, we sipped muttinis and watched the rain.

Morning coffee and evening muttinis were enjoyed in the charming parlor of That Old House

The morning we left . . . Cass used ANOTHER set of china

for breakfast (there seems to be an unlimited supply of china at That Old House)

Where we had real East Coast bagels.    They put prairie bagel to shame.   A favorite -- the pumpkin -- it tasted like pumpkin pie in bread form -- it was really good!

A visitor who watched while we had our breakfast.    I'm sure he was looking for a handout.

And where did we stay while we were at That Old House?    In the Pink Room, of course!

A tall bed!   I needed a step stool to get in.    But a lovely guest room.   I think Cass said she was putting a brass plaque on the door that reads "Jim and Martha slept here"!

A charming guest room . . .

And after two days on the road . . .

We arrived back at Linderhof.    It was good to be home.

The corgis were especially glad to see us!

Saturday afternoon, I took time to brew a pot of tea . . .

When we left it was barely September and the shadows in the breakfast room were different.   I love how the shadows change throughout the year -- long shadows of the first day of fall!

Which I took in the sunroom.    Using my Johnson Brothers Indies, of course!    A book close at hand, as is my custom when I have tea alone.

There is only one problem with the book -- I WANT all (or almost all) of the china patterns inside!

The book -- a new one -- DISH.   A perfect book for a dish lover.    A parting gift from Cass.

Cass and I would joke on comments and in emails about being separated at birth since we had so many similar likes.   On my first (and I thought only) trip East last year, we got to meet for lunch.    That developed into a lasting friendship between the two of us!

When we found we were spending a week on Cape Cod, I immediately emailed Cass to tell her and that we would like to meet she and Howard -- hoping perhaps for a one night stay.    She and Howard had other ideas and we spent 4 nights with them.   Four fun filled talkative nights.

The seed of a friendship planted in a blog which grew to a sapling last year over a lunch is now a full blown tree.

We'd love to show those Easterners the Prairie!