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, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
     My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go,
     And I prepare to meet the New:
Old Year! a parting word that's true,
     For we've been comrades, you and I --
I thank God for each day of you;
     There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!

Robert W. Service

We, at Linderhof, wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 - The Year In Review

On this last day of 2012, I'm looking back and sharing my favorite posts.    Mostly tea ones and often company ones for we love to have company at Linderhof -- to share food and fun over a cup (or pot) of tea!


A friend from Nevada came to share her mother's blue and white china with me.    Of course, where there's blue and white china -- there's tea!    We spent a wonderful time visiting as we sipped tea and shared our love of dishes.


It's Lent and the French lamb molds are on the table as are some paperwhites.    Blue and White for breakfast, of course.    It's a partial set of Mother's.    Winter Saturday breakfasts tend to be more leisurely -- summer ones not so much.


Friend Joyce came over to enjoy scones and quilt cookies as we stitched and sipped.    The cookies are blue and white as is the tea ware -- Spode's Blue Italian all around!


Carrot food (muffins, breads or cookies) often finds it way to the tea table during Easter week.   This is a wonderful carrot and poppyseed bread that goes so well with afternoon tea.    Friend Carol joined me as she gifted me with the tea cozy.    Spode Famille Rose on the table and my latest acquisition -- a wee myrtle topiary (which I still have and which is much bigger!)


It's never too hot in May to work in the garden.   And garden chores abound.    But in the afternoon, at half past three, one can always take the time to stop -- not to smell the roses but to have a cup of tea and tea cake and some locally grown strawberries.


It was a nice afternoon and the garden was tidy and so I invited three garden friends to share tea with me in the garden.    A tea treat (strawberry tarts) made just for the occasion.   We sipped, we visited, it was an enjoyable afternoon.


Alas, the heat wave in July found us taking tea inside rather than out -- in the living room which seemed cooler than other parts of the house.     Still tea (only iced) and madeleines which are a good nosh with tea whether hot or iced!


A rainy Sunday afternoon found me in the Master Bedroom, with a book and a tea tray.    On the chaise -- bought just for such afternoons!   And did I nap?   I'll never tell!


A bad storm left us electricless.   Once power was restored, we baked up some Donna Morgan's English Ice Box Tea Muffins, brewed a wee pot of tea and enjoyed what we usually take for granted.


With cooler weather, the garden became lush again.    We enjoyed the fall garden as much as the spring one.    Garden chores are made easier when one stops for tea and cookies -- white chocolate chip, hazel nut and dried cherry ones.


Alas, not chocolate in the tea but chocolate with the tea.    Chocolate cake and tea for friend Sally who was leaving for the Thanksgiving holiday.    


Not for tea but for sherry (Harvey's Bristol Cream, of course) served with thin slices of Friend Francie's grandmother's brazil nut cake.    Just one of the afternoon, when we had Christmas Company.   It's always fun to have company when the house is so festive.

I've enjoyed this look back at afternoon teas (and a breakfast)  at Linderhof during 2012.    And I look forward to sharing more pots of teas with friends in 2013.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Company

We love to have company -- especially in December

For lunches and teas and dinners

Planned guests
impromptu guests . . . who just drop by

There's always tea in the larder and cookies in the tin
in December

And this December, our company included:

Lunch for the Lunch Bunch
In the dining room
Gifts were part of the table decor
A silver bowl filled with pine and pinecones and a pretty bow
and the two glass sleighs filed with antique ornaments.
Our Tartan plates, of course and since this was a special lunch, Jim's grandmother's cutlery

Friend Pam was in town and dropped by for a cup of tea
And a platter of Christmas goodies

A corgi nose checking to see if any of the goodies are for her!

The silver tea pot (always in December), my newest Christmas plate bought on an outing in early December and the Tartan cups, of course!

Some friends stopped by late afternoon.
It was really too late for tea
So we brought out the Waterford decanter of sherry (Harvey's Bristol Cream, of course!)
and some of friend Francie's Grandmother's Brazil Nut Cake, sliced thinly and put on a silver cake plate

We sipped sherry, nibbled on slices of cake and talked of Christmas plans

Friend Sally dropped by with presents for all.

It was a cool day and the wing chairs close by the fire seemed the appropriate place to take
tea and visit.

A real "French" tea for the tea was the Mariage Freres Noel Tea, the "nosh" was French gingerbread (pain d'epices) which is close to my beloved Starbucks gingerbread -- without a cream cheese and candied orange top.

And on Christmas Eve, a plate of fruitcake, Francie's Grandmother's Brazil Nut Cake and some fruitcake that Husband Jim had bought as well as Christmas cookies and punch cups of egg nog.
A family tradition -- Daughter Sarah and her Andy joined us.

We so enjoy filling the house with company in December.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Feasts

It's Christmas
A Day of Feasting

That "Feasting" begins early

as breakfast is on the sideboard
coffee to the left . . .

Stollen to the right

And ever since Daughter Sarah moved to Minneapolis, there's been a Kringle as well
but she and Andy flew in . . early
So we were back to Stollen only for Christmas breakfast.

Always bought -- never made
(although I have looked at recipes)

On the sideboard
Quick trips to refill coffee cups and snag another piece of stollen slathered in butter
while we open gifts.

Not too much breakfast
For there is Christmas Dinner
But enough -- just enough to stave off the hunger pangs.

After presents, 
After the sack of discarded wrapping paper
(some ribbons are saved for next year)

We get busy in the kitchen

The table was set the day before
With the Christmas china, of course!

A silver bowl full of Christmas greens and red and white flowers
The two glass sleighs full of antique Christmas ornaments

The Christmas china
Royal Doulton's Tartan
(bought actually 20 years ago on a trip to England at the factory -- in the seconds shop -- 8 plates, 8 cups, 8 saucers -- for $12!    Sigh -- why didn't I buy 24?)

The salad plates are Lenox holiday that look well with the Tartan
Jim's grandmother's cutlery
And a damask napkin in a silver ring

The menu?

With the glut of Harry and David pears, the wonderful
roasted pear salad from Ina Garten
It's fantastic!
(And was Daughter Sarah's favorite part of the meal)

A roasted pork loin with a roasted onion and balsamic vinegar sauce
And roasted Brussels sprouts

Emeril's cornbread and andouille sausage dressing
(It's become the traditional Christmas dressing because it goes so well with pork)

And for dessert?

A pear tart awaits on the sideboard.
(That glut of Harry and David pears)
Not a found recipe but one I created.

Both Sarah and Andy thought it fabulous.
Andy so much so that he had a second piece!

Simple -- pear, cream and a bit of sugar in a pastry crust.
Served on Lenox holiday

(We bought double the amount of the Lenox because you can use them for both salad and dessert -- friend Shirley Ann was the wise one who  told me this tip)

And later . . . after dinner . . . and a nap for some . . . and a rousing game of Monopoly for others

And with the living room cleaned up a bit from the
madness that was Christmas present unwrapping

We have a Christmas tea

Lenox holiday tea plates, Royal Doulton Tartan cups and saucers, tea napkins and tea spoons

With not much luck at breakfast or dinner, Dolly sees food at her level and is running to see if she can snag a bite or two!

The silver tea pot and tea kettle
and my newest Christmas creamer and sugar

And on the curate,
Mince pies made just for tea
And slices of fruitcake

We play a lot of carols on Christmas Day
While we open presents
While we eat dinner
While we take tea

I love the carols of Christmas
And especially like the service of Nine Lessons and Carols
from King's College in Cambridge
Heard on Christmas Eve morn on NPR

And then the service of carols and candles that night, Christmas Eve

It's Thursday and I'm sharing my Christmas Feasting with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch, with Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish, and with The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

'Twas the Day After Christmas . . .

And all through the house . . .
the company is gone, the cupboard's not bare
for Christmas goodies there still is to share.

We've put away presents
And cleaned up the house

With Dolly at my feet,
And a pot of tea nearby,
And leftover Christmas mince pie

I do on the day after Christmas as I always do

It's time to thank friends near and far
For their thoughtfulness and kindnesses
this Holiday season.

It's a ritual I enjoy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

We wish you and yours 

a very Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2012

We're Waiting For Company

We're waiting . . .

For Company . . . 

Not Santa Claus
(that will be next year!)

But rather Daughter Sarah and her Andy

The guest room is ready

And it's almost Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advent Four

It's December 23
The Fourth Sunday in Advent

We've been gone to the city for the weekend
To meet Daughter Sarah and her Andy,
to do some last minute Christmas shopping

Lunch was a Costco hot dog
Dinner will be a deli sandwich eaten in front of the television
while we watch The Bishop's Wife

But we celebrated this Fourth Sunday in Advent
at a late tea after we arrived home.

Betty Cookies awaited us when we arrived home.
Friend Betty gifts us every year with an assortment of Christmas cookies.
It's a tradition of her grandmother and mother than she continues.
We're glad she does.

We lit the candle and said our prayer before we took tea.

The Fourth Sunday in Advent
The Fourth Candle is lit.

This is the Angels Candle
(The Angels brought the good news that the Savior of the world was born!)

Dearest God, as we light this candle, we remember the Angels who sang good tidings of great joy at Jesus' birth.    Let us also be the angels of good news to the people that we meet throughout our lives.   Amen.    
Come Lord Jesus

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Gifts

For the Lunch Bunch Christmas Lunch
I had to move the big poinsettia off the dining room table
for a more proper centerpiece.

I didn't move it far . . .

Just to the server in front of the windows, where, I think it looks smashing!
Much better than as a centerpiece!

I scooted the tray of decanters over a bit, and put both candles together 
leaving room for the rather large poinsettia 
(which was a gift -- a birthday gift -- not a Christmas one -- but poinsettias are often gifted for my birthday since it falls in early December -- but that's fine with me!)

The light was coming in the windows this afternoon and I loved how it lit the poinsettia.

I'm thinking that after the holidays, that I shall permanently (or at least during the winter)
keep a plant here -- it would be good for the plant and makes for a better tabletop, I think!
(Note the Asian stand under the plant -- I find that it's the best solution for plants on table -- it elevates the pot away from the table and you don't have to worry about water rings!)

We do exchange gifts -- The Lunch Bunch and I.
My gifts are always part of the table decoration
And for the last year or so, it has included a homemade treat
(pain d'epices, the French gingerbread this year)

And my gifts . . .

A tin of Gunpowder Green Tea.    Which actualy is my favorite green tea.
A jar of Sally's aunt's homemade mustard.    It is sooo good that recipients often hide it from their husbands -- and I could eat it from the jar with a spoon!
A Santa ornament . . .
And . . . the lead birds

Which have a story . . . .

I think they make a nice addition to the centerpiece --

The silver bowl full of pinecones and greenery . . .
The crystal sleighs full of vintage ornaments
And the two little lead "snow birds"!

The Story Of The Birds . . .

This summer, The Lunch Bunch did our annual road trip
to a lovely French restaurant in an area of Kansas City called Crestwood

And after lunch, we did the shops of Crestwood.
A favorite of mine is The Pear Tree . . .

And at the shop were these cute little lead birds.
I lusted after them but they were too dear for my purse
And so I had to leave them.

But I've thought about them . . .occasionally.

And to find them Thursday in the gift bag.
I was gobsmacked!

How thoughtful of these lovely ladies and dear friends!

They won't live permanently on the dining room table.
I'll find a better home than that.
But every time I see them I shall think of my dear friends
And their thoughtfulness!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tablescapes Past

The Lunch Bunch comes monthly.
I always enjoy looking for the perfect menu
and setting the perfect table.

They're coming today
And I'm still thinking of table settings for our December luncheon . . .

so I thought I would look at  Tablescapes Past
and revisit Lunch Bunch Christmas luncheons
the last four years.

A golden luncheon -- gold tablecloth and napkins and a centerpiece in a blue and white bowl.

The plates are Noritake "Christmas Ball" -- not a planned purchase but a find in the bottom of an auction box that I paid $1 for.   I thought they looked like Christmas balls . . . and alas, they do, although they were not intended to be a Christmas pattern.

A menu for each place, of course!

A green tablecloth and burgundy pattern napkins.
The centerpiece is a Christmas cactus (you should see it now) in a mostly blue Asian bowl.

The Noritake Christmas ball plates again, my German cutlery, a present for everyone and a menu with a gold Christmas tree.

A white lace cloth, Christmas napkins with red and green from Friend Sally and a blue and white Spode bowl as a centerpiece filled with pine cones and everygreen.

The Royal Doulton Tartan, Jim's Grandmother's silver, and a menu, of course!

Christmas red and white -- a damask cloth, red runner, and red napkins.   The centerpiece is a vibrant red poinsettia.

The Royal Doulton Tartan, the hotel silver cutlery, and a menu, of course.

I enjoyed going back in time and seeing how the tables were set when The Lunch Bunch came in December.

I am looking forward to the Luncheon today.   The menu is set but the table is not!    We're eating in the dining room -- the plants have grown way too big and with all of them in the sunroom -- there's only room or 3!

Luncheons will be in the dining room until May 8 -- at which time the plants go outside!

It's Thursday and I'm sharing my "Tablescapes Past" with Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish and with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.