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, March 31, 2013

Of Birds and Lambs . . .

Easter Morning dawned a bit rainy
In fact, a storm blew through about 3 a.m.
But we were up early
Not for sunrise service
for our church doesn't do that
But instead for Easter breakfast
which our church does!

Our contribution
Mad the night before 
and refrigerated
to be baked off in the morning

Cheese danish
a Barefoot Contessa recipe

Breakfast was wonderful
As was the Easter service at church

Saturday, a friend and I went
as we call it.
We were on the hunt
And I did find a treasure!

The standing bird feeder "or bird table" as the Brits call them
we've had it a long time, it's seen better days and is a bit battered

It's in the herb garden
and the squirrels feeding have incited Dolly
who's destroyed the chives that normally grew there.

And yesterday . . .

I found a real English bird table
With a thatched roof!

For little of nothing.

I had seen them in England.
Adored them
But . . . 
a - they were too heavy to bring back
b - they wouldn't fit in the luggage
c - they were too expensive!

This one is English
the plaque says so
From Devon

Tied around the base is this tag from "Foxglove"
Which used to be an upscale garden/decor store in Springfield.
I've been once or twice
But it was pricey.
I looked on line but I couldn't find a site or address for it
so I would assume it's no longer in business.

How it got from Springfield, Missouri
with the Foxglove tag in tact, 
to Pittsburg, Kansas
I don't know.

But I'm glad it did.

And the price . . . 
A steal . . . 
A real steal of a deal!

Which is why we "junk"
For finds like this!!!!

We didn't place it in the same place as the other bird table
We want to replant the chives!
We've put it in a different place
to protect the herb garden
from a Dolly
who's mad for squirrels
And doesn't pay attention to what she steps on

Easter was a day of the lambs . . . 

For Easter Dinner
a rack which we split
risotta with spring onions and peas
and roasted asparagus


 For Easter dessert
My first attempt at a lamb cake
which turned out great, I think!

An Italian recipe
with flavorings of almonds and nutmeg
was fitting I thought
since at least half of Lent was spent in Italy.

A pound type cake
frosted with cream cheese frosting
and A shower of coconut
A real ribbon bow around it's neck
And currants for the eyes and nose

But . . .

I've come to the conclusion
That a half a lamb cake is rather sad, indeed!
There needs to be enough guests around the table
so that the lamb is eaten in one sitting!

I will make this again.
It's a new tradition at Linderhof!

As are the deviled eggs.
Made from the Easter eggs which we dyed on Saturday
I make them the same as my mother did and her mother before her
Mayonnaise and mustard (only mine is Dijon) and salt and pepper
Topped with paprika and a sprinkling of window chives

It's Monday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Met Monday and Yvonne at Stone Gable for what's on the Menu Monday.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Saturday . . . In The Kitchen

Well, for most of the afternoon
The morning and lunchtime was spent with dear friend Sally
and we went to the town South of us
to visit some of our favorite haunts.
True Treasures came home with us!

But it is Easter Saturday
and there were a lot of Easter preparations to do

The eggs to dye
With vinegar and food coloring
in coffee cups
Always, coffee cups
It was what my mother did.
And it's what I do!

Then cupcakes to make

For special children at church
I can't claim credit for the decorations
I found them on a blog . . .
But I can't remember which one!

Green icing
Green tinted coconut
a smattering of jelly beans
and a cute rabbit holding another jelly bean

Which I put in cello bags

I'll hand them out at church tomorrow.

A tradition at church is breakfast on Easter morning . . .

So I'll bring these

A whole platter of egg cookies . . .
It is Easter after all
And it is breakfast
Cookies are okay for breakfast as long as they look like eggs!

And after 600 plus cookies for the fundraiser, one would assume that I would be tired
of baking cutout cookies.
But I had fun creating these -- I think they're quite clever!

And for the grown-ups?

Cheese Danish
Easy Cheese Danish
A Barefoot Contessa recipe
I'll bake them off tomorrow morning
just before we leave for the church.

I also baked the Easter dessert . . .
A lamb cake.
I'll frost it tomorrow and sprinkle with coconut.
Put currants for eyes and nose
And tie a big bow around it's neck.
Alas, no picture of the lamb . . .
Lamb's do not look good "nekkid"!

It is Sunday.   It is Easter.    I'm joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday.

Friday, March 29, 2013

If It's Good Friday . . .

There must be

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One ha'penny, two ha'penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One ha'penny,
Two ha'penny,
Hot cross buns

 for breakfast!

It's tradition.

Served with scrambled eggs and bacon 
And a mug of steaming coffee for Husband Jim
Tea for me!

Mother always bought Hot Cross buns for Good Friday breakfast
and I've followed the tradition.

With just the two of us there is usually enough leftover for Good Friday tea as well.

I don't bake them
We always buy them
And this year, they came from friend Jacki
of Heritage Acres Farm

After breakfast
 a trip to the city

And lunch at 
Spin Pizza

I thought I was in Italy!

A simple dinner 

Bucatini with a jarred sauce and a salad
before we head off to Good Friday church services

And once home . . .

There seems to be more Easter cookies in my life . . .
I have a couple of late orders (sigh)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Up to My Knees In Bunnies and Chickies

What has become a Holy Week tradition
the making of hundreds and hundreds  of cutout cookies
As a fundraiser for PEO
This year's count -- 600

Trays and trays of cookies
Some baked and uniced
Some iced and undecorated
Some decorated and ready to bag

It's a long process for the icing has to dry
before the cookies can be decorated 
And the decorations need to dry before the cookies can be bagged

The dining room was the cookie factory

A tray of bunnies ready to be bagged

 But I still take time for tea . . . 
It's restorative
My tea time treat?
The culls -- I'm also in charge of Quality Control!

Bunnies all sacked and ready to be delivered

A pan of chicks ready for their new owners!

The dining room table full of pans of chicks and bunnies!

This is the second year
It's now a tradition!

I'm joining Michael at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An Italian Lunch

It was the third Tuesday
"Lunch Bunch Day"
And we had to miss February
for I was gone

It was fun to get together again
And get caught up
for it was two month since our last luncheon
The table set in the dining room
As was our custom this winter . . .
the plants had taken over the breakfast room

And since it was an "Italian" lunch

 Each place was set with Spode Blue "Italian"

Brought home from Venice
some lovely embroidered luncheon napkins

And matching tablecloth

The embroidery is superb
And there is nothing like Italian linen!

 When I set a table for four I like to do
two by two

And at each place was my gift from our trip
A garlic ceramic garlic grater

And, of course, there was a menu

Salad, in the Italian manor, as we often had when we were in Italy

Pasta carbonara -- with a grating of fresh Parmesan cheese

And from one of our Italian souvenirs

A package of real Italian lady fingers or Savolardi
Brought home from Italy in our luggage
The only food we did bring home

Made a great tiramisu
Served with Italian roast coffee made extra strong
And served in little cups

It was great to get together again, get caught up on everyone's happenings while I was gone
And to tell a little bit about our trip 

It is Thursday and I'm joining Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish and Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Last Thursday when I came home
I found this in the back garden . . .
with Dolly

My first thought was how did he get in --
our back garden is fenced

My second thought is that Dolly was in heat!
Which was why he got in.

But she wasn't

I posted his picture on Facebook
And not only got no response
but didn't even get a comment

We, of course, left him in the back garden
And next thing we knew, he figured out the doggie door.

And made himself quite at home!

Unlike Dolly he can and does get on the furniture
The top of the sofa is good for people watching and keeping an eye on the world outside

An afghan makes a good place for an afternoon nap

As does a pile of needlepoint pillows!

He's bonded with us -- but mostly with Husband Jim
He "cries" when Jim leaves in the morning

And mopes until he returns.

He and Dolly get along well

Although they do fight to see who gets the most attention.

And Jim and I try to treat them equally.

He's been at Linderhof five days,
we bought him a collar Saturday
But didn't name him.
Naming indicates keeping
and Husband Jim was adamant

Today we named him . . .

I've been enthralled with a new cookbook,
The Canal House, Vols. 1, 2 and 3

And for tonight's steak and salad dinner,
the Salad came from the "Winter/Spring" volume

 Mock Caesar Salad
Made with anchovies, it was really really good

And went perfectly,

With the steak
served with basil parmesan mayonnaise

Both dogs enjoy dinner hour
And hover mostly around Jim's end of the table
for he's a softer touch than I.
They enjoyed a bite or two of steak.
They prefer it without the mayonnaise!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Is it Macaron or Macaroon?

Actually, it's both
For I decided to try my hand at the French Macaron
(those egg and almond sandwich cookies)

I've had them
As often as I can
But I've never made them
I was a bit intimidated by them.

But no more!

And since I was baking anyway,
And since I had egg whites
I decided to also make macaroons
Those coconut cookies that are much more prevalent on the prairie.

And what to do with a platter of cookies?
Put the kettle on, of course

And invite a friend for tea
And macarons and macaroons!

Tea for two in the breakfast room
Which really should be renamed the "tea room"
for we take tea there almost as often as we breakfast there!

It's almost Easter.
We rescued some rabbits from the basement storage
to add a bit of holiday and whimsey to the tea table.

We never mind when a recipe calls for egg yolks
because the "bonus" is the whites
Leftover whites make terrific cookies!

Both cookies are really easy.
The French Macaron one came from Martha Stewart
And I usually find her recipes a bit too fussy for me.
But this one not so much.

The coconut macaroon is the standard:
coconut, egg white, Eagle Brand milk and a little vanilla.

I used Ina's recipe but I think it is a pretty standard recipe.


14 oz. bag shredded coconut
14 oz. can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 t. vanilla
3 egg whites

Whip egg whites and a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.    Mix coconut, milk and vanilla.    When whites are stiff, fold them into the milk and coconut mixture.    Use a 1 inch ice cream scoop and place on silicone lined baking sheet.    Bake at 325 about 20 minutes or until brown and firm.

I'm joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday and Bernideen at Bernideen's Tea Time Blog for Friends Sharing Tea.