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, April 17, 2013

An Herbal Luncheon . . . For 22!

Company came today
From Burlington, Kansas

We set the dining room table
with all of it's leaves
It comfortable seats 10!

And the breakfast room table
For four!

But we were eight short . . .
So what did we do?

We used the folding table in the living room
With both leaves it sits eight comfortably!

A wonderful table
A wonderful buy
And it's always handy.

I adore anything that doesn't have to be lugged up basement stairs
Or lugged in from the garage!

It was to be an herbal luncheon
I decided it was a luncheon of herbs and birds and blue

Not identical centerpieces
But all containing the same elements
Blue, birds and herbs!

The dining room table and a big blue and white tureen filled with thyme
And my lead pigeons that "flew" in from the porch!

The breakfast room.
A smaller table.
A smaller tureen.
Smaller birds!
Lead birds that were a Christmas gift from The Lunch Bunch

A blue and white Wedgwood tureen in the living room filled with thyme plants
Two of the ceramic birds that spend most of their time in the breakfast room on either side.

And there was a surprise hidden in the dining room centerpiece
(I wonder how many ladies spotted him?)

On each table a bucket of salt and a watering can of pepper
(a Smith and Hawken purchase long ago)

On each table, a bowl of chive butter
for the corn madeleines!

The Menu

One per place.
A remembrance to take home.

Simple salads of mixed greens with Linderhof vinaigrette was the first course.
Garnished with shreds of carrots, tomatoes and a viola from the garden.

Chicken tetrazzini made herbal with the addition of tarragon, a corn madeleine and fruit salad with a basil/cinnamon dressing

An orange cake garnished with rosemary for dessert.
Alas, no rosemary in the cake!

And they are gone.
These lovely ladies from Burlington.
Friend Sally came and helped serve
I couldn't have done it without her!

The dishwasher is humming, the linens are in the machine

The living room is back to normal

As is the dining room

And like soldiers, the glasses await their turn in the "machine"
As does the sinkful of plates and cups and saucers!

I promised the Ladies of Burlington the recipes.


8 ounces thin spaghetti broken into 3 inch lengths, cooked, rinshed and drained
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, divided
2 to 3 cups cooked diced chicken
4 ounces sliced mushrooms (if using canned, just add them; if using fresh, saute them in butter first)
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 T. diced pimientos (I used red pepper -- it was on sale!)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. dry sherry
salt and pepper to taste.

Combine spaghetti and 1 cup Cheddar and half ot he Parmesan.    Add chicken and pimientos and onions.    Add remaining ingredients.    Gently stir to combine ingredients; place in a greased casserole and sprinkle with the reamining cheeses.    Cover with lid or foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.     Serves 6 to 8.    (Serves 8 handily, I think)


18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 T. orange marmalade
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan to room temperature.
For the frosting, I used a regular cream cheese frosting recipe to which I added orange zest and orange extract (about 1 t. extract and the zest of a whole orange)

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


Kathy said...

Beautiful! I love the way you came up with enough seating. What kind of table do you have in your living room, that is folding and also has leaves? Also, what do you do about chairs? Do you have enough in the house to gather for this purpose? Or do you fill in with folding? Your tables are always lovely, as are your menus. Thank you for sharing!

La Tea Dah said...

Charming and delicious! Your table settings were beautiful and I loved your centerpieces.

LauraC said...

Quaker lace! Beautiful.

Entertaining Women said...

You put things back together much quicker than I. I admire and envy your stamina! You created a gorgeous, and delicious luncheon for the visiting group. As always, your collection of blue and white makes me smile....a lot! Thanks for the recipes and for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

xinex said...

What lovely settings. I adore the lace tablecloths and the food is mouth watering. You are a wonderful hostess!...Cmhristine

The Tablescaper said...

That's a lot of people to serve! Everything looked lovely.

- The Tablescaper

Alycia Nichols said...

Burlington? Hmmm...I had to look that one up. I'm wasn't sure where exactly that is from Kansas City, MO, but I see it's about 90 minutes southwest. Wow! That's really great that you had that many make the trip!!!!

Great job on transforming your home into a comfortable, inviting place for the guests to relax and enjoy themselves with GREAT food!!! I have never had rosemary in or on orange cake, but in my mind's taste buds I can taste it...and it's good! Everything looked wonderful!!!

I hope you're not getting all this bad weather we've been having up this way. The tornado watch has been lifted, but it's London foggy out!!!!

Marlis said...

What a great idea to make the corn madeleines!!! I am going to borrow that idea. where do you keep the chairs??? the meal looks as fabulous as expected. I love the herbs in the tureens. The tables looked so fabulous and inviting. I know those ladies had a wonderful time. blessings, xo marlis

Diane said...

Wow - entertaining an extra 22 people? My biggest meals usually involved only around 16! You did a fabulous job of decorating the table and cooking the food. The food is making me very hungry - no breakfast, yet, this morning! What an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

It is very special when all the guests can be seated at a lovely table. You connected everything with the natural centerpiece items. The menu sounds perfect, appealing to all tastes...I know your luncheon will be the talk of the town for a long time!

Southerncook said...

Your luncheon sounded like a lot of fun and the menu, excellent.


Madonna/aka/Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

Oh, this sounds wonderful. My sister loves tarragon so I need to try this, I love the idea of a savory madeleine, and the cake mmmmmm....

KathyB. said...

Oh what a joy it would have been to visit with you & the ladies for this beautifully presented, lovingly prepared, and friendly luncheon. At least I get to admire it from afar. Simply beautiful!

Sarah said...

What a lucky group that gets to dine in your home. Every detail is charming, and the food is just as pretty as the table setting. Love seeing how you use your blue and white.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

What a lucky group of friends to be treated to such a wonderful meal. You're such a great hostess.

On Crooked Creek said...

What lovely tables set in such finery for your Herbal Luncheon for 22!!! I had to go back twice to see each and every table!!! Gorgeous!!!
Your menu sounds divinely delicious. Her Chive butter is my favorite and first Herb dish I tried!!!
Thank you for sharing!!!