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.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A "Little" Gardening

Before the storm Sunday
"we" did a little gardening.

a "Little" gardening

In the fairy garden
Which is in an old wheelbarrow

The cottage
Made from hypertufa
Made by me
eons ago

And every fairy garden needs a fairy
seated on a log, amongst the toadstools
watching a wee bird

And the garden is watched over
by the big fairy
Getting ready to blow her "fairy dust"

We cleaned up some of the "garden"
Did some permanent plantings of wee evergreens
And a few flowers

We're hoping to get some creeping thyme to plant in the bare places.
I've spotted just what I want at Home Depot
It's just a trip to get there --
tomorrow perhaps?

The storm did not damage the fairy garden
(for they are a protected species are they not?)
No windows broke and the roof seems to be intact!

Today was spent in the garden
(or part of it anyway)
Making order out of the  herb beds
And pulling up all of the weed that appears every spring between the bricks.

Dinner was easy
A new recipe for chicken with porcini sauce
And roasted Brussels sprouts
glazed with Balsamic vinegar
(alas, the last of the sprouts until fall, I'm afraid)


1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup  flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 oz. each), halved horizontally and pounded 1/4″ thick
1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. thyme, minced
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
Rinse the porcini in a large bowl of cold water, agitating them with hands to release dirt and sand. Allow sand to settle to bottom of bowl.  Pour chicken broth into microwave-safe 2 cup measuring cup, and then then lift porcini from water and transfer to measuring cup.  Submerge porcini beneath the surface of liquid. Microwave 1 minute, until brothis steaming. Let stand 10 minutes. Using tongs, gently lift porcini out of broth and transfer to cutting board, reserving broth. Chop porcini into ¾-inch pieces and transfer to medium bowl.  Strain broth through fine-meshstrainer lined with large coffee filter into bowl with chopped porcini.
Combine flour, salt, and pepper in pie plate.  Dredge chicken in flour, shaking gently to remove excess.  Set chicken aside on plate, and reserve a teaspoon of the flour.
Heat 1/2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place 3 cutlets in skillet and cookwithout moving until browned, about 1-2 minutes. Flip cutlets and continue to cook until second sides are opaque,15 to 20 seconds.  Transfer to large plate.
Add remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil to now-empty skillet and repeat to cook remainingcutlets. Tent plate loosely with foil.
Reduce heat to medium.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 30 seconds. Add reserved teaspoon flour and cook, whisking constantly, 30 seconds.  Increase heat to medium-high and whisk in vermouth, soaked porcini and their liquid, tomato paste, soy sauce,and sugar.  Simmer until reduced to 1 cup, 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer cutlets and any accumulated juices to skillet. Cover and simmer until cutlets are heated through,about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and transfer cutlets to serving platter. Whisk butter, thyme, and lemon juice into sauce and season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately .

It's Wednesday and I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydramer for Outdoor Wednesday


The French Hutch said...

Hi Martha, Your fairy garden is so sweet, I love the house. You should think about doing a tutorial on how to make one! I’m collecting fairy things to make a little garden. I love the wheelbarrow idea. Umm, I wonder if my husband would notice if I borrow his. The container is what is holding me up. I need something I can move around, not so heavy. I just love your fairy garden!
Your chicken recipe and dinner looks delicious. Now, I’m hungry.......

The French Hutch

Marlee said...

What an adorable fairy garden! I too would like for you to post a tutorial on making the house.

CailinMarie said...

thank you for stopping by my blog. I love your fairy garden - what a lovely use for a wheelbarrow!

Anonymous said...

Oh I love the fairy garden ~ What a wonderful and creative idea ~ Wonderful! ~ ^_^

ps. great recipe too .

Sandy said...

What a cute little garden.. how
sweet is that!!
Love it really.
Happy Fairy Spring

Unknown said...

(From Outdoor Wed.) The fairy garden is so cute! We must be like minded - I made roasted Brussels sprouts yesterday:)

Pondside said...

That's so pretty, Martha.
There is something going on with blogger, as I no longer receive updates on my sidebar or reading list when you post. I just came by through your profile because I was sure there MUST be something - or I was going to get in touch in case something was wrong. I haven't had an update on your post for three weeks, since you posted about Venice.
Off to investigate....

On Crooked Creek said...

What an adorable "wee" little Fairy Garden, dear friend!!! Love the taller fairy blowing "Fairy Dust"!!!
Your menu sounds YuMMy!!!
Sounds as if you have a road trip planned!
Have a marvelous week!!!

Bernideen said...

What a darling wheel barrel fairy garden - I will help get the word out here in the fairies!
Your dish also looks terrific!