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, May 29, 2013

Muffins for Breakfast; Muffins for Tea

We adore muffins for breakfast
They're easy to put together
They bake up in a thrice
And there are so many different kinds of muffins
that you could go at least a month 
without having the same muffin twice!

Poppyseed poundcake muffins
Baked in grandmother's cast iron "gem" pan

It makes great muffins
Not too big
But not mini-muffins either!

And a pan of muffins
with homemade jams
Or rather lime curd and crab apple jelly
With cups of steaming hot coffee
Make a great breakfast

But alas, eleven muffins are too much for the two of us for breakfast
Even smaller size ones

Leftovers, however

Make a great afternoon tea!
And these muffins are as good with tea in the afternoon as they were with coffee in the morning

A shameless beggar
both at breakfast and tea time.

She figures that no one can resist that face.
(and Husband Jim can't!)


2 c. flour
1 T. poppy seeds
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
1 t. vanilla

In small bowl, stir together flour, poppy seeds, salt and baking soda.    In large bowl, cream sugar and butter.    Beat in eggs, one at a time.    Add yogurt and vanilla extract; mix well.    Stir in flour mixture until dry ingredients are moistened.    Spoon batter into greased muffin tins.

Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.    Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Yield:   1 dozen regular size muffins.     (I got a few more in my smaller pans)

NOTE:   I added the zest of an orange and for tea time, I glazed them with a bit of orange juice and powdered sugar.    I recommend both additions.

It's Thursday and I'm sharing breakfast and lunch with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch  for Tablescape Thursday and Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish.

Monday, May 27, 2013


The gardens of Linderhof have flowers as well as herbs
And 2014 is definitely a "rose" year!

The "Knock Outs" are well a knock out
for they're blooming profusely.

And this time of the year is the reason that I placed the bird bath there  . . 
for the rose petals in the water!

The William Baffin 
Reaching for the sky!

And a yellow rose
A last year's mother's day gift from Daughter Sarah
One of three
And the only survivor
The summer of 2012 was hard on newly planted plants.

With the abundance of roses in the garden

A trug of roses finds it's way to the kitchen

A plethora of colors

And the blossoms from Sarah's rose

Lined up on the drainboard
All freshly washed and shining
Ready to be filled with flowers

The filled vases lined up on the island

So that the inside of Linderhof
can have an abundance of roses as well

The yellow roses in the guest room
Daughter Sarah's old room 

Yellow roses because the room is yellow and white
papered in yellow because a frequent guest was 
Aunt Jewell
And yellow was her favorite color.

Roses in an amber Bohemian vase
on a side table in the living room

Pink roses in a crystal rose bowl
on the side table between the two chairs

Not roses but peonies
The fragrance is heady downstairs
In an old blue and white milk pitcher

A long ago gifted crystal ice bucket
filled with roses on Husband Jim's dresser

A crystal vase filled with pink roses on my dressing table

The sweetest roses
Pink and very fragrant
The plant came from Washington State
on a farm next door to the
"Egg and I" place
She, Betty McDonald, was a favorite author of mine

In winter we settle for dried flowers, potpourri and the occasional supermarket bunch
to decorate the tables at Linderhof
This year our daffodils were sparse
It was a long late winter
But the roses have more than made up for the lack of daffodils.

We'll continue to fill the vases as long as the roses last.
The fragrance in the house is amazing!

And there are plans to plant some more
On the south side of the house
And I'd like some climbers for the arbor that divides the patio from the herb garden

The latter will definitely be a purchase this year!

It's just a matter of price and color!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

We Thank Our Nations Military

It's Memorial Day
The Last Monday in May
The day that Congress has designated
"Memorial" Day

A day first named
"Decoration Day"
for the custom of 
the graves of the fallen
soldiers of the Civil War.

It is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

Fort Scott National Cemetery
National Cemetery Number One
Established in 1861

Veterans of all wars are buried here.

On Monday, you'll find us here at 10:30 a.m. 
 for the  Memorial Day Service.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


We plant lots of basil in the garden at Linderhof
It's one of our favorite herbs
And it is a summer herb
It doesn't like to be cold
And so the temperature
especially the ground temperature
needs to be warm.

We don't plant basil at Linderhof
until Memorial Day or after

We planted this weekend

Little basil plants

A half dozen
(and we'll probably add a couple more during the next week or so)

There are two things about basil --

You never let them go to seed
And if you pinch them back by about a third two or three times during the growing season
you end up with big bushy plants!

We do pinch
Always right after we plant
Taking about a third of the plant
Just about a spot where two leaves branch out.

Our "pickings" find their way to the kitchen
A respectable amount from the six plants
Our first basil of the season.

It's always a red letter day
The day we plant basil.

And those clippings make one of our favorite dishes
We call it margarita pasta
Pasta (your favorite kind), basil (chiffonade the bigger leaves and we leave the little ones whole), cherry tomatoes halved, olive oil, salt and pepper and a good shower of Parmesan cheese!

It's a favorite supper
And will be repeated many times this summer
Especially when we have garden cherry tomatoes!

Dinner was al fresco in the garden

The pasta, homemade bread, and a wilted lettuce salad

We'll have many more snippets of basil in our meals this summer
And the next time I clip in a month or so, there should be enough to make the first batch of pesto for the freezer.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rosemary Jelly and Raisin Scones for Tea

I made some apple rosemary jelly

Two jars
One for now and one for later!

The now jar

Was perfect with the fruit (raisin) scones that I baked off for tea

 A "mix bag" of tea things
The Whieldon Ware Antique creamer, plate, cup and saucer
I especially like the cup for it's a bit bigger!
Spode Blue Room teapot
And a Spode Camilla cake plate to hold the scones.
English mother-of-pearl jam spoon and butter knife

When I take tea alone, my company is usually a book
The herb garden is growing with wild abandon
And so my tea reading material has been mostly books about herbs
both growing and cooking!

The scones are easy to make --
I often make a half a recipe
which is just perfect for the two of us
for I prefer "fresh" scones!

It's an adaptation of one of the Barefoot Contessa's recipes:

Fruit Scones

2 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 c. cold cream
1 cold extra large egg
1 egg, beaten with 1 T. water
1/2 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 425

Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer filled with the paddle attachment.    With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.

Combine the cream and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork.    With the mixer still on low, quickly add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened.    In a small bowl, mix the raisins with a small handful of flour and with the mixer still on low, add the raisins to the dough.    Mix only until roughly combined.

Dump out onto a well floured board and knead lightly about 6 times.    Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 x 5 inches.    Cut with a round 2 inch cookie cutter or biscuit cutter.    Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, if desired, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the scones are cooked through.     Serve hot or warm.

NOTE:   I halved the recipe and I divided the egg (I measured by spoonfuls) and put halve in the recipe and made an egg wash out of the second half.    

It's Tuesday and I'm joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday and Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday and Bernideen for Friends Sharing Tea.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Baker's Rack . . . and Sunday Lunch

The Baker's Rack on the patio
undergoes a transformation in the Spring
it comes

With shelves filled with plants

A favorite faux bois planter

It's a favorite and it looks good planted with a woodsy look

And I like the unexpected
a rusty iron rabbit
Rabbits belong in a woodsy setting!

 The top shelves -- 
houseplants and a geranium which wintered over indoors
A fuschia which was a gift from a dear friend
And two red geraniums
The woodsy log, a statue and the watering can

 Below are the topiaries and a big begonia

Before garden time, however, there was Sunday Lunch
(a custom we adopted while we lived in England that spring)

Roast pork loin with rosemary and finished with a apple rosemary jelly glaze

Broiled new garden carrots and roasted asparagus
both Farmer's market buys yesterday

After Sunday Lunch
the pork went into the crockpot
with chicken broth, BBQ sauce and the rest of the jar of Hoison sauce
and simmered the afternoon away
while I was in the garden

It made great pulled pork sandwiches for supper
with a homemade dill pickle
And will be our lunches this week until it's gone

Cleaning the freezer doesn't have to be a chore
A package of four mini tart crusts
Were baked off

And made into lime curd tarts
(for I had lime curd in the fridge)

The pork is easy to bake.   Heat the oven to 400.    Mix 2 or 3 T. olive oil, a tablespoon or so of chopped rosemary, salt and pepper.   Mix together and rub on the meat.    Bake for 45 minutes.    The last 15 minutes, glaze with apple rosemary jelly.   (If you don't have any jelly, just bake it for 1 hour)
Let rest about 10 minutes and then carve and serve.

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, May 18, 2013

A Garden Tour

May is the start of Garden Tour Season

Communities open wide their garden gates
for various groups
which use the tours as a fundraiser.

This Saturday, 

 Held their Garden Tour
Friend Priscilla and I went
And came back with ideas . . . 

Plant Labels

Flowers and water stations

Fairy Gardens

Herbs and Lettuces

Do you ever wonder what to do with the old big satellite dish?
A perfect solution!

And there were vendors and I brought home

A potting shed for the fairies

Which is a replica of the one in Linderhof's garden

We stopped mid tour for lunch
at my favorite restaurant in Paola

I had the sauerbraten
And mashed potatoes
And red cabbage

I took food home
And was too full for dessert!

It was a fun day
This first garden tour of 2013!

It's Sunday and I'm joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.