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.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Advent Past

A tradition at Linderhof
has always been the advent wreath

Four candles
To be lit on each of the Sundays before Christmas

The First Candle

Is the
Prophesy Candle

The Second Candle

Is the
Bethlehem Candle

The third candle

Is the
Shepherd's Candle

And the fourth candle 

Is The
Angel's Candle

The Advent Wreath has always been part of our holidays
both at home and at church.

We always used white candles
As did the church
But years ago, the church changed to pink and purple candles.

The Shepherd's Candle is the pink one, while the other Sundays 
are the purple ones.

If there is a candle in the middle
That is the
Christ Candle
and it is lit on Christmas Eve

It's a grand tradition
as you light the candles
and say a prayer.

It makes you remember what the season is truly about.

Our Advent Wreath has been placed on the breakfast room table
We're ready to start the holiday season.
By lighting that first candle on Sunday.

And even though the candles are only lit on Sunday,
since the Advent Wreath is the centerpiece of the breakfast room table, 
it is a constant reminder of what the season is about.

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

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The LAST Cooking Class

The last cooking class
at my favorite cooking store
(for they're closing at the end of the year!)

A bigger than normal class

For this, the last class!
Appropriate because I also taught the first class at the store
on Ebelskivers!

It has been a fun three years.
I learned a lot as well.
And I had a blast doing it!

For except for trying to teach employees about their health care and benefits
(in my real job in my other life)
And hyper children in Sunday School classes,
I've not considered myself a teacher.

But I loved the cooking classes.
And it was a joy to share my love of cooking with other Foodies.

The first class -- Ebelskivers
The last class -- Elegant Desserts

The desserts --

Ina Garten's Chocolate Ganache Cake
(a favorite of mine and the one chocolate cake I make most often)

White Chocolate Mousse in chocolate cups
(sold at life+style -- simple ingredients put together into an elegant dessert)

And because it was November . . .
And the holidays were fast approaching

Cranberry Trifle

The plate of goodies that each class member got
to taste each of the three desserts.

Thank you Cynthia and Jim for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

And, as I do with every class . . .

There is a handout of recipes.

Elegant Dessets
A Cooking Class at life+style
Martha Meinsen Scott, Instructor


1/4 lb butter, at room temperature 
1 cup sugar 
4 eggs, at room temperature 
1 (16 ounce) cans hershey chocolate syrup 
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup heavy cream 
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Butter and flour an 8 inch round cake pan, then the bottom with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time.
Mix in the syrup and vanilla.
Add the flour and mix until JUST combined (overbeating with make the cake too tough).
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until just set in the middle.
Let cool thoroughly in the pan.
For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
Place the cake upside down on a wire rack and pour the glaze evenly over the top, making sure to cover the entire cake and sides.
You can tilt the rack to smooth the glaze.
Do not refrigerate.


4 egg yolks
1/4 c. sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup white baking chips
1 1/2 c. whipping cream

Beat egg yolks in small bowl with electric mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until thick and lemon colored.    Gradually beat in sugar.

Heat 1 cup cream over medium heat just until hot.    Gradually stir at least half of the cream mixture into egg yolk mixture, then stir back into hot cream in saucepan.    Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (do not boil).

Stir in baking chips until melted.    Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, just until chilled.

Beat 1 1/2 cups whipping cream in chilled medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff.    Fold refrigerated mixture into whipped cream.     Spoon mixture into serving dishes.    


Angel food cake, pound cake or yellow cake
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 t. vanilla
12 ounces whipped cream
32 ounces cranberry sauce
2 T. sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons grated orange peel
Orange liqueur

Cut cake into 1 inch cubes, set aside.

In large bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, sour cream and vanilla.    Beat until smooth.   Fold in whipped cream.

In a bowl, combine the cranberry sauce, sugar and orange peel.

In individual parfait glasses or a 3 quart trifle bowl, layer half of the cake cubes, cranberry mixture and whipped topping mixture.    Repeat layers.    Refrigerate until serving.

It is Friday and I'm joining Michael at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.    Desserts are always welcome anytime of the year.    But these three are really special for holiday entertaining.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

We at Linderhof wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving

as you share this day with family and friends.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Forty-Four Years And Counting

Forty-four years ago
I married my best friend.
We celebrated tonight with dinner

In the breakfast room
The best china, the best silver, silver candles and a silver basket filled with orange mums

With the fire burning to warm us.

And a bottle of champagne
For celebration.

We were married on the day before Thanksgiving
Not realizing the the next year, our first Anniversary
that we would be celebrating with family and a turkey dinner.

And every five years or so, our anniversary falls on Thanksgiving
It's just the way it is!

But when it isn't,
We always celebrate at home
And our celebration usually involves steak and champagne

Perfectly cooked filets, asparagus with hollandaise and a baked potato

A salad of greens with bleu cheese and vinaigrette
before the dessert course.

A Grand Marnier Souffle
It's often our Anniversary dessert of choice
for we both adore it.

And we each had a big bowl
With the last glass of champagne!

A special meal, for a special day, with a special guy.

And we do prefer celebrating at home.
Staring with our second year, when,  being "poor", we didn't have the money to go out.
But we could have a great meal at home.
And we did!

And mostly, we've done that every year since . . . 
even when it's Thanksgiving and we share the day with family!

Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm A Little Teapot . . .

We've been gone a month . . .
And when we arrived home last Saturday . . .

This package was on our front porch.

And inside the package was this box

And inside the box was this beautiful English teapot
And a note from friend Bernideen
Who has a wonderful blog
And we've even met
In Kansas City
I drove up to meet her
As she was about to drive across Kansas
after spending time with family in Missouri.

She's a lovely lady!

I had a busy week, that first week back.
And hardly had time for breakfast tea
Much less than afternoon tea.

But finally, on Friday, 
when friend Sally came to call
(to pick up a gift certificate)
I put the kettle on . . .

And the teapot of choice
My newest one, of course!

And Bernideen was right
It does look good with my beloved Blue and White

It looks good with the Mason's pitcher as well
And the orange of the mums are picked up by the flowers on the teapot.

It was so sweet of Bernideen to send it to me
For this fall I lost a whole bunch of my Johnson Brothers Indies
And the teapot is to help me get over that loss.

And it does, it does, indeed!

And it lives when not in use

On the sideboard in the breakfast room
With my collection of blue and white teapots.

I think "she" looks good there!

And a very sincere thank you to Bernideen for remembering me.
And if you haven't visited her blog,
you need to do so.

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

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Warm and Toasty

The breakfast room was not original to Lnderhof
It wasn't even a porch that was enclosed
(although many think that it was
and that was what we wanted it to look like)

And because it has three walls of windows
And one heat vent
It is sometimes a trifle cool
especially in the morning
when the temperatures dip below freezing.

So we've always had a room heater out there

A basic room heater
That was more for function than for form

And it didn't even function all that well
It took the chill off but didn't make the room toasty!

So my this year's birthday present:

 A new heater
That has both form and function!

And with the "flames" leaping
And the embers burning
It adds a nice winter ambiance to the breakfast room.

Until last February when we pushed the table to the wall
so that all of my houseplants would fit in the breakfast room
so that the plant waterers would have an easier time of it
while we were away on vacation,
there was absolutely no room for anything but the small heater we had.

The new "stove" fits in well with our old house
And it just seems cozier out there with the "fire".

And unlike a real stove, the outside doesn't get warm
The tea kettle is on top just for looks!

It's Monday and I'm sharing my new stove with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Met Monday

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Having a Birthday

We've been gone
For a month!
Arriving home late in the evening
two days
before Husband Jim's birthday

But I managed to pull together a birthday dinner
for the birthday boy
Sort of a surprise
(it would have been if guest Anne hadn't "blabbed"
and Daughter Sarah said "so I guess you're having company for dinner" during her birthday wishes phone call)

The group which we call
The Cape Codders
all came.

A busy day
Cleaning the very dirty house
(Somehow the "Cleaning Fairy" didn't get my memo)
and a dinner for 8.

But I took the easy way out --
cheese and crackers and olives and pickles
as appetizers with drinks in the living room

And a simple table for a simple meal

The old dough bowl with the Fall pumpkins as the centerpiece
Rattan chargers instead of a tablecloth
Soup spoons only,
A Spode blue Italian plate
And well worn blue hemp napkins in silver napkin rings

The dinner -- simply chili
With cheeses and onions and ketchup and vinegar
And baskets and baskets of saltines

More than one had more than one bowl.

And since it was a birthday . . . 

There was cake
(and ice cream)
The 40th red velvet birthday cake that I've made for Husband Jim
It's tradition!
(It did take me a few years of marriage before it became
the birthday cake)

But ever since on November 18, I've made one.

Alas, there aren't the proper number of candles on the cake
I didn't have that many and I'm not sure there would have been enough room on the cake top!

The middle candle represents the six decades
While the candles around the edge represent the years.
That plan saves us from having to call the Fire Department!

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Work Place

For years my work place was a desk in an office
Sometimes with windows which had a view
but more often not
Light was florescent 

I'm fortunate for at Linderhof I have two places to "work"
One upstairs in the sunroom off the master bedroom
A room with two walls of windows 
Because it's on the second floor
in the summer, I feel as if I'm in the treetops
And I can watch the traffic down below
And see the rain
And see the snow
And see the blow
(which it often does on the prairie)

And my other work place

Is this desk in the corner of the living room
It's bright and sunny
And I can watch the traffic from my left
And on the right is the side garden
Right now the burning bush is a brilliant red
And the dogwood has some nice copper tones
So it looks like fall!

My little computer is here
A light for illumination
at night or on dark and dreary days

And old carriage clock keeps track of time
And pictures keep me company
Daughter Sarah, Grandgirl Lucy, Aunt Matt (for whom I was named)
My mother, aunt and uncle as children . . .
And a relative of Husband Jim's but we know not who!

And always a plant or some flowers in the corner
Today's is my newest orchid
Bought just today!
A wee orchid in an old blue and white wee pot
It's called an ice orchid
Not because it's an icy white
But because once a week you drop an ice cube in it
(That's how you water it!)
(We'll see how good that method is! --
I may be a short lived orchid
For I would think that the ice would be chilling on tender roots.

It's a pleasant corner
To write letters by hand
To write blog posts and columns for the newspapers
And the fire is at my back
So on chilly days like this
it's a warm corner.

Much more pleasant than my workplaces of old!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pastries and Coffee

We've been gone
To Italy and back
For a whole month!

And what a month it has been
Husband Jim started the tradition
of pre-breakfast pastries and coffee
on the balcony

of our hotel in Sorrento, Italy

A boutique ten room hotel just a half block from the main piazza in Sorrento.

We watched Sorrento wake up as we nibbled our pastries and sipped our coffee.

The week before Sorrento
we spent a week in Positano

In that pink villa on the hill

We did have breakfast each morning on the terrace
with a view of the hills of Positano while we watched the sun come over the hill.

But we did not have pre-breakfast pastries and coffee
For to get pastries

We had to climb 93 steps.
These are the "first" 60 something -- which leads down from the road to the first urn
and more steps.

No, we ate our yogurts and cereals with our tea or coffee or leftover cheese and salami
from the night before's antipasta.

No one wanted to climb to the top for fresh pastries!

The pastry and coffee tradition continued once we were on the
Celebrity Reflection.

As we cruised across the Atlantic, first one up would go for pastries and coffee
We'd sit on our balcony and watch the ocean.

And then we came home.
We have no balcony.
Our "pastries" on the prairie for the most part are doughnuts.

But Sunday morning (after arriving home late Saturday night)
I went to the market
For two important things . . .

Flowers for the table
Pastries for "pre-breakfast"
Alas, they are doughnuts
But they're cute pumpkin shaped ones

And I did set the table nicer than our two mugs and a plate of pastries
that we enjoyed on those balconies.
My beloved blue and white, of course,
which I so missed the month we were gone.

And no city waking up to view
And no ocean waves to watch
But we did gaze out on our very needy garden
Full of plants that need pulling,
leaves that need raking.

But that will be tomorrow.

For today, it was a chore that everyone who goes to Sorrento does . . . 

Make limoncello!

It's good to be back!
We left with green leaves on the trees and warmish temperatures
We arrived home to bare trees, cooler weather, and pots full of dead annuals.
There was a heavy frost while we were gone!
The begonias are gone for this year!

It is Tuesday and it I'm joining Sandy at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday.    For my morning beverage both on ship and at home is tea!      And Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Reprise - A Paperwhite Luncheon

I was getting nostalgic
And found my 
Tablescape Thursday

How excited I was to be participating!
And how nervous I was to be taking this giant step in blogging!

So I wanted to share it with you again!

Things have changed at Linderhof
since the spring of 2009

All of the furniture in the breakfast room is different
But something that is constant
The blue and white china
And paperwhites!

Every month a three friends come to Linderhof for lunch. We've finally settled on the first Tuesday of the month. We've been doing it for ten years and I thoroughly enjoy the luncheons. These ladies are "foodies" and food is the topic. I get to try new recipes and I've yet to send out for pizza.

I called this a paperwhite luncheon as paperwhites were the centerpiece and my four bird "vases" each held a spray of paperwhites.

The plates are some of my Spode blue room and I used my white overlay tablecloth and white napkins as well.

The cutlery is stainless -- English hotel is the pattern -- they don't match which suits me fine!

The glasses are actually parfait glasses that we got at a restaurant/bar show in Las Vegas. They truly have been workhorses.

At each place is a menu -- a souvenier as well as knowing what the next course will be!

The silver napkin rings are part of my extended collection of Victorian and Edwardian napkin rings. ALL have either names or initials and are used daily.Gathering four birds took four years -- the first came from Nell Hill's in Atchison. The second bought a couple of years later came from a garden shop. Both were what I considered pricey! The last two were bought on my birthday in a gift shop in a little town about an hour north. They were on sale for half price! Finally, I had my four!

It was a taste of spring in a rather cold Febreuary day. A simple tabletop but a welcoming one.

This is my first Tabletop Thursday and I was eager to share. It's sponsored by Susan at Between Naps on a Porch

I'm sharing this post with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Favorite Veteran

Growing up, everyone's Dad was a GI
Except mine

Oh, he went to war all right
But it wasn't WW 2
it was "The Great War"
now known as World War I

As a remembrance of his service

He was given this engraving
Of the Goddess Columbia
"knighting" a Doughboy
with the inscription

"Columbia Gives To Her Son
The Accolade of the
New Chivalry of Humanity"

Not every WW I vet received one of these
Only the ones that were wounded.
For in "The Great War" there was no Purple Heart
That came later
That came in World War II

Dad was wounded in the Battle of the Argonne Forest
the papers say "slightly"
which I don't really understand.

Perhaps he was wounded and patched on the battlefield
And sent back to battle once more
rather than having to be transported to a Field Hospital
and considered "really" wounded!

Dad always told me that he had been hit by a cannonball.
As a child, I believed him
But as an adult, I know that that was impossible.
Shrapnel perhaps, but not the ball itself.

And before, he was sent to France,
Dad also was sent to the Mexican Border
at the time of Pancho Villa.

He never mentioned that part of his military.

Dad was my hero
And I was proud in a sea of GI kids, to be the lone child of a doughboy

It's Veteran's Day
The day we honor all veterans,
The day I honor my Dad
My favorite veteran!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Fall Lunch

The Lunch Bunch comes once a month to Linderhof
The plants are inside and the breakfast room is full of green
Enough room around the table for breakfast or lunch for Husband Jim and I
Not enough for 4!!!

So we're back in the dining room
We enjoyed our respite in the breakfast room
A bit more casual, perhaps
But it is good to be back at the "big table" in the dining room!

When I have four I like to do two by two
Rather than two, one at the head and one on the other side
It seems more balanced that way!

The dough bowl with the pumpkins
I have a great centerpiece for fall
and I use it again and again and again!

A white lace cloth
I love the rustic dough bowl and the more formal lacy cloth

And, of course, the blue and white
A menu, too, reflects that it is "pumpkin time"!

Classics, to me
a dough bowl
pumpkins in the fall
And blue and white!

Not pumpkin soup but rather tomato soup
With a bit of cream
And a big dollop of my freshly made pesto!

Retro food for lunch!
Chicken Noodle casserole -- updated a bit with penne instead of noodles, however
A crescent roll round baked in a muffin tin
And a salad of lettuces with vinaigrette
(to be really retro it needs to be iceberg!)

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

Sunday, November 3, 2013

If It's October or November, the Bread Must Be Pumpkin

We have cans and cans of pumpkin in the larder
Always bought on sale during November!
For in October and November
we adore pumpkin bread

Always made two loaves at a time
It's false economy to make only one!

Sometimes both to be eaten by us,
othertimes, a loaf makes a great gift
And the ones, we keep

A slice makes the perfect afternoon tea nosh
Tea, a slice of pumpkin bread and a good cookbook
What better way to spend an hour or so in the afternoon?

It's an old pumpkin bread recipe
Perhaps it was my mother's or even my grandmother's

Pumpkin, flour, sugar, spices, leavening, eggs and oil
No raisins, no nuts, no streusel
Just plain old pumpkin bread

And isn't that the best kind?