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, March 15, 2014

Traditions -- Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday . . .

We don't celebrate "Carnivale" on the prairie but we do have traditions associated with Lent.

For on Ash Wednesday, we get out our Easter decorations. Although not as elaborate as the Christmas ones, it wouldn't be the Lenten season without these special touches to Linderhof.

Some years, when Ash Wednesday comes early, the Easter decorations clash with the Valentine decorations!!!

But not this year -- one of the latest dates for Ash Wednesday (and subsequently Easter) -- Valentine's Day is long gone and Spring is almost upon us.

So up from the basement . . .

Came the Easter eggs. A dozen of real hens eggs which we got long ago on a Lenten trip to Germany. This was before Easter eggs and Easter egg trees could be found in just about any store. We adored this custom (but the Germans like to celebrate holidays with decorated trees -- they, after all were responsible for the Christmas tree!)

And so before we left, we went to Woolworth's and bought a dozen real hens eggs just like the ones that hung on the trees at the bed and breakfasts where we stayed. A wonderful reminder of a wonderful trip!

Perhaps because the eggs we so admired were always in the dining room of the inns where we stayed, we, too, have always displayed the eggs in the dining room. And like the German's, we've not got caught up in boughten trees but rather we prefer branches to hang the eggs from. Pussy willow are the best and a blue and white Oriental vase the perfect holder.

Each egg is hand-painted and we are amazed that the dozen have lasted all these years. It wouldn't be Easter at Linderhof without these dear eggs!

Of course, now that we have a second table to decorate . . . the breakfast room . . . we wanted something special for that table as well.

These dear French pottery lamb molds with some age are perfect on either side of whatever flowers we have on the breakfast room table.

As the Lenten season progresses, we change the flowers -- the hyacinths for this Ash Wednesday -- when Lent starts earlier, it is often a pot of paperwhites! We love these little lambs that watch over the breakfast room flowers during Lent!

And of course, the Tuesday before is Shrove Tuesday . . . traditionally Pancake Day. When I was little we always had pancakes for supper on Shrove Tuesday. But in our adult years, it seems so many restaurants have "Mardi Gras" celebrations and specials and so we're often choose to dine with friends that evening.

Alas, I cannot imagine a Shrove Tuesday without pancakes and so . . .

Big stacks make up our breakfast . . . .

For Shrove Tuesday isn't Shrove Tuesday without pancakes!!!!

It's an old and easy recipe -- the pancakes my mother made. They're especially good with blueberries added but for Shrove Tuesday they should be plain. With rashers of bacon, pats of butter and real maple syrup. Pots and pots of steaming coffee as well.

Linderhof Pancakes

1 cup milk
1 egg
2 T. sour cream

Mix together well.

1 cup flour
1 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. mace

Mix together then add the wet ingredients. If it is too thick, you can add a little more milk. Spoon onto hot griddle and cook until done.

NOTE: A cup of fresh blueberries can be added before baking but for Shrove Tuesday we like them plain!

It's Wednesday and I'm joining Susan for Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer for although my "Easter Egg Tree" is inside -- it is a tree with branches!!!!

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