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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Labor Day

Observed on the first Monday in September
Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers.
Created by the labor movement of the late 19th century
the date became a federal holiday in 1894.

On June 28, 1894,
Congress passed an act
making the first Monday in September
of each year
a legal holiday
in the District of Columbia
and the territories.
President Grover Cleveland signed the act.

Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans
as the symbolic end of summer
and the start of back to school season.

We'll be home Labor Day
with the smoker going
And family and friends gathering

It is the last weekend of summer
And we always welcome
with open arms.

We, at Linderhof,
hope you and yours
has a Happy Labor Day

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Garden Club Meeting at Linderhof

You know, the club meeting
Where your house must "shine"
Where you take all of the chairs out of the dining room
and line them up around the perimeter of the living room?

Where there is no "rsvp"
Members just come

Where you serve a dessert and coffee?
And you have no idea how many there might be.

And you have a co-hostess 
Who brings part of the treat

Thursday, it was my turn
to host the Garden Club

Which means that not only does the house have to shine
But the garden should be weed-free as well!

My co-hostess told me that she was going to bring homemade ice cream
I said that I would make something to go under!

And the under?
Ina Garten's peach and raspberry crisp
Served partly in my Williams-Sonoma pear bowls
That I've had high up in the cabinet for a long while.
They are now being moved to a more reachable shelf!

The crisp was the perfect foil for the ice cream
Which was fabulous!
And we made sure that it was still warm when we served it
So the ice cream could slowly melt.

If you're having a meeting,
I would recommend this peach and raspberry crisp as your treat
If you don't have homemade ice cream, store ice cream will work.
Just make sure your crisp is warm
To melt the ice cream!


10 to 12 large peaches
1 orange, zested
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. plus 2 to 3 T. flour
1/2 pint raspberries
1/4 t. salt
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 pound cold butter, diced

Preheat oven to 350.    Butter the inside of a 10 by 15 by 2 1/2 inch oval baking dish (I used a square one!   Egad!)

Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water.    Peel the peaches and slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl.    Add the orange zest 1/4 c. sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 T. of flour.     toss well.    Gently mix in the raspberries.     Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.    If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour.    Pour the peaches into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.

Combine 1 1/2 c. flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 c. brown sugar, salt, oatmeal and the cold diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.    Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly.    Sprinkle evenly on top of the peaches and raspberries.    Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly.    Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a preheated 350 oven for 20 to 30 minutes until warm.

(I just left mine in the turned off oven to keep warm.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Happy Birthday . . . Dear Anne

Dear Friend Anne had a birthday today
And we celebrated at lunch
But we also celebrated at Linderhof

With dinner
In the dining room

The blue and white always sets a pretty table
And Husband Jim takes great pains on the wines we will serve

Linderhof's table for company
A lace cloth, damask napkins in silver rings, Jim's grandmother's cutlery, and blue and white transfer ware

And I love these shots
When the guests are gone
When the candles have burned low
When there are empty plates, wine glasses and wine bottles
It's a picture of a fun time!

And we served . . . 

Bruchetta in the parlor with pre dinner drinks
A simple tomato, basil, garlic and olive oil on grilled bread

After the salads . . .

Ina Garten's eggplant gratin
(the guest of honor is a eggplant parmesan fan
This is a close second
And I recipe that I make a lot of in the summer
It is so good!

And all Italian meals should have a pasta course

Gina Stipos bolognese sauce over penne pasta
(for dinner parties I prefer "formable" pasta
No "slurps" at Linderhof!

And the honoree' favorite dessert -- anything lemon!

A Provencal lemon cake filled with lemon curd, another dollop of curd on top, whipped cream and a lemon slice
It's a very fine cake!

And of course, for birthdays there needs to be gifts . . . 

A tin of Opera Fudge
A conectionary treat from her childhood home in Lebanon, Pennsylvania
She was surprised not only at the tin of fudge
But that I had made it!

It's Thursday and I'm sharing my table with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Eat Your Vegetables!

We're Lutheran
Get two Lutheran's together
And each will have a cup of coffee
And you can't have coffee without a "nosh".

Our church is early
And after, we always have coffee and treats
(We have coffee before, too,
but we forego the treats until after church)

We take turns in bringing treats
And I try to sign up once each quarter

A week ago, it was once again my turn..

It's summer, there is a plethora of vegetables at the Farmer's Market
tomatoes, zucchini and butternut squash

It's always fun to think of different ways to use this fresh produce.
My solution was for Sunday treats!

I made a sign
I didn't want people to think that these were unhealthy muffins.
Oh, no

And we're a small church
And in summer, often a smaller church
But I did spent Saturday

making muffins
Seven dozen in all

And between communion and benediction,
Husband Jim and I were busy in the kitchen

 We put up our sign
Put the muffins on a tray
Got out the coffee fixings . . . 

The tomato, the zucchini and the butternut squash

And we refilled the trays over and over again
For although the crowd was small
The crowd was hungry
Most had more than one muffin
(But who was counting . . . certainly not me!)

I brought home a few
which I froze for breakfast for the following week.

It was a fun treat.
Lots of comments
And the kids, debating between a treat or a vegetable
chose the treat
And often came back for a second.

The muffins are all easy to make
and I've made them many times
(although the tomato one is really a tea bread -- I just baked it in muffin tins)

The chocolate ones were the first to go!

Just goes to show that at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning
Chocolate is always welcome!

The recipes:


14 ounces butternut squash, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 1/4 c. light brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
handful of walnuts, chopped
1 t. ground cinnamon
3/4 c. olive oil

For the Frosted Top:
1 orange, zested
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 lemon, zested
1/2 c. sour cream
2 heaping tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1 t. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Line your muffin tins with paper cups. Whiz the squash in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the sugar and eggs. Add a pinch of salt, the flour, baking powder, walnuts, cinnamon and olive oil and whit together until well beaten. Fill the paper cups with the muffin mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove fro the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool. To make the frosting: Place most of the orange and lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl. Add sour cream, powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well. When the muffins are cooked, spoon the topping onto the muffins.


2 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and pureed to make 1 cup
1/4 c. sliced unblanched almonds
Preheat oven to 350 and butter and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and mix. Combine the oil, sugars and eggs in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the pureed tomato. Gradually add the flour mixture
blending well after each addition. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle the top with almonds. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool for 5 minutes, then remove bread and continue to cool on rack.


2 c. flour
1 c. cocoa, sifted
1 t. allspice
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. melted butter
3/4 c. oil
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 cups zucchini, grated

Preheat oven to 350. Line 20 muffin cups with muffin liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, allspice and cinnamon. Set aside. In medium bowl beat the sugar and melted butter. Add the oil and eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla and add buttermilk and dry ingredients alternately until well mixed. Stir in zucchini. Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and muffin tops are springy to the touch, 20 to 24 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

What's Old is New Again!

In January 2013, the secretary was to the right of the fireplace,
the clock was to the left of the fireplace

To the left of the sofa was the Asian cabinet
To the right was the grandfather clock

And in January 2013, I changed it
Because I was tired of weaving my way behind the wing chair
to get to the secretary
It was nice, to sit at the desk and look out over the side garden
But too often, it was just a quick trip to get a stamp or the scissors or . . .

And so I moved things

The secretary was moved across the room to the left of the fireplace
The Asian cabinet was moved to the right of the fireplace
With a plant on top

And the grandfather clock was moved to the right of the door
To the left of the sofa

And this week, I moved it all again . . . 
Back to where it was long ago!

The secretary to the left of the sofa
The grandfather clock to the right of the sofa
Because like a year or so ago,
I got tired of squeezing past the wing chair
To get the scissors or tape or that stamp

The secretary started here
To the right of the front door
Years and years ago!
It's easy to get things in and out
And the blue and white in the secretary brighten up the space

And the grandfather clock
is to the right of the sofa
Behind the wing chair
Where I only have to squeeze
once a week when I wind the clock!
Not "hourly"!

 The Asian cabinet stayed where it was
The clivia likes it there
And a happy plant needs to stay a happy plant!

Will I move things again --

And even though there has been three moves, 
I must tell you that I am not really a furniture mover
I give great thought when I move anything
Thinking my move is for better use and function
Not just because I want a change!

The secretary in the living room
From 2010, upper right
where it all began
To 2011, when it moved to the right of the fireplace
To 2013 when it moved to the left of the fireplace
To the big picture
Where it is now --
Where it all began!

It's Monday and I'm sharing my living room changes with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Met Monday and Judith at A Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Tea Room Lunch

The Lunch Bunch
a group of three friends who come to Linderhof monthly for lunch
Except this year
Between doctors visits and procedures
And children and grandchildren
They've not all been to lunch at Linderhof since February!

But in August,
they came!

The table set in the dining room

With my beloved blue and white
Because a Christmas gift from dear friend Carolyn
of white linen placemats and the lovely blue patterned napkins
A menu, of course,
And a package of tea cookies to take home
A nosh to go with that afternoon's tea

A simple centerpiece of black eyed Susans
Low in a crystal rose bowl
Because although I love flowers whenever we dine at Linderhof,
the most important thing is to be able to talk to all the guests!

It's a simple table
There isn't a lot of "fluff"

Over the dining room table and into the living room

It was a tea room lunch
A ladies lunch
The recipes all from the Shady Gables cookbook

Shady Gables chicken salad in a Farmer's Market tomato
A slice of zucchini bread
And a fresh fruit salad

For dessert

Shady Gables famous Ambrosia Tart

Cool luscious goodness
decorated with a maraschino cherry and a rose geranium leaf

It's Thursday and I'm sharing my Tea Room Lunch with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Monday, August 18, 2014

Afternoon Tea in Versailles

Friday, friend Shirley Ann and I took a road trip
We had a destination

Alas, not this Versailles

but rather this

pronounced Ver-Sales
a town in Missouri about 2 hours from Linderhof

Our destination . . . 

photo courtesy Shady Gables website

a tea room in that little town

We were, after all, celebrating Shirley Ann's birthday

We were seated,
we placed our order for tea
and had our first cup poured

Mine was Earl Grey
Shirley Ann chose Southern Belle

We both those the mis-matched china and cutlery quaint

Our first course

A croissant with chicken salad and an individual quiche

Then Juli brought our curate

filled with real tea goodies

Scones --
Shady Gables Famous Scone
and a lavender white chocolate one
(served with strawberry jam and key lime curd)

Sandwiches and savories
Cucumber, of course; egg mayonnaise on toast, an apple chutney in celery and a pinwheel

Dessert was a quaint tea pot cookie, a cream puff and a brownie bite and a tea pot mint

And to cleanse our palate -- raspberry sorbet
served in wee cups
(which they had for sale in case you wanted to duplicate at home)

We drank our pot of tea
It was perfectly brewed and kept warm under a cozy.

After tea, we browsed the gift shop

I bought a Cookbook -- to add to my tea room cookbook collection
(and which had all the recipes for the wonderful food we had just eaten)


A set of those teapot cookie cutters
(I have a huge one but these sizes are more quaint)
for I wanted to make

These darling little tea pot cookies

 And tonight I did.
Right now they are "naked" but soon will get a colored glaze.
I've company coming for lunch tomorrow
And I thought three of these would be a good favor in a cello bag
A nosh for my guests tea that afternoon.

I'm joining Bernideen for Tea in the Garden . . . even though my tea wasn't!

And even though it's a week late, I'm joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday.