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.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


In 1983, I made this costume for Daughter Sarah

Dad was an Operations Supervisor for McDonalds
And we thought Ronald McDonald was a great costume!

I took a regular pattern and modified it to make this Ronald costume,
it was certainly a labor of love and took some creative sewing.
But then I liked to sew!

And years earlier,

The very first costume I made for Sarah
Which she wore for four years --
I made it big so that we'd get a lot of wear out of it --
And we did!

And this year, that same Sarah
asked me to make a costume for her daughter, Lucy

This Nana who hadn't sewn for 31 years
(well, you can't count curtains and cushions and mending --
that isn't sewing --)

We shopped for pattern and fabric

And cut out the pattern on her dining room table

And I took the pieces home to sew

And I did find that sewing was like riding a bicycle
You never really forget how!

First the cape . . . 

Then the knickers

And the bodice

Sewing whenever I had a chance

And the Friday before Halloween,
I put this into an envelope and mailed it to Minnesota

It arrived Monday
And we had a trial run

 I think she makes a smashing 
Little Red Riding Hood

And after the costume was mailed to Minnesota,
I got busy in the kitchen



Wrapped in cello bags to be mailed to Minnesota
and given to children  and grandchildren of our friends

And in a forest of Kansas City
A long long time ago . . .  

There was a little girl
Who didn't seem happy with her Halloween costume
For it's uncertain whether she's a witch or a Little Red Riding Hood

This little girl

Grew up to be a BIG witch!

Sitting under the portico handing out
candy bars to the trick or treaters!

It's Halloween -- do you know where your candy is tonight?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Charity Luncheon

When asked, I often donate an invitation to have luncheon
with me at Linderhof

Today, I hosted one of those charity luncheons

White lace cloth and white damask napkins in silver rings

Pumpkins, gourds, squash and bittersweet
in the old dough bowl

Blue and white transfer ware, of course!
The individual menus have pumpkins on them, too!

I like the juxtaposition of rustic and lace
transferweare and silver

I often like to send a tea treat home with my guests.
The fairy bites are the perfect treat!

It was a fun afternoon.

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

An Afternoon Respite

A recipe Daughter Sarah found
for she knows I adore shortbread
Made this afternoon, it was perfect
for afternoon tea

Fairy Bites
Is what they're called
Small wee shortbreads

A teacup full!

 A cup of tea and a cup of Fairy Bites
In blue and white, of course
Spode Camilla
With a gold rim
It's for special teas.

And the Fairy Bites were a special tea

Wee pieces of shortbread


And then I glazed them even though the recipe didn't call for it
I thought they "needed" it!
And it did make them better!

Three fits very well on a saucer!


1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cup AP flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp multi-colored nonpareils

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 8-inch square baking
pan with plastic wrap (or cut parchment to fit) leaving
1-inch overhang. 

Combine butter, sugar and almond extract in medium bowl. 
Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.
Reduce speed to low, add flour and salt. Beat until well
mixed. Stir in nonpareils.

Knead mixture 4-5 times in bowl until dough forms a ball. 
Pat dough evenly into prepared pan. Use overhang to lift
dough from pan. Cut dough into 1/2-inch squares.
Gently place squares 1/2 inch apart onto ungreased
cookie sheet. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until
bottoms just begin to brown.  

I mixed powdered sugar and milk together to make a glaze.    As an afterthought, I should have added a little almond flavoring as well.

NOTE:   I used Halloween nonpareils.

It's Tuesday and I'm sharing my tea this afternoon with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday and Bernideen for Friends Sharing Tea.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Pumpkin Day at Linderhof

It was a pumpkin kind of day in Linderhof's kitchen

I had a potluck to go to tonight

And I wanted a seasonal recipe

And this yeast roll with the addition of pumpkin
seemed to fit the bill

Shaped like little pumpkins
with a pecan for the stem

 And served with a cinnamon honey butter

They were great tonight
And would be a good bread choice for Thanksgiving dinner!

But before the rolls,
I made

Seven mini loaves of pumpkin bread for gifts
Plus a tin of pumpkin gems for tea

It's October
October is pumpkin
It was a pumpkin day at Linderhof!

Pumpkin Yeast Rolls 
with Cinnamon Honey Butter

Yield: 15 bread rolls

For the bread:

1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces or 43 grams) unsalted butter, melted 
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, divided
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups (16.88 ounces or 479 grams) all-purpose flour

Sliced pecan pieces, for the "stems"

For the butter:

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the bread rolls:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, 
stir the yeast, milk, sugar, butter, one egg and salt until well combined.

Gradually add the flour and knead on medium low speed until the
 dough pulls away from the side of the mixer and let the dough rest for
  3 to 5 minutes.    Continue to knead the dough on medium low speed 
 for 5 minutes or until dough is soft and smooth.    If it seems too sticky,
 add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl.  
  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise
until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.  
  Divide the dough into 15 equal portions and shape into balls.
    Using the palm of your hand to flatten each ball slightly.  
  With a paring knife, cut 8 slices around each ball,
 being careful not to cut into the center, to make the pumpkin shape.    Cover
and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350.  
  Using the wooden end of a small utensil or your finger to poke an
identation in the center of each roll to create a space for the "stem".   
 In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg
with 2 teaspoons of water and brush the top of the rolls.   
  Bake the rolls fro 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Place a sliced pecan piece into the indentation of each roll.

For the cinnamon butter:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, 
beat the butter for 30 seconds, or until pale in color.
 Add the powdered sugar, honey, and cinnamon and beat until well combined, 
light, and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. 
Serve immediately or store, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week. 
Bring to room temperature before serving.

Serve the rolls warm with the cinnamon butter.

It's Friday and I'm sharing my pumpkin goodies with Michael at Rattlebridge Farm 
for Foodie Friday

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Soup Luncheon

We had a "missing man" formation 
for the monthly Lunch Bunch luncheon

There were three instead of four
And our original plan was to go to Kansas City
for a "treat day"

But with one Lunch Buncher recovering from a cold
And another Lunch Buncher gone . . . 
We decided to make the treat day another day

All of this decided on Sunday before our Tuesday Luncheon.

Usually, I spend a big part of the month planning the menu,
looking through cookbooks and sometimes even deciding on two or three
menus before I find
"the one"!

Now I had two days . . 
Well, really only one!

I decided on a simple soup and pie luncheon

And since it was only three
we ate in the Breakfast room!

A lace tablecloth
White damask napkins in silver rings

And my beloved blue and white
Because I love those Spode Camilla soup bowls
My BIG German silver spoons
Which I adore for soup
Jim not so much!

And a centerpiece of orangey mums in an very old
Blue and White pitcher

The menu?
Soup . . . 

Chicken pot pie soup with Parmesan black pepper biscuits
It was really good!

And the pie?

Apple Cider Cream Pie
An award winning apple pie
(Daughter Sarah won first place in the Creative Pie division of Excelior, Minnesota's Apple Days Apple Pie/Dessert contest)
And I can see why it won!
It was delicious
A wonderful light apple cream filling
topped with cinnamon whipped cream

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

And for those who want the recipes:


20 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded in to bite size pieces
5 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 small onion)
1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
1 cup peeled and diced carrots (about 2 carrots)
1 (15 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups (heaping) peeled and 1/2-inch diced russet potatoes (2 medium potatoes)
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried crushed rosemary
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
2 1/2 cups milk
6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 recipe parmesan drop biscuits, recipe follows
In an enamled cast iron pot, melt 1 1/2 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Add in onion, carrot and celery and saute 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, potatoes, parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, (press veggies down into broth) cover with lid, and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 15 - 25 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in chicken and peas.
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter. Stir in flour and cook mixture, stirring constantly for 1 1/2 minutes. While whisking slowly pour in milk and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat while stirring constantly, then remove from heat and stir in cream. Pour and stir milk mixture into mixture in pot. Stir in lemon juice.
Remove bay leaf and serve warm with Parmesan Drop Biscuits.
Note: I used all fresh herbs and increased the amounts.
And it is a very forgiving recipe for you can increase or decrease the amount of vegetables or chicken depending on what you may have in your crisper.

1 cup flour
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch dice and chilled
3 T. cold milk
1 t. apple cider vinegar
Filling and Topping:
2 c. apple cider
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 t. salt
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 t. cinnamon
In a food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse in 1 second bursts until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine the milk and vinegar and drizzle it on top. Pulse in 1 second bursts until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather up any crumbs and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to an 11 inch round, a scant 1/4 inch thick; ease it into a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Trim the overhanging dough to 1 inch and fold it under itself. Crimp decoratively and chill the crust until firm, about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425. Line the crust with parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 15 minutes, until the crust is barely set. Remove the parchment and pie weights. Cover the edge of the crust with strips of foil and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until the crust is just set but not browned. Press the bottom of the crust lightly to deflate it as it puffs; let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 350.
In a medium saucepan, boil the cider until it’s reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Whisk in the 3/4 cup sugar, the sour cream and salt, then whisk in eggs.
Pour the custard into the pie shell without removing the foil strips. Bake the pie in the lower third of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custard is set around the edge but the center is slightly jiggly. Let the pie cool completely.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the remaining 1/4 c. sugar and the cinnamon until firmly whipped. Mound the cream on the pie, cut into wedges and serve. Serve with baked apple slices.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall In the Dining Room

Fall is subtle at Linderhof
Pumpkins, bittersweet, mums
In the house and in the garden

Not overwhelming
But subtle

The antique dough bowl on the dining room table
Filled with pumpkins, gourds and bittersweet.

It shall remain through Thanksgiving
lending a touch of Fall.

(Although the two bigger pumpkins may become
pumpkin bread, muffins or pie!
I bought sugar pumpkins this year
To use as well as to display!)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tea and A Book

You can't get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me!

We arrived home from Minneapolis on Wednesday night
Laundry and catch up
(read vacuuming up at least enough hair to coat another dog)
But I still found time to make a tea treat.

And as busy as the day after a vacation is,
tea time is  a most welcome respite!

In the breakfast room
Just me!
Tea and a book
(a new book)
And my beloved blue and white!

The lemon curd poppyseed bread
(A Williams Sonoma Recipe)
Because Daughter Sarah gifted me with a jar of
Fortnum and Mason lemon curd!

A quite tasty bread with the added curd!

A book found at the Arboretum
(I love non-profit gift shops -- they always have the most interesting things
--things you never see anywhere else)

It's a great book
Some good recipes
Some good stories

So much so that I had to order her other book
From Amazon.UK no less
It's not sold here!

It's Tuesday and I'm joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday and Bernideen for Friends Sharing Tea.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

More Mums

Usually, I get a big mum plant
to place in the front of the house
Close to the pumpkins

But, alas, this year,
pickings at this time of October were slim!

But I found little mums

Which I put in the upstairs window boxes

Eight small mum plants
Which gives a bit of fall to the front of Linderhof . . .

with the pumpkins below.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mums . . .

As much as I relish the tulips and daffodils of Spring,
I relish the mums of Autumn

Their muted colors attest to the waning days
And I love to fill both home and garden with them.

A table in the living room with a bouquet

Not arranged --
For I don't like "florists" flowers
I like flowers as they grow in the garden!
In my big Waterford vase
(which I bought, actually, for the hydrangeas --
I don't think the mums mind, though, do you?)

And on the dining room table

Not Waterford by heavy crystal
And it's a great vase for most flowers.

In the breakfast room
I love the orangey mums
in the old blue and white transfer ware pitcher.
(And the double enjoyment of the mums reflected in the mirror!)

Outside . . . 

Outside in the armillary planter
(for there is always "thyme" in the garden)
And pansies!
(I've given up on fall pansies in the pots --
but a few in the garden . . . 
Oops -- this is a post about mums --
But I'm sure the mums won't mind a pansy mention!)

And we're not messy gardeners 
Nor did we have a storm
The guttering is there because we have workmen climbing all over ladders all around the house
For Linderhof will soon sport new gutters!

I'm waiting to get my big mum for the front
I like it to last until Thanksgiving
And if you buy it too early . . . .

It's Friday and I'm joining:

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Miss Mustard Seed for Furniture Friday
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Arboretum

When we visit Daughter Sarah, her Andy and Grand girl Lucy
one of our favorite places to visit 
is the

We've been there almost every season
and it is fun to see what they do for each season!


Is the Pumpkin House

The Scarecrows!

My favorite!

A homage to our Kansas roots . . .

And one for friend Shirley Ann
(I think she should recreate this one in her front yard!)

And a walk around the "Arb"
found these volunteers busily planting


Thousands of bulbs!

And in the herb garden

I found Minnesota Master Gardeners
We had a lot to talk about
(and they were most envious of our Zone 6!)

Grand girl Lucy and Daughter Sarah were there as well.

Here is Grand girl Lucy
trying to catch up to Nana!

It's Wednesday and I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamers for Outdoor Wednesday.    The "Arb" is a great place to be in the fall!