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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tea On The Porch

A Father's Day present
That's the rocker on the left
For Husband Jim was very fond of Daughter Sarah's and her Andy's front porch rockers
He commented whenever we visited
About how comfy it was to sit on their front porch and rock

But we held off
Until Father's Day this year

And although I had a wicker rocker to sit in
I found myself gravitating to his whenever I was on the porch and he wasn't
With my mad money
I bought one for myself

We have started having our morning coffee out here
After the dogs walk
Reading the paper, working the crossword
And, well, rocking!

And this afternoon, even though it has gotten warm on the prairie
I took an icy glass of lemony tea
and two ginger cookies
to the porch
For it was half past three
And time for tea!

Blue and white transfer ware is my everyday dishes
And since this is the Fourth of July weekend, I lined the wicker tray with a
red and white striped cloth

A patriotic tea, you might say
(Although don't forget, the tax on tea was part of the rebellion!)

And this morning . . .
We did as we always do the week of the Fourth of July

We hung bunting and put out the flags in the front planters
They'll stay up all week
We think Linderhof looks spiffy in her patriotic finery!

It is Tuesday and although it's not a roses and lace tea nor even a garden tea, I am joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday and friend Bernideen for Friends Sharing Tea.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


It's Summer

We live on the Prairie

In Kansas

At least one tabletop should hold a bouquet of sunflowers!

Birds gifts from the garden
plus some from Trader Joe's

It's one of my favorite bouquets in the summer!

It's Monday and I'm sharing the sunflowers with Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Met Monday


A Day of Rest

Church, Sunday Dinner, A Nap

That's Sunday at Linderhof!

Growing up I was always fond of the
"Days of the Week" 
Kitchen Towels that
Mother and Grandmother used

Often a young girl's first embroidery project
for a gift for that same mother or grandmother

and when you had a wedding shower

You always got at least one set of these towels
often made by that same grandmother!

But back in those days, women stayed at home
And their work was home keeping

And it was parceled out day by day

But also in those days, washing did take up most of Monday;
Ironing most of Tuesday;

Housekwork was a day long duty
Not something that you whipped through
in an hour or less!

These towels reminded you
of the order of things!

As you washed the dishes and dried them by hand!

I've worn out my wedding present ones
(from my grandmother)

I have another set given to me a few years ago
from my dear Mother-in-law
I'm saving those

To pass on to her namesake granddaughter,

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Baking Day

Every week, I make a batch of cookies for afternoon tea.

Mostly, they last me the whole week.

A batch -- a cookie or two a day . . .

And they last.

My tried and true are sugar cookies, thumbprints (two different recipes), ginger cookies,
and shortbread

Those I make over and over again

If I find a recipe that sounds interesting,

I'll make that instead.

And if I run out, there's always a package of Biscoff at the market!

Friday, June 27, 2014


Cleaning Day

These are the cleaning products I use most often

Bee's Wax for polishing the antique furniture
Dr. Bonner's Castile Soap for almost everything else that needs a wash
And if there are stubborn stains, 
Bon Ami
(a local company by the way -- if you count Kansas City as local)

Microfiber cloths and a chamois
The chamois is the best for dusting furniture
(I learned that secret from an English butler)

And for the floors,
there is always the Dyson in the closet
And the Shark steamer in the back hall.

I do tidy daily
with a quick "hoover - ing" and a wipe down of tabletops if need be.

The kitchen gets more attention,
the floors get a sweep and a wet mopping at least once a day
And the countertops get a good wipe after each meal.

I think it must be the German in me,
but I do love to clean!

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Market Day

From May through October our produce comes from
our Farmers Market

The freshest of produce from early lettuces and radishes
through the butternut and acorn squashes

We are especially excited when tomatoes first come to market
And they were here last week
Local tomatoes are to store tomatoes
what fish is to fish sticks

Eating vegetables is always easy in the summer
for fresh is best and local even better!

I always bring my market basket
And love when I come home with it filled to the brim!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Sewing Day

My sewing these days consists of doing needlepoint.

Thank heaven that I'm slow for I have way too many
cushions now
If I could churn out one a week or even one a month
think what a 40+ year supply would consist of!

I started in my early married years,
and then along came Daughter Sarah
and needlepointing got put away.

I discovered it again when we sailed for England
a few years back.
I finished that piece while we were in England,
bought another canvass over there to do on the way home,
and I've had a needlepoint project ever since.

And I am very conscious not to get a supply of canvasses.
Preferring to be almost finished with one
before I get another.

It keeps those canvasses from piling up!

And last Christmas, I started a tradition
for Grandgirl Lucy --
a needlepoint ornament as a Christmas gift.

I already bought the 2014 canvass
(last year I waited until December!)

This piece Husband Jim gave me as a Christmas gift,
I thought it was sweet that he picked it out
and gifted it to me for Christmas.

It's coming along, it's coming along!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Ironing Day

The washing machine and dryer are in the cellar
And so is the ironing board

It's not the most pleasant place to iron
but the plus is that it is always set up
Always ready for a quick press

I love my linens
I love ironing my linens
And I use a Lemon Verbena Ironing Water
which is nice for both table and bed linens

I iron:

my cotton shirts

I don't iron:

Husband Jim's clothes

I am a strange duck because I do like to iron
But as you notice, most of my ironing
is "flatwork"
So much easier to iron than sleeves and such!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday . . .

Wash Day

Sheets basking in the sun
To bring outdoors freshness to the bedroom.

A small clothesline in the back garden
Just long enough to hang the weekly sheets

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Solstice

It's the Summer Solstice

And here they're celebrating in style
For there are still some Druids and this, to them, is sacred ground.
In fact, as far as I know they're the only ones allowed close to these stones!

When we spent that spring in England,
we lived five miles from Stonehenge

And when we were out and about, we often would make sure to drive past them on the way home

It was nice to have these as "neighbors"!

We've seen them before
Many times
Once, in fact, in the snow!

It was beautiful 
All black and white!

And the stones themselves . . .

Are huge
And still remain a mystery
as to how and why
Although there are many theories

We never visited Stonehenge during a solstice or an equinox
So we never have seen any recognizable Druids around the stones

But on our last visit . . . 

We did find a Dali Lama follower.
With his robes, the stones in the background a camera around his neck
It's one of our favorite pictures of our trip
A once in a lifetime picture!

We won't be celebrating the solstice at Stonehenge today
But every June 21, we're reminded of that Spring when Stonehenge was a neighbor
And what what the Druids are "doing tonight"!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Thirty-Fifth Annual

St. Paul Lutheran Church

In the little town 20 miles to the east of us
It was our church when we lived in that town

And for the last 35 years
first, the ladies of the congregation
and then the congregation itself
(both men and women)
have been hosting an annual Salad Luncheon
as a fundraiser

Not only do the ladies (and gentlemen)
Make the salads
But they work in the kitchen as well

And all those 35 years ago,
the formula for the salad luncheon
was established
And remains the same as to this day

Two meat salads

Two vegetable salads

Two Fruit Salads

And always Sally's Bread Sticks

Instead of crackers or rolls

And a bite of dessert

A labor of love for Friend Anna
who makes all of the desserts

And besides a great luncheon

You're given the recipes
Which is nice especially when you're fond of the salads

And this year's table decoration . . .

Wheat and grapes
representing the body and the blood
of Holy Communion

This Wednesday, the Lunch Bunch and I took a road trip.
To attend the Salad Luncheon
Tickets were bought over a month in advance
for tickets are limited and they do sell out fast.

I would never miss the luncheon for it is a rite of June
This Salad Luncheon.

When we lived there, I chaired the luncheon, made salads, served, cleaned up

It's nice, now, to be just a guest!!!

Kudos to the workers and planners for it is still a very successful event
beloved by the community.
And over the 35 years, it has raised many dollars,
some of which go back into the community each year.

It's Friday and I'm joining Michael at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Almost Summer -- An Icebox Dessert

The Lunch Bunch had lunch out
But came back to Linderhof for dessert

 The table, set with an Italian cloth
And the Pembroke china including a tea pot (which for dessert turns into a coffee pot)

A centerpiece of pink garden zinnias in a Waterford pitcher
And two lead birds
(a Christmas gift from the Lunch Bunch)
echo the birds and flowers in the china

Table set and waiting for company

And for dessert?

The original recipe of a 70s favorite
"Chocolate Sin - Better than Sex Cake"
(Remember when so many dessert recipes had "sex" or "Robert Redford" in the name?

A good dessert -- the original far better than the 70's version
And just a little bit more work!

Big pieces because we needed to be fortified!

The recipe came from my mother
who called it "Susan's Chocolate Delight"

I'm not sure which friend of mother's was "Susan"
but her Chocolate Delight
is wonderful
(and better than sex!)


Step I
1 stick butter, very soft
1 cup flour
3/4 c. pecans, chopped

Mix together and place in a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish.     Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, let cool.

Step II
8 ounces cream cheese, very soft
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. whipping cream

Beat ingredients together and pour over first layer

Step III

1/2 pound semi sweet chocolate, chopped (or chips)
1/4 c. water
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
pinch salt

Melt chocolate with note water in a double boiler; cool slightly, stir in egg yolks.    Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until very stiff and then fold into chocolate and egg yolk mixture.    Pour over second layer and let set for 2 hours (or longer)

Top with sweetened whipped cream and chopped pecans before serving.

NOTE:    The 70s version used Cool Whip instead of whipping cream and instant chocolate pudding instead of the chocolate and eggs.     My opinion -- the original version is by far better and really not that much more work!

It's Thursday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Monday, June 16, 2014

An Herbal Tea

Not the tea, but the tea treats!

I still prefer a good black tea
both for breakfast and tea time

Brewed in a wee teapot
For it's just me!

It's Burleigh Asiatic Pheasant in blue
A light blue
So different than most of my blue English transfer ware

But I love the softness of these pieces

I even put some garden zinnias in the crew pitcher
Almost any color of flower or tablecloth looks good with blue and white!

The cookies are the herbal
Basil and lemon sugar cookies

Tasty morsels filled with lemon zest and pieces of garden basil

It makes a great tea time after an afternoon spent hauling the fallen branches
to the driveway -- hopefully to be soon carted away!

The recipe is simple and they are the type of cookies that I like for my everyday afternoon tea time!


1 stick butter, at room temperature
3/34 c. plus 1 T. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla (or lemon extract if you have it)
zest from 1 lemon
2 T. finely chopped basil
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 375.   Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.    Add the egg, flavoring, lemon zest and basil until well combined.

Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until well combined.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough and place on the prepared baking sheet.    Once all the dough has been used, place the baking sheets into the refrigerator and chill for 10 minutes.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, you want to catch them before they get golden brown but make sure they no longer have a glossy sheen ot them.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack.

NOTE:   Sometimes I roll the balls in powdered sugar before I place them on the baking sheet.

It's Tuesday and I'm sharing Tea with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage and with dear friend Bernideen for Tea In the Garden (even though mine isn't -- the cookies do come from the garden!)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Pansies and Tulip Trees

Saturday was a beautiful day
And with the mild spring
our pansies lasted a lot longer
than most years.

I bought a couple of flats of summer annuals
And said goodbye to the pansies

But first . . .

I clipped the flowers
for an annual ritual

of candying pansy blossoms
to decorate winter cakes and cupcakes

Eggwhite, granulated sugar and a parchment lined baking sheet

With classical music on the stereo,
I painted and dipped
Until I had a tray of pansies

Perfectly coated sugared morsels of delight!

Severe storms moved in early this morning,
We awoke to this . . .

Big branches of the tulip tree down in the back garden

There were some casualties --
the planter is broken
And some of the roses received broken branches
And under all of the tree branches
is a hydrangea -- or rather now a half a hydrangea
Those branches broke the plant in two!

As those branches fell, it hit the roof of the breakfast room
But all seems well with the roof.

Father's Day


Jim celebrated Father's Day for the first time as a Father


Jim celebrating Father's Day for the first time as a Grandfather!

Daughter Sarah
the love of his life

Grandgirl Lucy
the newest love of his life!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Grand Old Flag

It's Flag Day
The commemoration of the day that we adopted the stars and stripes
as our national flag in

The big flag always flies at Linderhof
But today we've added little flags to the front planters

And for dessert tonight in the garden

Will be a flag pie
Cherry pie with stars and stripes
A red, white and blue table
white lace tablecloth and geraniums
blue plates and napkins
red pie

If you're not a fan of cherry, any red fruit pie would do --
rhubarb or strawberry

It's a different twist on a lattice crust
To make a patriotic pie
for Flag Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The First Basil - Dinner in the Garden

Basil is a warm blooded herb
So I don't even plant my basil until June
When the soil is warm
And the days are warm.

Last Friday, I got it planted
And when I plant, I cut it back by about a third
So that it will bush out

This first "clipping" is my first basil harvest

Which I did today -- a nice harvest and I have only three plants!
I like large leaf basil -- the bigger the better
It makes pesto making easier -- if you have large leaves!

And what did we do with the basil?
Well, we enjoyed dinner in the garden

The blue and white transferware, of course
A white lace tablecloth and white linen napkins
And a centerpiece of white geraniums

A bottle of wine

And a plate of pasta
linguini with a sauce of fire roasted Muir Glen tomatoes and fresh garlic
A big shower of basil and a good sprinkle of Parm
A great meal for al fresco dining

And besides the pasta

We had a cherry tart with vanilla ice cream
I'd like to say it was homemade, but . . . 
well, a girl can't make everything can she!

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