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 28, 2015

The Muffin and I

We grew up eating English muffins
Not everyday but every once in a while
Big, thick, chewy English muffins
full of "nooks and crannies"
Which filled with the melted butter
Which sometimes oozed down your chin.

And the muffins all came from this store

A Kansas City grocery store 

And on the Plaza

The muffins were very tall and always packed four
to a package!
Never six like other muffins
But crumb for crumb, those four were equal to the six of most other brands!

Besides the muffins, they made cookies and breads
And the downtown store had the
Tiffin Room
where a mother would take a little girl for lunch
But only if she behaved herself.

All things come to pass
And one by one, the supermarkets saw the demise of Wolferman's

But the muffins
Those English muffins were popular
And so the factory that made them stayed in business
and shipped the muffins to stores and doors.

And there was a retail shop
A Seconds shop

We'd go there often and stock up.

Then it was sold
Then it was sold again to Williams Chili Seasoning
(Another Kansas City Company)
And the Seconds Shop continued to operate

Then they were sold again
I think to Sara Lee

And Sara Lee sold them to
Harry and David

When Sara Lee bought the muffin brand,
the Retail Shop closed

We could find them occasionally in stores in Kansas City
(And actually for a while, we could find them here on the prairie!)

But there is always mail order
And I would order them

For I will not eat any other muffin!
Absolutely!    Never!

When a catalogue arrived in the post,
I decided to place an order

And they came!    A much wanted box on the front porch!

Inside --

Six packages of delicious muffin goodness
The original brand
I'm a purist and won't eat any other kind
No blueberry, no cinnamon for me!

In the old days, when they were priced 3 packages for $1
This would have been $2 worth

Not so now!

Tomorrow, I shall enjoy an English muffin for breakfast
And hopefully, the butter won't drip down my chin!

And I think that I shall make a regular order
To always have Wolferman muffins in the house!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cookbook Book Club, Vol. 3, Irish

We had our third Cookbook Book Club meeting tonight
The theme was

The hostess had this little guy waiting for us

To welcome us to her house.

Our social hour as we got things ready
(and sipped a Guinness or two)

We started with Angela's apps

Brussels sprouts stuffed with cheese and wrapped with bacon

The cheese and spinach on rye crackers

My salad
(and believe me, Irish food and salad are one of those
"don't compute" statements

A dressing of egg yolk, sugar, vinegar, mustard and cream
Lettuces, beets, scallions, hard boiled eggs, radishes and tomatoes
form the basis of the salad.
It was delicious!

Jacki's Pork Roast

Cooked in Jameson Whisky -- how bad can that be?

Sarah's cabbage 

With bacon and leeks and brown bread crumbs.

Michelle's potatoes

Mashed with butter and buttermilk and chives
Real potato goodness

Donna's Soda Bread

With and without (raisins)
I've had too much soda bread that was like a big dry biscuit
Donna's was perfect, moist, breadline and yummy!
Her recipe may replace mine that I've had "forever"
It was that good

Rita's Cupcakes

How wrong can you go with chocolate and booze?
A deep chocolate cupcake with beer in the batter, Jameson in the ganache filling and Bailey's in the frosting!

Liz's apple cake

Served with a custard.   It was yummy and it, too, had Jameson in it!

Donna's cookies

Donna brought these cutout green pistachio cookies.
They would be perfect for afternoon tea!

Most of the conversation turned to food and we all discussed our recipes.
Where we found them, how we made them and would we do them again.
All of us said that we would make our recipe again!
And I would definitely make all of the recipes.
The meal was that good!

A big Thank You to Rita for hosting tonight's event.
We're looking forward to April when our theme will be Church Cookbooks
I'm thinking that perhaps there may be some recipes featuring canned soup or jello!

It's Foodie Friday and I'm sharing our Cookbook Book Club, Vol. 3, Irish Dinner with Michael at Rattlebridge Farm

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bunny Brunch 2015

Easter and Spring is ideal time to have guests over for brunch.
And this week, the Lunch Bunch
(which should be called for this Tuesday the Brunch Bunch)
came for Brunch!

It's to Holy Week
but it is close to Easter
so an Easter (Bunny) theme seemed appropriate.

In the dining room 
with a Quaker Lace tablecloth

A silver basket filled with white hyacinths
(which smell heavenly)
bookended on either side by a "chocolate" rabbit
(Bought years and years apart --
the first one at an after Easter sale at a Posh Plaza store
the second years and years later at a shop here in our little town)
And a scattering of eggs
(really Easter malted milk balls!)

It's Spring,
the beloved blue and white is not on the table today
But the Pembroke for it's colors and flowers and bird
seems so like spring!
A white damask napkin in a silver ring
Jim's grandmother's cutlery

A menu, of course
And a ribbon tied sack of Easter treats for each guest

A pansy on the butter

And the Brunch Menu?

An asparagus quiche and a salad of citrus and olives with a
sprinkling of oil and vinegar

"Bunny" muffins
My mother's name for carrot muffins served at Eastertide
The recipe from Mimi's Restaurant
Taken from the website when they offered the recipe
(they don't any longer -- so it is a revered recipe!)

And the best part of Brunch
It's breakfast mostly
But it's breakfast with dessert
(that's the difference between a big breakfast and a brunch!)

It's Easter and our dessert reflected the season --

Easter egg cakes on a bed of Grand Marinered fruit.

It's an old Martha Stewart recipe
And it is so clever -- but it's also good!

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

Monday, March 23, 2015

The FIRST Tea in the Garden -- 2015

In 2013

We welcomed Spring with this!
Eight inches or so of snow on that first day of Spring

In 2015
the week leading up to Spring was warm, unseasonably warm
but on Thursday -- the Eve of the Spring Equinox
it turned colder and rainy

But on March 20, the sun came out and it warmed up
And we celebrated!

With tea in the garden
The first garden tea of 2015!

A simple tea of strawberry madeleines
for to us Spring signifies strawberries
(although Prairie strawberries aren't ready till May)
the silver pot
and the best blue and white tea ware
(Spode Camilla)
because it was a celebratory tea!

Madeleines filled with strawberry puree
and sprinkled with powdered sugar
And a few strawberries on the plate
Just because!

Tea in the garden
On the prairie
On the first day of Spring!

The first of many garden teas this year!

The madeleines are good and simple!


1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 t. lemon zest
1/2 c. strawberry puree (1 cup strawberries with 1 T. sugar whizzed in a blender)
9 T. butter, melted and cooled
red food color (optional)
1/2 t. strawberry flavor (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.    Grease two 12 whole madeleine pans with butter or non stick spray.    (Or you can use mini muffin pans or muffin tins)

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and keep aside.

In a bowl of the mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar with the lemon zest.    Once the sugar is fragrant, add the eggs and beat until light and ribbon like, about 5 to 8 minutes.    Fold in the flour, a little bit at a time.    Add the melted butter and mix until well combined.    Add the strawberry puree, flavoring and coloring (if using) and mix gently until well combined.

Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Remove from the fridge after 30 minutes.    Drop by spoonfuls into the madeleine pans.    Place in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until madeleines and risen and firm.    Cool on a wire rack and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Spring

It's Spring!!!!

Although the blooms in the garden
are planted

It's nice to see flowers
for today --

It is Spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

One Table -- Two Parties

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day.   I day I wholeheartedly embrace!   Although I'm not even a tad Irish.   The traditional food are things I love and it's nice to be celebrating something before Spring -- especially if we've had a bad winter!

For the past several years I've asked my Irish friends to join me for lunch.   If I'm not Irish, at least I can surround myself with the Irish!

Rather than an "everything" green menu, I chose to fix foods that might be found in a traditional farmhouse in Ireland.

And that goes for the table too -- a classic table that an Irish hostess may use.

This year, however, the table had to do double duty -- because I had guests for lunch and dinner!

The luncheon table -- lace tablecloth, blue and white transferrer, Jim's grandmother's cutlery, white damask napkins.

A big bouquet of frilly white tulips as the centerpiece.    White because they were just so pretty!   In a simple crystal ice bucket.

The Spode transferrer, a menu and a bag of Shamrock cutouts as a favor.  

The salad was set before the guests.    A kale, apricot and almond salad with an Amber Ale vinaigrette.    The kale held up well to the bold vinaigrette.

A shepherd's pie with minced lamb and a cheddar and ale scone.   Parsley is replacing a shamrock on top of the pie.

And the dinner table -- same cloth, same flowers, candles added (because it is evening) and shamrock cutouts at only the lady's places!     Irish soda bread and horseradish sauce on the table.    Same cutlery.    Same napkins.

Dinner is corned beef and cabbage.    Served family style.    Two big platters so that each end of the table had their own platter.    It's easier that way when you serve family style to make two smaller platters rather than one huge one!

An Irish whisky cake was dessert both at lunch and dinner.    For luncheon, I baked them in individual bundts.    For dinner, it was baked in the small bundt.    It's a good cake.    I will make it again and it's an easy cake.    Made the day before so that the Irish whisky flavor could develop.    Served with a big dollop of whipped cream.

And after dinner an after dessert . . .

We had an Irish coffee.    A jigger of Jameson in the bottom of the cup, a sugar cube muddled into the whisky and then hot coffee poured in and topped with whipped cream!

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

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reprise - A St. Patrick's Tea

St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow.    I've got dessert made for both luncheon and dinner and the Irish soda bread is in the oven and the cookie dough for shamrock cutouts is in the fridge.    But it is the 16th!   Not the 17th.    Alas, teatime this afternoon was shortbread and a cup of P G Tips, taken rather quickly for I needed to be back in the kitchen.

But today is Teatime Tuesday and Friends Sharing Tea and I so wanted to share an Irish tea -- it is so close.    So I went to my archives and found this delightful tea from 2010 -- A St. Patrick's Tea with two close friends!

It's Saint Patrick's at Linderhof and two friends have joined me for tea. An Irish Tea!

With my Emile Henry teapot (it's not Irish but is' green!) and an English tea set that is actually a pretty pale green and white -- not the beige and white that it looks here.

An English pearl handled dessert fork and a linen napkin. Irish styled lace covers the table.

Flowers -- pink rather than green. Flowers rather than shamrocks but in a Waterford vase.

Cups of cups of Irish breakfast tea were sipped while we enjoyed the chocolate and Guinness cake. In the background, soft British folk songs by the Kings Singers.

It was an Irish sort of day at Linderhof on this March 17th.      And although none of us are really Irish, we did feel like we were in Ireland this afternoon.

Tomorrow -- I'm having company for lunch and company for dinner -- different menu for each (but the same dessert only in a different form!)  

But between, I'll take time for tea -- tea for me with a pot of Irish breakfast tea and two of the Shamrock cookies.    They'll be my hostess favors for my luncheon guests and for my lady dinner guests.

It is Tuesday and I'm joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday and with Bernideen for Friends Sharing Tea and Ruth for Tuesday Cuppa Tea

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pansy Perfection

It was a great week on the prairie!    From last week's 5 inches of snow and ice and miserable temperatures to this week real "Spring" weather!    And the hardware store had pansies!    I bought a flat -- as I always do!

They are such harbingers of Spring . . . and if we get another cold spell, the pansies will survive!   

Kitten faced pansies in the planters at the front of the house.    The chippy iron planters that DH wants to paint and I want to leave "as is"!

The Amish wooden planter on the brick wall on the north side of the house.   Yellow violas and kitten faced pansies (which are not in bloom yet).

My second favorite place for pansies -- the window box under the kitchen window.    It's one of my favorite planters for both pansies and the begonias of summer!

The faux bois planter.    Some yellow and purple kitten faced violas and an iron rabbit (which is really a bank).

In the center of the herb garden, the old metal fountain basin is filled with pansies (and the thyme bed around the basin is filled with leaves!   I should have removed them before I took the picture!)

Even the farie garden has pansies.     The farie's have been busy in their garden as well.    They need some creeping thyme for their garden.    I'll have to pick some up next time I go to Red Cedar.

I simply adore pansies and this time of year, they do make one yearn for Spring!    And when the pansies come, can spring be far behind?