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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Afternoon Tea

Every afternoon, at half past three
I stop for a cup of tea

And sometimes I have someone join me

Which makes for a special tea
With a special tea treat!

A blackberry ricotta cake

The perfect cake filled with Farmer's Market blackberries
(frozen last summer -- sigh -- the last of them)
The recipe comes from one of my best recipe sources, 
Mary from One Perfect Bite

A slice of cake
A cup of tea

It was a special tea
And I used my Old Paris
I love the bigger cups, the really deep saucers
(for 1860's china had deep saucers -- so you could pour your beverage into them to cool it off)
And the teapot.
A white china with gold trim
(one of my other loves!)

We ate an visited and sipped cups and cups of tea!

Mary's cake was made with raspberries but I made mine with blackberries.
Here is her recipe.

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

Saturday, April 25, 2015

New Needlepoint Pillows!

I adore needlepoint
And I adore working on needlepoint
Idle hands, after all, are the devil's work!
And it makes road trips go by faster when you stitch away!

Christmas 2012, this was one of my Christmas presents from Husband Jim and Daughter Sarah
I was working on something else and so it sat in a drawer
Waiting . . . 

I finally finished that needlepoint and started on it and because I don't needlepoint constantly,
it does take me a while to finish a project!
But that's good -- for needlepoint pillow canvases are pricey!

And before Spring, I finished it!
And took it to Mary to work her magic.

I brought it home today
And I must say

That it looks smashing in one of the wing chairs!

My needlepointing has two phases --
phase one which was before Sarah was born
And phase two which started in 2011

And as things come and go,
I decided that needlepoint was "old hat" and so those projects I did
BSWB I stored away

And then came Phase Two
I got them out again
And they are displayed around the house on chairs and windswept

In cleaning, however, I found one that I had finished but never did anything with
It, too, went to Mary so she could work her magic!

And it cam home with the other
A magnolia -- in pinks and blues and whites

Perfect for the Master bed!

To keep an Asian inspired pillow 
(also in pinks and blues) company!

The needlepoint I did BSWB is timeless, I think
And I love each piece that I did
But for Phase Two of my needlepointing hobby,
I have a rule --
Only one canvas at a time
I buy another canvas only when I'm almost done . . .
That way I don't have a stash of projects I never get around to
(like I did when I stopped needlepointing when Sarah was small)
that I sell really cheaply at a garage sale!

There is good news and bad news about needlepointing as a hobby
The bad news is that it is really expensive to buy a canvas --
really expensive
The good news is that normally it takes me so long to finish one
that the "per month" cost of entertainment makes it a reasonable hobby!

And I love the different patterns and colors of the pillows
And the styles -- reflecting the time in which they were stitched!

I do, however, find time to stitch Lucy a Christmas ornament every year
It's tradition!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cookbook Club Vol. 4 Church Cookbooks

The Cookbook Book Club met tonight
Volume 4:   Church Cookbooks

The spread on the table -- it looks like a church potluck doesn't it?

The various dishes makes for a nice plate of food.
The entree was meatloaf -- and I forgot to get it's "beauty shot"
It was delicious!


Cucumber Sandwiches


Sweet and Sour Carrots


Broccoli Salad


Harvest Potatoes


 Scalloped Corn


Angel Biscuits


Black Forest Cheesecakes

Coconut Crunch

It was a great meal.    And like potlucks, even though we have more than one bringing vegetable and dessert, we never seem to have "duplicates"!    And we don't discuss what we're bringing either -- it just happens -- Of course, with church potluck dinners, I always felt that there was divine intervention to keep us from having a "all green bean" dinner!

We discussed our various cookbooks, we discussed why we chose the recipe that we chose and we talked about things not food related.     It's a good group of women, all who have an interest in food!

I'll share one recipe with you -- for the coconut crunch.    It was good.    Even as full as we were after dinner, we all took full size helpings!     Thank you friend Rita, I'm sure that it will be made again!


2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
2 c. flaked coconut
2 boxes vanilla pudding
whipped topping

Mix flour, brown sugar, butter and coconut together.    Place in a large pan (9 x 13) and bake at 300 for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until browned.    Cool.

Prepare pudding according to package directions.    Place 2/3 of coconut mixture in a 9 x 13 pan.   Top with pudding and whipped topping.    Sprinkle remaining coconut mixture on top.    Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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


This is why we plant bulbs in the fall

The breakfast table
with an old blue pitcher filled with tulips
an Asian cup which holds a wee orchid, a Waterford salt and pepper
And the blue lined silver basket full of sugar cubes

Add a pitcher of cream
And the jam jar

And you're ready for breakfast!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


We arrived home from Minneapolis to find Dolly

 Dolly, the Corgi with a cough
It only got worse and we took her to the vet on Thursday.
A shot and pills to take home
She seemed better . . . 

And then Friday, she was really lethargic
And gasping for air
So I called the vet and we loaded her in the car
(for she didn't have the strength to climb in herself)
and took her.

We left her
It's always sad to leave a pet
For we knew that Dolly was really sick and hoped that the vet could perform her miracles.

Later that afternoon we took Doogie for his scheduled shot and mani/pedi
Dolly was some better
We could take her or leave her

I chose to leave her

And then we had a long weekend
Of not hearing from the vet (good news?)

Yesterday, I went out
She was better
So much better than Friday
And I sat in an exam room and got corgi kisses
The vet, however, said she needed quiet and would like to keep her another day

So I came home, alone.

Doogie, smelled my pant legs, smelling his buddy Dolly

And then he sat in front of me and "talked"
I know he was asking where she was!

I picked her up today!

She's home
On bedrest
Only to go out on a leash
No excitement for 48 hours
Oh, and I have another sack of pills for her!

The diagnosis?


It will be good when we come home to Linderhof

To see the corgi waiting for us at the gate!

A big thank you to Dr. Jenny at All Creatures for taking such good care of her.    It was rough Friday -- she was one sick pup.

She's napping now.    Doogie's napping now for his Dolly is home!

And for the next two days, it will be as if we didn't have a doggie door!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


One of my favorite magazines

I was a "Charter Subscriber"
and I savor (and save) each copy.

Imagine my surprise, when inside, I found this

"The Bluebird of Happiness"

 Aynsley's Pembroke!

They showed it as a casual table scape.

They showed it as an Elegant table scape.

The copy said that:

Ansley's pretty Pembroke pattern has been around for 30 years, a respectable age for any china pattern.    But this delicate design of bluebirds and pink camellias is actually based on a pattern that was created much earlier, when founder John Aynsley was still at the helm of this 240 year old china company.     Pembroke reflects the 18th century fascination with birds and exotic plants newly imported from Asia.

I beg to differ on the 30 years.    For it was closer to 40 years ago that I first saw Pembroke at Thomas Pharmacy in Nevada, Missouri.    Half was a pharmacy and half was a gift shop.    An elegant gift shop.    For the brands it carried were Wedgwood and Waterford, Aynsley and Noritake.   In those years, it was the place where brides went to register their patterns.

I'd look at the china and dream about Pembroke.    I loved the 18th century style of it and thought it one of the most beautiful patterns ever.

But I never bought any.
Instead, Husband Jim and I picked out Wedgwood Runnymeade Blue as our 
"good" china.

Above, we've set a classic tea table with Pembroke.    A white damask tablecloth echoes the floral motifs on the translucent bone china plates, and blue napkins, trimmed in lace, pick up the pastel shades of blue and green in the bluebird that adorns each plate.

And with my Pembroke, I set a duplicate table.
My napkin is a bit different but it's blue, and my silver is plainer (but it's Jim's grandmothers)

A few years ago, I found some Pembroke on eBay and bought it.
for the Wedgwood left home when Daughter Sarah married.
She loved the china, she'd get the china eventually and instead of buying
something for her wedding and then getting the Runnymede . . . later, we gifted her with the Wedgwood as her engagement present.

So when I found some Pembroke on eBay, I decided that I still loved the pattern as much as I did in the 70's.    And I bought it!

Last year, last January, actually, a friend and I went to the town 40 miles east of here.
There was a great flea market we were told and on the way into town,
we stopped at a smaller flea market a block or so off the highway.

There . . . I found an almost complete set of Aynsley Pembroke

for $40
for all!

$40 for all
Eight plates, 8 cups and saucers, 8 salad plates, 8 bread and butter plates, 3 cream soup bowls and saucers and 8 fruit bowls.

And I passed it by!

But I had been cleaning, my china cabinets were full.
And what did I need with all that china!

For I had grandmother's Noritake as my "good" china!

Once home, I rearranged the china cabinet
Found that, indeed, I had room for all those pieces

And so the next week, I went over, determined to buy.

If it wasn't there -- it was meant to be that I not have it.
If it was --
Well, I may have just gotten the china deal of the century!

I ran to the back booth where the china was
And it was there!!!!
And it came home with me!

The back stamp of the china indicating that it was made in the 21st century

The two Pembrokes

The newer on the left
The older on the right
(which dates to the turn of the century)
They're almost 100 years apart in manufacture!

I'm more enamored with the older china
(But the Pembroke I fell in love with all those years ago
was really the newer one)

The cups are different
New on the left and older on the right
The pattern on the newer is on the outside of the cup
While on the older it is on the inside!

And the mark on the older
Doesn't mention "Pembroke" and if you look on eBay to find it,
it's often listed under 5683.

I do love my Pembroke
Both the new and the old

And whenever I serve an elegant tea,
it's my pattern of choice!
And I do favor the older cups.
Something about getting to the bottom of your cup and finding the bird inside!

And we have more Pembroke at Linderhof . . .

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi

perhaps my love of Pembroke Corgi's fuels my love for Aynsley's Pembroke!

It's Thursday, and I'm sharing my Pembroke with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.    I think this is the first time I've set a table and haven't eaten off of it!
But it was fun to recreate the layout in Tea Time Magazine!

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Long Weekend With Lucy

We're basking in grandparent glow!
We just got back from Minnesota
And a visit with grand girl Lucy
(and her parents -- Daughter Sarah and her Andy)

Lucy when her mother said that Nana and Mr. Scott were going to visit!

Our purpose --
to babysit so that Sarah and Andy could go out to dinner and a live show.

Of course, that babysitting comes with a four or five day stay!
(perhaps paying someone to babysit would be cheaper!)

I must say that in the 40 years since Sarah was small
things haven't changed all that much . . . 

Children can still be entranced by television --
Only now it's on demand and "Frozen" can be watched over and over and over again
(unlike when Sarah was small and you were at the mercy of whatever was one!)

But we only watched it once . . . 
Then we had dinner (ask me how many meatballs a little girl can eat)

And then Lucy and Mr. Scott watched Mr. Peabody and Sherman!

We didn't intend it to be a television night but it was!

But we did other things . . . 

Planted flowers

Ate cookies!
(She loves Nana cookies!)
(And Nana lets her have a cookie for breakfast --
but that's a Nana prerogative!)

And Mr. Scott read to her
Book after book after book after book!

She loves books!

It's good to be back home.
Dolly and Doogie really thought we were gone for good
And were so happy to see us again
(Lots of licks and wiggles)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Master Gardener . . . In Training

We've been visiting grand girl Lucy
(and her parents)
in Minnesota the last week

It's in Minnesota
And you've heard of the
"Duluth Trading Company"?
Well, although we were in Minneapolis and not Duluth,
we did go by their brick and mortar store

My purchase?

 My pair of 2015 gardening gloves
Only $4.95!

And I put them to use before I got home

For it's every Nana's responsibility to teach their grandchildren about gardening
(My grandmother taught me)

And she helped me plant the pansies for the flower box in front

Pretty pansies
(That got a good watering from the rain tonight!)

That will look pretty in a week or so
When they perk up and start to grow.
(I felt today as if I were in Kansas --
the wind blew so!   It certainly took a brave pansy
to withstand the drying winds of this afternoon)

Friday, April 10, 2015

The April Garden

This year the garden has to be one of the prettiest.
Tulips that didn't bloom last year are in full bloom
And jonquils 
(which I did plant last year)
and pansies and grape hyacinth
(why didn't I plant more of those?)

The herb garden centered with the fountain
now used as a planter

The thatched roof bird table!
A busy place for our feathered friends

And the fairy garden
It's in bloom as well
(and it needs some grape hyacinths for next year!)
(The fairies even have a little red roof potting shed similar to the one in Linderhof's garden)

And those tulips!

They are spectacular this year!

And don't tell, but the lilacs are budding!

Soon Linderhof will be filled with flowers again!