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.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Cookbook Book Club, Vol. VII - The Barefoot Contessa

Volume VII of the Cookbook Book Club
was one of my very favorite!

For it's theme was

The Barefoot Contessa

Ina Garten

And I wasn't the hostess
And it wasn't my choice
But I was elated when Hostess Sarah
chose my culinary hero!

I have, after all

 ALL of her cookbooks!

Including her latest . . . 

 Make It Ahead

The Menu:

Juice of Few Flowers Cocktail
If you haven't tried this cocktail yet, do
It is really good

In fact, all of Ina's cocktails are good!
Because they're all made from scratch
(and I simply adore her Cosmo!)


Ina's Roasted Shrimp

I agree with Liz who brought this dish that that is the only way
to cook shrimp!

Once I started cooking my shrimp this way, any other way
is "wimpy"!

The Entree:

That wonderful dish of spinach and feta cheese in phyllo dough
Sarah the hostess prepared the main dish
(as is our custom --
the hostess decides the theme, makes the cocktail and does the main dish)

Sides included

Angela's watermelon and feta salad
She substituted spring mix for the arugula that Ina called for
argugula is hard to find on our part of the prairie

Jacki brought Ina's Greek Salad.    All of the vegetables came from her farm garden
which made the salad even better!

Rita contributed Tomatoes Provencal
A perfect vegetable dish and paired well with Sarah's spanikopeta

And to finish:

Donna brought Ina's lemon bars.    They are like lemon bars on steroids.   They are so good!

Our custom is to draw "lots" to see who brings what.
The hostess provides cocktail and entree
The rest of us fill out the menu.
And we never discuss what we're brining.
And we've never had duplicates in the case two of us are bringing salads or vegetables.

It's like a potluck -- it all works out!

And we have some amazing meals!

Of all the things I'm involved in, this is one of my favorite because it is just an evening of fun, eating good food and having lively conversation!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lee and Grant

A story about the day that Lee (as in Robert E.) and Grant (as in Ulysses S.)
came to town!

The infamous McLean House
in Appomattox, Virginia

Where history was forever changed

For Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia
thus ending the War Between the States
that had been raging since 1861

In our little town, we were pleased

to have General Grant
who's strength was unwavering adherence to the strategic objective of neutralizing Lee's army


General Robert E. Lee
who's strengths were his resilience and the fierce devotion that he inspired in his men

visit our little town

Although it wasn't the Appomattox Courthouse

But rather Fort Scott National Historic Site

The generals talked

In many respects, the generals were similar . . . each labored under handicaps . . . Grant and Lee were about as evenly matched in military talent as any two opposing generals have ever been.

And discussed

And shook hands thereby ending the bloodiest battle in the history of the United States

Lee (General Robeert E.) as portrayed by Lane Smith
Grant (General Ulysses S.) as portrayed by Randal Durbin

A three scene play
Lee and Grant at Appomattox

These two gentlemen were so talented and were so into their characters
that I felt as if I had actually been there --
at the real Appomattox
and witnessed this historic event!

If you have a chance to hear them, do so.
If you're looking for a historic program, I highly recommend this one!
(to inquire about a program contact either Smith at or Durbin at

And after the program,
we retired to Linderhof
(friends Jack and Shirley Ann and Freida and Darrell)
for pie and coffee and chat
We were all pumped up over the program we had just seen!

And it's a great way to end the evening!

A blueberry cream tart and coffee!

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Lavender Tea

There is lavender the color
And lavender the plant
I'm not fond of the first
But I simply adore the second!

Bowls of lavender potpourri are on tabletops at Linderhof

And a basket of lavender bottles are in the bathroom
Ready to be tucked among the linens or "unmentionables"!

But besides lavender in the bath, the closet and the laundry,
we adore lavender in the kitchen

And lavender scones make a perfect nosh for afternoon tea!

Tea in the garden at Blue Row
Our house in the Cotswolds
An English Lavender Cream Tea!

Lavender Earl Grey Tea

And lavender scones with clotted cream and black currant jam!
Quite Tasty!

I decided to recreate that lavender tea at Linderhof
Inside rather than out!
Temperatures in the 90s and a heat index in the low 100s
one realizes that tea in an air conditioned breakfast room
Is so much better than a hot garden!

Lavender (and most herbs, actually) seem to go with fairies
And so my little fairy garden tree is the centerpiece
Wedgwood Asiatic Pheasant tea ware
And since we take it black
The sugar bowl is pressed into serve for the homemade lemon curd!

Homemade lavender scones
Homemade lemon curd
Earl Grey tea
(plain, unlike the lavender variety we had in England)

It makes a great respite on a hot and arid day!

It's Tuesday and I'm joining the following tea parties:     Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday and Bernideen for Friends Sharing Tea

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Heat Bound

As we are housebound in the winter
When it's snowy and cold out
We are equally housebound in the summer
When temperatures

Hover around 100
And the humidity makes it feel as if it is 20 degrees hotter!

Our beloved garden suffers . . . 
I'm a "fair weather" gardener I'm afraid.
Weeds don't get pulled
But the plants do get watered
Early in the morning
When humidity seems lower
And temperatures are still in the 80s

The rest of the day . . .
We tend to stay inside!

Being inside we turn the attention to the house
And closets, cabinets and drawers

The kitchen of Linderhof lacks drawers
We have 4
One silverware drawer with dividers which make it into four cutlery compartments
Two deep drawers and one skinny little drawer
Not many drawers -- not nearly enough drawers

To rectify that, I bought some wicker baskets and put them into one of the cabinets
Which holds things that don't fit into that skinny little drawer
Like the ice cream scoops, the cherry pitter, strawberry stemmer, apple corer

And we took out those compartments that made the cutlery drawer
into one big empty drawer
We should have done that twenty-seven years ago
when we first moved to Linderhof!

With a bamboo utensil holder, some wicker baskets, I reorganized that space!
A space for everything and everything in it's space
instead of all the forks in one bin, all the spoons in one bin and all the knives in another


With that drawer (and the rest of the drawers and baskets) in perfect order,
I turned my attention to the Larder

Some new jars, chalkboard labels to unify the old and new jars
I can see at a glance what I have and what I need!

Everything was taken out
Shelves were wiped down
All the jars, both new and old were washed and put back
(And rearranged somewhat)

It's nice as I start canning season to have everything so
easily available.

It was hot in the kitchen
(As I made mac and cheese for dinner --
Yes, mac and cheese should really not be a menu item on a 100 degree day)

But looking at the drawers all clean and tidy
(especially the utensil drawer)
and the larder are organized,
I may turn my attention to other closets, cabinets and drawers
(at least as long as the heat holds!)

It's Monday and I'm sharing my drawers and larder with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Met Monday.

And on Tuesday, I'm sharing with Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Summer Lunch

I love summer
Although the heat often drives us inside
(and we're as much housebound with the heat as we are with the snow and cold in the winter!)

But no matter what the temperature
I adore summer food
Fresh, local ingredients
Make the best food!

And this week was the July luncheon for
The Lunch Bunch
(plus one!)

In the dining room
Too hot to be out in the garden!

A lace cloth, white damask napkins in silver rings

Spode Blue Room plates

A centerpiece of garden flowers in a clear vase
Simplicity and Summer!

And a menu
Always a menu
A big one this time with a botanical of a tomato plant
(I adore botanicals!)

And for lunch?

Deep Dish Corn Quiche

Served with an herbed roll and roasted tomatoes (cherry, pear and grape) some from my garden

At the Farmer's Market Saturday, I found blackberries
So dessert was:

Blackberry Clafoutis

Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Which melted into the warm blackberry clafoutis!

The Plus One?

Facebook Friend Rachael
Who drove all the way from the City
for my tea program at the Fair!

How could I not invite her to come early and join us for lunch!

It was so nice to get to meet a new friend
We had a grand time and because of the program
We couldn't linger over lunch!

Perhaps next time!


1 pie crust (your own, Pillsbury, whatever)
2 ears fresh corona the cob
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 red bell pepper (or green if you don't have the red)
1 T. fresh oregano (or 1 t. dried)
1 cup cooked dice ham
8 eggs
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
2 c. grated cheese
Preheat oven to 400
Roll out the pastry and put it into an 8 inch fluted deep dish quiche pan. Freeze the pastry lined pan for at least 30 minutes.
Cut the corn off the cob. Finely chop the onion, bell pepper, add oregano. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and salute vegetables and ham over medium heat. Add oregano. Remove from heat and cool for about 10 minutes.
In a bowl, beat together the eggs and cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the chilled quick pan on a baking sheet. Spread the corn mixture evenly over the bottom. Cover with the grated cheese and then carefully pour over the egg mixture. Bake for about 50 minutes until the cheese melts and the top starts to turn golden. Serve immediately.

4 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 c. ground almonds
2 T. flour
1 t. bkaing powder
1/2 c. sugar
zest of 1 lemon
4 medium eggs
1 1/4 c. whipping cream
Preheat oven to 325
Grease a 10 inch round ovenproof dish nd scatter the blackberries over the bottom. In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds, flour, baking powder, sugar and lemon zest.
In another small bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing together until well combined. Carefully pour the batter over the blackberries.
Bake for about 35 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream

It's Thursday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday and on Friday I'm sharing it with Michael at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Shop Local!

Living in a little town
shopping is limited!

We have "The Walmart"
And a few brave merchants
Who have invested both their money and time
in our town.

And so, when we shop, we first like to

Shop Local

It keeps our money in our little town,
our sales tax comes back to our city
rather than going to some other community!
That is a good thing!

Our very favorite place to shop is
The Iron Star

Picture is taken at our local Good Ol Days festival where Barbara brings her wares out to the sidewalk to sell!
The shop is in the background!
Owned and run by friend, Barbara

In looking around the house, I can believe how many of my treasures 
came from The Iron Star!

The Wardrobe and the Rocking Chair
I was in search of a wardrobe and found it at Barbara's
The chair, not really, but who could pass up that magnificent chair?

The little cream holder for the flowers
Just a perfect touch for that table!

A small set of Old Paris, which included the teapot, sugar and cream, and lots of cups and saucers and a goodly amount of tea plates!

After blue and white my second love is gold and white
And the age on these . . . 
A true treasure!

The baker's rack
bought originally for the breakfast room
When we found a different piece, it moved outside
And makes a cool focal point on the patio!

And our upstairs window box is filled with Iron Star silks -- because it's too shallow
to hold real plants!

Somehow, I always seem to find something there every time I go in!

And Barbara and I like to chat
(if there are no other customers!)

And we share recipes!

The latest . . . 

Great Plains Slaw


Gateau au Chocolat
(or a fancy name for chocolate cake!)

Barbara likes to garden as well
And if we're not talking about food, we're talking about gardens!

Not only is is a neat place to shop but it's a neat place to visit!

Thanks, Barbara, for all the treasures
And for your commitment to our little town!

And thanks, too, for sharing the recipes!

1 head red cabbage
1 pound bacon
1/2 c. walnuts
2 T. butter
1/2 t. rosemary (I used fresh so used a bit more)
Julienne cabbage. Brown bacon, drain and crumble. Salute walnuts in butter and rosemary. Toss all with vinaigrette
1 c. olive oil
1/3 c. salad oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, mined
6 oz. Dijon
2 eggs, beaten
ground pepper
Whisk together and pour over cabbage, bacon and walnut mixture.
Why it's called "Balsamic" vinaigrette, I'm not sure -- there is no Balsamic vinegar in it! It also is noted that it needs to be tossed together right before serving or the cabbage wilts!


2 sticks butter
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
l cup sugar
1/2 c. espresso coffee
1 t. vanilla
4 eggs

Melt sugar, chocolate and butter together.    Stir in coffee and vanilla.    Let cool.    Stir in beaten eggs.    Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.    The middle will not appear to be done, but it will set up overnight in the refrigerator.

Frost with whipped cream that has been sweetened with powdered sugar, flavored with vanilla.     Sprinkle whipped cream with toasted slivered almonds or decorate with candied pansies.

Friday, July 17, 2015

They Say It's Your Birthday!!!!

We're celebrating today!

Cupcakes for all!

It's Lucy's second birthday!

As well as her birthday buddy and friend,


Who IS NOT celebrating her

birthday today!

But the 100th anniversary of her second birthday
(or so says Dylan DiPoochy!)

Happy Birthday -- to the dearest Grand Girl in the whole world


Happy Birthday to a dear friend . . . 

(And I don't really believe it is the 100th anniversary -- I think Dylan was counting in dog years!)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A More Summery Guest Room

The Guest Room
Daughter Sarah's room when she was in school
Now the least used room in our house
Although we do use the closet
And although we do store gifts and wrapping papers in the drawers of the wardrobe
It's a room that we do not enter on a daily basis
But we still view it from the hall every time we go upstairs!
And so it must be pleasing to the eye!

With linen curtains
And a linen covered duvet on the bed
Warm and cozy

But it's been in the upper 90s on the prairie
We want cool
Cool and inviting!

And so we changed things a bit

The matlesse spread without the duvet
And the linen curtains down
and white cotton batten burg lace curtains inside the windows.

It looks cooler!

The window seat
full of my needlepoint pillows!
It overlooks the garden
But, alas, the roof of the breakfast room is really what you see!

With the batten burg curtains and the plethora of needlepoint pillows

I don't normally change things from winter to summer and back again
But somehow, the guest room seemed to just need a change!

I do think it's more welcoming now!
A place to welcome both grand girl Lucy and The Expected One!
There's even a rocking chair for rocking little ones!