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, September 30, 2015

A Fall Breakfast

Breakfast at Linderhof
(when it is just the two of us)
is always served in the breakfast room
at the old English walnut table

With a red damask cloth
The Johnson Brothers Indies
(which is our breakfast china)
The German silver
(our everyday cutlery)
And white linen napkins
(from Williams Sonoma)
(always in silver rings)
The centerpiece in fall is often a bowl of apples
These are green one in a crystal bowl

 Breakfast is White Gull Inn's Door County Cherry-Stuffed French Toast
Orange Juice
Freshly brewed coffee

The recipe in the White Gull Inn Cookbook,
a memento from our recent trip to Door County

Coffee is served in the Johnson Brothers Indies coffee pot
And syrup is served in the Johnson Brothers Indies gravy boat
It's as perfect for syrup (real Wisconsin maple syrup) as it is for gravy
(especially when you have biscuits for the gravy)

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

We Have A Winner!

I love to take photographs
For my blog and for my column

Photography is an art form and in some ways a more precise art form
than painting, drawing or watercoloring.

For you often have just one split second to capture that image
And then it may be gone forever.

While with paint or charcoal or watercolor,
you can add and subtract, fiddle until you think it is just right.

But you can't with photography.

An instant later the sun is not as intense,
the butterfly has flown away
It is not the same!

I take photos for my blog
One picture on my blog is probably 4 to 6 shots with the camera
I also take photos for my columns
in The Nevada Daily Mail and The Fort Scott Tribune
And again, the photos submitted with my column represent 4 to 6 shots
and I chose 2 to 3 of them.

You can do some editing on iPhoto, which can enhance the photo
But it doesn't alter it all that much.
It is what it is!

Our town has an art show in March
And for the last four or five years Husband Jim and I have entered
some of our photos.

I did get second place one year with a photo I took at St. Peter's in Rome
a woman praying at one of the altars.
Prayers perhaps for the Pope because he had just resigned.
It was a good picture but I think that perhaps the topic was more relevant than the picture.

And I did get honorable mention in another photo contest that I entered here in my
little town.

And I did sell one of my photos!

And I entered two this year
And again didn't place
But our photos are judged against professional photographers
Who have their photos often displayed on huge canvases.
It's a hobby with me and I don't want to spend $200 or $300 for an enlargement
for a contest!

Our Presbyterian Village has an
"Art is Ageless" Contest
And I entered that for the first time this year.

I found out this week that not only did I win
for "Best Photograph" at that location,
but that all first place winners are judged in the region
And I won


in the region!

The picture
(which didn't place in the Bourbon County Arts Council Show)

And my ribbon!
My first ever blue ribbon

It's my sheets on a line.
I think I took it for the blog
And liked it!

And entered it
In both contests!

I truly could see that framed picture on the wall of a laundry room.

I guess, since I have not only won prizes for my photography but actually have sold some,
and have my photographs in the paper every week, I could be considered a

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cookbook Book Club, Vol. IX - MEXICAN

Thursday night, the Cookbook Book Club met
And ate
And talked

The theme for Vol. IX was Mexican

Our menu:


Mexican Cheese Crackers
(my contribution -- a fun snack item and so easy!)

Avocado, Feta Salsa
Rhonda's appetizer.    Being avocado fans we all thought it was fresh and delicious!

The Meal:

Santa Clara Enchiladas
Jacki's wonderful authentic main course
(the hostess provides the main course)
even down to homemade chili sauce to go over!

Street Corn
Sarah's delightful side dish.
This dish has been all over pinterest lately
And I can see why -- it was so good!

Jicama Salad
Brought by Liz, fresh and refreshing and the perfect compliment to the spicy foods
Jicama (living in a little town on the prairie she had to substitute pear, orange and cucumber)
With chili powder for a little "kick"!

Layered Cornbread Salad
Michelle's salad was the prettiest presentation of the night!
Layered in a trifle bowl.   Pretty and delicious!

And the plate of food was perfect!

You do know that we draw for what we'll bring, we never discuss with the others what we're bringing
And it all fits together as if we did!

It's the pot luck rule, I suppose, 
For at a potluck with 10 people, you don't end up with 9 broccoli casseroles,
everyone brings something different!

Anyway, we feel lucky that it always works out
We have a delicious meal
And great conversation
Always way later than we intend!

And after that wonderful meal, there is always . . . 


Rita's contribution (Rita has had more than her share of bringing desserts --
but she is a master!)

She made them in individual ramekins
And although she's never made them before they were perfect!

We enjoy the Cookbook Book Club and are looking forward to Volume X

It will be at Linderhof
I'm trying to decide which entree to make!

Oh, and before I forget, although not really authentic Mexican
the crackers are good
And a nice snack to bring if you have an event that calls for you doing that.

They'll keep in the larder for a while if they're put in a cello bag.


1 small box White Cheddar cheese-its
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 package Taco seasoning mix (I used Old El Paso)
5 T. cilantro (fresh or dried -- I used fresh)

Put cheese-its in bowl, add oil and toss to coat all the crackers.     Sprinkle with taco seasoning mix and cilantro.    Toss again to make sure everything is well coated.     Spread on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 250 oven for 20 minutes.

Cool before serving.

Friday, September 25, 2015

MORE Crystals

Just when I thought Linderhof had all the crystals we could hold . . .

 Well, there is one more!

I should never go to
It's dangerous
For Wednesday night, Husband Jim pointed out an estate sale in the city
And I honed in on this!

I've wanted a pair "forever"
But they are too dear for my meager purse
Way too many zeros at the end of the price for me!

But I was in the city with friend Linda
For a needlepoint class and after the class, I asked if she was interested in going to an Estate Sale
She said yes and so off we went.

There they were -- dirty and reasonable.    Not too many zeros!
As nice as the rest of the things were, I'm sure they've been residing in a basement or attic for 
a long time!

I left them on the sideboard as I went and looked at the other stuff
And then I decided I was silly -- I did need to get them.
I've been wanting a pair forever
(although I would have settled on just one!)

So I ran back, they were still there and I grabbed them up and bought them!

It was a great sale and if I wasn't so focused and had more time . . .
But once I had them at the checkout, I was ready to go!

Today, I spent the day cleaning

The globes, the crystals and the lamps themselves.
They are beyond gorgeous!

Residing on the sideboard

Originally I thought that I wanted the pair on the mantle in the dining room . . .

But with last week's purchase of these candles . . . 
I left the candles where I put them originally
And put the lamps on the sideboard.

What do you think?
Should I put them on the mantle?
Or leave them on the sideboard?

The lamps are known as Argand lamps are originals are very old.
I'm not sure if these are really old originals or reproductions from the 1920s
They were some of the first nice lamps -- dating to the mid 1800s
And they burned whale oil instead of kerosene
Of course, when kerosene became lighting fuel of choice,
Argon's went the way of the buggy whip!

I'm bathing in the beauty of the crystals throughout Linderhof!

Monday, September 21, 2015


There are crystals at Linderhof . . . 
Some came with the house --

Like these in the living room

And these in the master bedroom
They're on sconces
Not original sconces but sconces added when the house was "updated"
in the 40s

I've got two sets --
which are on the fireplaces
in the living room
and in the bedroom!

And these crystals are on a pair of old lamps
(I at one time knew which kind but alas, I have forgotten)
The crystals are called "coffin" crystals
because they're in the shape of a coffin
This pair of lamps reside on an 1870s sideboard in the breakfast porch
And even though the lamps are 20th century, they look good on the 1870s piece

Funny crystals, these
They belong to a pair of lamps on my dressing table
Found long ago in a flea market in Bolivar
I also bought all of this type of crystal they had --
You never know when you make break one!

A 1920s version of an Argand lamp is what these crystals dangle from.
On the chest at the top of the stairs
It's our bedtime night light
Making the trip up the stairs safe when we finally decide to go to bed

Art Deco crystals, these, which belong to a pair of Fostoria candleholders.
One on each side of the sideboard in the dining room

And my latest crystals
Bought on our vacation to Door County last week
(I know, I bring home "different" souvenirs)
(No T shirts for me!)

Alas, the guest room
formerly Sarah's room
does not have any crystal bling!
(Should I rectify that?)

The pair of crystal candleholders that I brought home
On the dining room mantle
They're candle holders
so they do not need to be plugged in
(although there is a plug next to the mantle so lamps could be plugged in --
I've always hated to look at the cords snaking along the back of the mantle
(Except at Christmas when they're covered with greenery)
So I'd buy a pair, like them, but then eventually hate the cords
And move them
(which is why I have several pairs of lamps -- they were really bought for the dining room mantle!)

And these lamps are not just ordinary lamps
They're special --

They have writing on them
Which I can't make out
If you can figure it out, let me know
If I figure it out, I'll let you know.

One of the things we do like to do is visit antique malls when we travel.
My new crystal candleholders were found in a nice Antique Mall
just south of Egg Harbor
It's the blue one on the west side of the road.
The sign just said "Antique Mall" so if it has another name, I'm not sure what it is

But it really is a nice Mall . . . 
I could have bought more things!

It's Tuesday and I'm sharing my Crystals with Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Personal Mission

We just got home
From a short week trip to Minnesota
to visit the Grands
and then on to Wisconsin

We'd been there about 10 years before
For a night and loved it!
And so we went back
With four friends
And rented a house on Gill's Rock
At the very tip of Door County
(sort of like the "top of the Door"!)

A whole week . . . . on a deck
overlooking Lake Michigan

Door County is known for one thing

there you can find
Cherry Wine
Cherry Brandy
Cherry Cider
Cherry Juice
Cherry Jam
Just plain cherries
(in all size containers --
canned or frozen)

And, of course, 

Cherry Pie!

I made it my personal mission while I was there in Door County
to find the best cherry pie!

The first . . . 

Came from Seaquist Orchards

It's pretty with the heart decoration

And it certainly was the tallest of all the pies
And very very good!
The price for a whole pie -- $17.00

The second . . . 

Bea's Ho Made Products
Just up the road from our house
Walkable, actually, if anyone would want to walk after
consuming all those pieces of cherry pie!
(And besides the pies, she has the best bread and butter pickles too!)

Bea's -- looks homemade

A bit of sugar on the crust (like my Mom always did) but "flat" --
more like, well -- home made!

Not all my research was done on whole pies

We had lunch at The Cookery in Fish Creek

And for dessert . . .

Cherry Pie, of course
Big sprinkles of sugar on top
A more modern take on a classic!

And lastly, 

The White Gull Inn
Also in Fish Creek
Where we went for a Fish Boil

And after you finish all the fish and potatoes you can eat . . . 

They bring you a piece (a small piece) of cherry pie!
And ice cream!

While quite good, the ratio of cherry to filling was less
More like the filling you find in the cans of Wilderness Pie Filling!

And the winner?

Our of the six of us, five chose . . . 

And to make sure we were correct, we bought a second pie!
And finished that off in one night as well!

The lone dissenter who thought Seaquist was the best
thought we ought to try them side by side . . . 
For he was sure he was right!

Alas, we ran out of days . . .
That test will have to wait for another time!

However . . . 
In my opinion, the very best cherry pie

Is my own!
Using my Betty Crocker's recipe
and Childer's Cherries
Fresh Childer's Cherries!
(And actually, I do prefer a lattice crust!)


Your favorite crust for a two crust pie (homemade or the refrigerated Pillsbury ones)

1 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
6 cups cherries, pitted
2 T. butter

Put one pastry round in bottom of 9 inch pie plate.    In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/2 c. flour.   Stir in cherries.    Spoon into pastry lined pie plate.     Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over cherries.   Cover with top pastry that has slits in it (or make a lattice crust); seal and flute.    Cover edge with 2 to 3 inch strip of foil to prevent excess browning; remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.

NOTE:   I like to do as my mother did and sprinkle some sugar on top of the crust before I put it in the oven!

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Curtain Saga

Unlike the Forstyth Saga
The Curtain Saga
at Linderhof
is not about a family
But rather about windows

The windows of Linderhof . . .
And what hangs in front of them!

When we bought Linderhof 28 years ago
it came with curtains
Aqua semi sheer drapes in the living and dining room,
the downstairs hall, the guest room
white priscillas in the front bedroom
Some sort of curtains in the sunroom
And I think plastic curtains in the bathroom

Well, I had to change all of that!

And I felt that all of the windows in the whole house had to match!

So up went white lace curtains
(very reasonable at Wal Mart)
on all of the windows!

I somehow thought that all of the windows in the whole house
had to match!

The lace let in light but kept us private!
Kept us safe from prying eyes!

Then came Chapter Two of the Curtain Saga

We put drapes or "scarves" on top of all the lace curtains
Creating a layered look at the windows

A heavy layered look

Each room's drapes or scarves were more colored cued to the room decor
I thought it rather "elegant"

But then our Daughter, Sarah, reminded me that the look was rather "outdated"
Drapes and sheers (thought they were lace)
And so I took down the lace curtains
(and carefully boxed them up and put them in the attic)

Then we had the "color coordinated drapes"
in every room

Like these in the Master bedroom

Or these in the dining room

But then I decided that they were too heavy
And decided that I liked the look of blinds
White blinds to match the white woodwork
Bought and installed one room at a time

The blinds in the Master Bedroom

The blinds in the guest room

As much as I do like the blinds,
I found out that I was not a good blind cleaner
And as much as I like blinds,
I like clean blinds
Not dirty blinds

And since I felt that each room had to be the same . . . 

My next "every room the same" curtains were the linen ones from Ikea
A natural color linen that went with "everything"
Very good quality for the price
And they came per pair not per panel!

The linen curtains in the master bedroom and dressing room

Then I decided that each room really had its own personality
And "drapes" belonged in the living room
While the other rooms had "curtains"
Lace ones in the dining room
Short ones in the bedrooms and bath

I kept the Ikea linen curtains in the living room

Put lace curtains back in the dining room

Kept the Ikea curtains in the downstairs hall
Since it opens into the living room

I moved the master bedroom linen curtains to the sunroom
(where the windows had been bare before)
It's the yang to the Master Bedroom's yen!

I brought the white Priscillas back to the bedroom
(not the original ones, though, I seem to have gotten rid of those
somewhere along the line)

And even though the bedroom is open to the sunroom,
I like the mix  of frilly ruffly curtains with the linen and leather of the sunroom

The guest room got some Battenberg lace curtains that go up about 2/3 of the window
It's the guest room and more "casual"

The casement windows
(which are in the upstairs hall and sunroom and kitchen)
were left bare when I bought the linen curtains
I decided that I wanted curtains at those windows
(the Ikea linen curtains in the sunroom)
and these lace curtains in the upstairs hall
The kitchen windows still remain "necked"!
(But I'm thinking . . . . )

And just this week, I put up the final set of curtains
White dotted Swiss in the bathroom!

For the most part, curtains are much easier (in my opinion) to take care of 
than blinds, stay cleaner than the floor length linen curtains (dust gets in their hems)
and basically are wash and hang!

I like the old fashionedness of the lace in the dining room
(For that is what both my mother and grandmother had in their dining rooms)

Whomever picked out the Master Bedroom Wallpaper thought that white priscillas were perfect for that room and so I'm paying homage to their design

The more "formal" living room and sunroom
have the linen floor length curtains

As I go from room to room on a daily basis
Whether tidying or just getting something from a closet or drawer
I like the fact that the windows are different.

It makes me smile!