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.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

Welcome 2016!

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.    Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind, For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in navyress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

We at Linderhof wish you and yours

A Very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 - The Year In Review


2015 marked the 15th year that the Lunch Bunch joined me for our monthly lunch.
In January, it was my annual paper white luncheon.
We've had lots of good food, tried hundreds of new recipes
And we can't imagine a month without our third Tuesday get togethers!


Afternoon tea is usually taken in the breakfast room.
With the blue and white (most often Spode)
A friend suggested the receipt for Nordstrom's lemon ricotta cookies
And they were superb.
Now I wonder why I haven't made them again!


In 2013, we had snow in March
In 2014, we're taking tea in the garden!
Prairie weather is so fickle!
Strawberry madeleines were perfect for a garden tea!


My needlework of choice is needlepoint and it is always a red letter day when I finish a canvas.
It's more of a red letter day when Mary calls and says that my pillow is ready!
This canvas, a Christmas gift from Husband Jim
A definitely thoughtful gift!
(and he found out how expensive my hobby really is!)


I don't put up food to take us through the winter as my great grandmother did,
but I do like to put tastes of summer in jars for winter use.
Because it is just better!
Strawberry jam seems to be the start of the canning season.
Fresh and local strawberries.
Make the best jam!


Daisy Dawg came to join our family this summer.
She's still a bit shy but she's warming up to us
(and spends less time hiding in corners when we have company)
She's a sweet dog, she and Doogie are pals
And she, like Doogie and Dolly before her is a rescue!


Piper Elizabeth managed to enter this world in July 
Another grand girl to love and spoil
A girl of giggles and smiles.
A happy baby!


Four other Master Gardeners and I did trials of tomato plants for K State Research.
It was fun and I learned a lot.
To celebrate, I invited the "Tomato Girls" to lunch
A lunch of all tomato foods from soup to dessert!
It was fun and you really didn't feel as if you had just eaten three courses of tomatoes.
The tastes were so different!


We went to Door County in Wisconsin for a week
I came home with a cookbook and served this wonderful French toast for breakfast one morning.


Daughter Sarah asked me to make Lucy a Halloween costume again --
Alice in Wonderland
Piper, she said, could wear the black cat that Lucy had worn
But Nana had other ideas and a White Rabbit costume was mailed to Minnesota
in time for Halloween.
Sarah was pleased and surprised!


Our 46th Anniversary was on Thanksgiving
The day after, this lovely piece came home
My anniversary present!


Christmas at Linderhof
isn't complete without the Magical City of Scott
Lucy is mesmerized.
She loved to pick up the "snow" and make it snow and move the trolley and cars along the roads.
We let her,
We are grandparents, after all!
Daughter Sarah would never had been allowed to do that!

It was a good year at Linderhof
We're looking forward to 2016!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Five SILVER Rings . . .

Not the Christmas song . . .
And not golden . . .
But silver rings
Napkin rings

A Christmas present from a dear friend
An engraved English napkin ring
dated 19 December 1875
(not quite Christmas, but close!)

Most of the napkin rings live on top of the china cabinet

They're handy and they lend a nice "sparkle" to the dining room

The Five Silver rings
are not just part of my collection
But very special rings

Five of them!

My first two
Eva and Mary's rings
Bought (along with a couple of others)
at an antique store in Las Vegas
for a ridiculously low price
(It always pays to ask for something you don't see . . .
"Do you have any napkin rings?" ask I
And the owner rooted around in her back room
And came up with these and a couple of others.
I was beyond happy!

I'm not sure where I got the one on the left, but it was my third
The one on the right came from a trip to Cape Cod and has a full name
(both first and last) and is dated 1869

Now I have four

And as a hostess gift, friend Kate gave me this wonderful ring
to give me five Christmas rings!

I'm sharing my napkin rings with Marty at A Stroll Thru Life and with Michael at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Magical City of Scott

Many years ago, we bought a few lighted houses
a line called "Snow Village" by Department 56.

Husband Jim had always wanted a lighted village.

And like Topsy, it grew and grew

Until it filled all these bins!

In December, last year and this,
we've given up our breakfast room

For it becomes Scott City
(as we call our lighted village)

And like any town, it has a residential area
with churches

And a downtown and Courthouse square

And a small area with a train station
And a school

Like our beloved Fort Scott, the houses in the neighborhoods for the most part
are not "cookie cutter" but rather individual houses.

And the downtown buildings of two or three stories which house various businesses.

We also have a Tourist Information Center
(for many many years I was Vice President of the Chamber in charge of Tourism
and Daughter Sarah worked there the summer after high school graduation)

And any place that has tourism, has to have a "Big Ball of Twine"!

And putting up the village involves not only giving up our breakfast room
But also many man hours of work to get it "just so"!

We do it for one reason and one reason only

The look on Grand girl Lucy's face as she takes in the wee magical village.

She was mesmerized!

I'm sharing the Magical City of Scott with Bernideen for her BTTCG Blog Party

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas at Linderhof

Christmas Eve at Linderhof 

Ebelskivers for Christmas Eve Breakfast

Granddaughter Lucy is my sous chef
Sprinkling the ebelskivers with powdered sugar!

A Christmas Eve tradition

Decorating cutout cookies
Nana is in charge of frosting
Lucy is once in charge of sprinkles!

Mighty handsome cookies!

Lucy found magic
In the Magical City of Scott
(Our Snow village lighted village that takes over the breakfast room in December)

A highlight of the season and the church year
is the service of candles and carols

Followed by eggnog, cookies and fruit cake
for Christmas Eve dessert


Pastries for breakfast
Stollen from Farm to Market in Kansas City
(via Kolwaskis in Excelsior)
and maple sticks
With a pot of freshly brewed coffee

Let the fun begin!

Besides opening her own presents
Lucy played "Santa" and passed out the gifts

Dinner followed and as is our tradition
a picture of the family around the table
It will be fun to watch the kids grow!

Lucy in her Christmas outfit with her lighted reindeer.
(She wanted to ride him!)

Piper in her "First Christmas" hat!
She watched.
She took it all in.

And then they left!
For another Christmas celebration
With Andy's family.

Another tradition . . .

The Christmas dishes get put away
And the Johnson Brothers Indies is taken back down
(it is our breakfast dishes)

And when we get hungry again

A turkey sandwich and a glass of milk
(Our dinner this year was turkey but we were creative with the other dishes so it was not a replay of Thanksgiving -- the menu was something for everyone!)

And gifts

Daughter Sarah "commissioned" me to make this ornament for her Daughter Piper
(It was my pleasure)

And the 2015 needlepoint ornaments for the grands?

A rocking horse for Lucy and a sock with doll for Piper

Before they left

Andy took our picture!

Christmas 2015 was THE BEST!
Christmas is really much more fun with children!

We at Linderhof hope that your Christmas was as wonderful
as ours was!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Merry Christmas to All . . .

Santa once again is coming to Linderhof
as the Grands are here

We, at Linderhof, wish you and yours
a very
Merry Christmas!

Away In The Manger

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.

I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Christmas Lunch Tradition

What started out three years ago as a get-together
is now an established
Christmas tradition

When Friends Jeffrey, Shaun and Kate come for lunch.

We don't often visit
so this lunch is extra special

A small poinsettia in a Waterford bowl
A Santa and his pack of toys
(salt and pepper)
And two glass sleighs filled with bags of fudge and divinity!

The Christmas China
(Royal Dolton Tartan)
The Christmas Napkin Rings
(dating from 1869 to 1892
a remembrance of Christmas past)

The Menu

A revisit of an old and loved Kansas City restaurant
Stephenson's Apple Orchard

Baked Chicken in Butter and Cream
Stephenson's Green Rice Casserole
Hot curried fruit


A marvelous rum cake
from friend Francie

It is wonderful.

And I baked it in my small bundt pans 
One for now and one for another luncheon next week

It is the best rum cake I've ever had
And I will definitely make it again!

I'm always thrilled because Jeffrey brings his camera
and takes the most marvelous pictures of
And the food!

The "old girl" is always thrilled to have Jeffrey work his magic on her.

The recipes:


8 pieces frying chicken
2 cups flour
1 T. salt
1 T. pepper
2 t. paprika
1 stick butter, cut into 8 pats
2 cups half and half or cream

Dip chicken in cold water.    Mix together flour, salt, pepper and paprika.    Coat each piece of chicken thoroughly in flour mixture.    Place pieces skin side up in a 13 x 9 inch pan.    Bake uncovered at 450 for 30 minutes or until brown.   (Recipe may be prepared ahead up to this point.)    Pour cream around chicken, place 1 pat of butter on each piece and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
(*Note I used chicken breasts -- with bone in and skin on)


1 c. chopped parsley
1/4 c. green pepper, chopped
1/2 c. grated Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 t. seasoned salt
1/3 c. onion, chopped
14 1/2 oz. Pet milk
3 c. cooked rice
juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. salt

Mix rice, parsley, cheese, onion, green pepper, garlic in greased 2 quart casserole.    Blend rest of ingredients.    Mix into rice.    Sprinkle with paprika.    Bake at 350 about 45 minutes or until like a soft custard.

Nell Lewis' Monroe Butter Rum Cake
(from Friend Francie)

Preheat oven to 350 and butter and flour a Bundt or tube pan.

Cream 2 sticks butter and 2 c. sugar.

Add 4 eggs one at a time, beating well after each.

Sift 3 c. flour, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. soda, and 1/2 t. baking powder. 

Add to butter mixture alternately with 1 c. buttermilk and beat well.

Bake at 325 to 350 for one hour or until done. 

As soon as the cake comes from the oven pour over it the following sauce:

1 c. sugar, 1/4 c. water, 1 stick butter. Bring almost to a boil, remove from heat and add 1/2 c. (or more) light rum.

Wrap cooled cake in heavy foil.

I seem to remember my mother serving her friend's cake at dinner parties with an additional butter-rum sauce that was thicker than the first syrupy sauce that goes on right after it comes out of the oven, but that seems almost too much to me and at any rate my recipe card omits that second sauce
Additional note: in recent years I have added the following Rum Butter Glaze:

1/3 c butter
2 c confectioner’s sugar
1 T rum
2-3 T boiling water

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat and let it brown slightly. Blend in sugar and rum with wooden spoon until smooth; stir in water 1 t. at a time until you reach a smooth pouring consistency. Immediately gently spread hot glaze over cake, smoothing it out quickly with a knife dipped in hot water. Some glaze may trickle down the sides and the effect is decorative. This Glaze was suggested by Nenz and it has made a really good addition to the cake.