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, December 16, 2015

Lunch Bunch Christmas Lunch

Not twelve months of the year
(for occasionally we do a road trip)
The Lunch Bunch
comes for lunch
On the third Tuesday of the month.

And they've been coming for fifteen years!

It's fun for me for I get to try new recipes
And I have a good panel to judge those recipes!

But the best luncheon of the whole year
has to be

And Tuesday they came . . . 

We finished the tree the day before
As well as the Magical City of Scott
(We didn't quite take the bins out the back door to the garage as our guests came in the front, 
but almost -- almost!)

The big old lace tablecloth
The Christmas Dishes
(Royal Doulton Tartan)
A poinsettia in a Waterford bowl
And the menu also features poinsettias

And a napkin ring
A Christmas gift to Mary, I'm sure
I also have one for her sister Eva
And another . . .
I'd like to have at least one more (commemorating Christmas) -- to make four
And to be greedy,  I'd love to have six or eight!
But Christmas ones are hard to find
Engraved Christmas at least
for I'm sure many of them were Christmas gifts!

Presents for the girls
A cross stitch ornament attached to the bow
And a wonderful glass pot in a wicker basket
And two paperwhites to grow

The menu:

A wonderful chicken and wild rice casserole
full of chicken, water chestnuts, celery, onion and cheese!
The casserole would be a good use of leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey
(and the recipe says it freezes well)

Served with a roll (No Sister Shubert this time)
And a frozen cranberry salad
(a 60s recipe with canned cranberry sauce and Dream Whip which I
converted to fresh cranberry sauce and real whipped cream)

Dessert was Ina Garten's Lemon Ginger Molasses Cake
And Harney's Hot Cinnamon Tea
(which went perfectly with the cake!)

My gifts?

As always, Sally's Aunt Ruie's mustard (which I hide from Husband Jim -- it's so good I could almost eat it with a spoon!), JoAnn's cranberry butter, and Joyce's Black Raspberry Jam


four Rycraft cookie stamps
one for each season -- a snowman, a pumpkin, a bunny and a bird!

They came with recipes and I can't wait!

But what I treasure most is the friendship of these remarkable women
And as we begin the 16th year of our luncheons, our friendship continues to grow.


2 8 ounce packages cream cheese
1 T. mayonnaise
2 T. sugar
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 can crushed or pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 c. nuts
1 package Dream Whip, whipped

Mix room temperature cream cheese in a mixer with mayo and sugar.     When whipped, add cranberry sauce, pineapple chunks and nuts.      Fold in dream whip and put into paper liners in a muffin tin.     Freeze.


6.2 package fast cooking long grain and wild rice mix
2 celery ribs, chopped
1  medium onion, chopped
8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
5 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
8 ounce container sour cream
1/2 c. milk
1/2 t. better
1 cup soft breadcrumbs (I used cornbread because I had some left)
sliced almonds

Prepare rice mix according to package directions.     Combine water chestnuts, cooked rice, celery and onion, chicken, 1 1/2 c. cheese and next 5 ingredients in a very large bowl.   

Spoon mixture into a lightly greased baking dish (I used a pie plate).   Top casserole with bread crumbs.    Bake, uncovered at 350 for 35 minutes.    Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. cheese and almonds.    Bake 5 more minutes.

NOTE:    This served 5 of us.    This is half of the original recipe.     It does say that you can freeze the casserole unbaked and bake after you remove from freezer and let stand for 1 hour.


1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus extra for serving
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup small-diced crystallized ginger, plus extra for serving
Whipped Cream, for serving

For the whipped cream:

1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch-round baking pan, line with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, the molasses and the 2 teaspoons lemon zest and mix until combined. (The batter may look curdled.)

Sift together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk, scraping down the sides. Mix until smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in the 1/3 cup crystallized ginger.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick just comes out clean. Don't overbake it! Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack and cool completely. Spread the top with whipped cream and sprinkle with crystallized ginger and grated lemon zest.

For the whipped cream:
Place the cream, confectioners' sugar, granulated sugar, creme fraiche and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed, until it forms soft peaks. Refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving

NOTE:   I could not find creme fraiche so used sour cream instead.

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


Patty Louise said...

Enjoyed reading about your wonderful lunch! The pictures made me feel like I was there!

Francie Newcomb said...

Martha, I just adore reading about your Lunch Bunch luncheons! I appreciate so much how YOU appreciate beautiful things from the past, like the napkin rings. Confession: I don't remember this recipe for the chicken and wild rice, and thanks for printing it out for me!

Ginene said...

I was just telling someone last weekend that the only day my grandmother's grandchildren were asked not to pop in her house unexpectedly was the day she hosted her luncheon group. This post and your group remind me of her tradition and the importance of women friends. So nice to hear that someone else is still doing this and your table and menu is as welcoming as my grandmother's.