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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Come for Drinks

Not couple friends
Not drinks before dinner
But Husband Jim's guy friends

Two of them
For drinks and a snack

In the living room
Whisky, water and cheese and crackers

They're guys after all!

Jim usually entertains on the porch
because his entertaining usually involves "cigars"
And they're for outside.

But not this time -- his guests doesn't smoke!
So inside they came!

I quietly went upstairs with my needlepoint.
because it was a stag occasion.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Afternoon Tea

Almost every afternoon at half past three
I stop
for a cup of tea and a nosh

Sometimes it's just me . . . and a book
Other times I have company

The treats are almost always homemade!
No Oreos at Linderhof!

This week, a friend came over
We had a project to discuss

Tea . . . in the breakfast room

The Spode Blue Italian
Earl Grey tea in the Blue Italian pot
And . . . cookies

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

We munched and sipped and got project work done.
That is always a good feeling!

I love the Oatmeal Lace Cookies
They're like oatmeal pralines -- sugary buttery cookie goodness
And they're easy cookies as well.
The ingredients are always in the larder.


1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
2 1/4 c. rolled oats
3 T. flour
1 t. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375.    Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.    Set aside.

Heat butter and brown sugar in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden or silicon spoon, until butter has melted and mixture is smooth.     Stir in oats, flour, salt, egg and vanilla.

Drop cookie batter by the teaspoon onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie to allow them to spread.

Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, watching closely to prevent them from over-baking.     The lace cookies should be golden brown.

Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 30 seconds and remove onto racks to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

I'm joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage and Marty at A Stroll Thru Life

Decoration Day

Originally started to honor those who died in the Civil War
Many cities claim to be the one that originated laying flowers on the graves of the fallen.

Decoration Day was what both my grandmother and my father called
May 30.

We were lucky, our soldiers always came home
But as a child, our family decorated all the graves

The graves of my Civil War Ancestors
(They came home) 

Henry Tebbenkamp
(great grandfather on my father's side)

Henry Culp
(great great grandfather on my mother's side)

In 2016, it's known as
"Memorial Day"

paying respects to those who didn't make it home
With battle crosses.
Husband Jim and I lost a lot of friends and classmates in Vietnam.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Bark In the Park

That's the name of our soon to be local dog park

Located in this field
(Doogie is showing Daisy around --
Doogie's been here a lot, Daisy not so much)

There will be a big dog portion and a little dog section
separated by a neutral vestibule 

But to have a park we had to raise the money
Co-chairs, Deb and Ken and husband Jim and myself

And through the generous donations of our local dog lovers,
we raised the needed sum . . . for the fence!

So flags were put up where the fence will go

And Doogie went to the park to oversee --
to make sure that Todd and his park crew  were doing it right!

And every project needs a ceremonial ground breaking
And Bark In the Park was no exception . .  .

Doogie had a hard hat -- you can't break ground without one
And he was part of the ground breakers!

It happened last Friday

Hard hats ready for the ground breakers

And we had a crowd

Not just people came out to witness the groundbreaking
But dogs as well

Dogs of all sizes!

And if I'm in charge of something . . . 
There will be food . . . 

People treats 
(gingerbread and iced sugar cookies)
Pup treats
(real dog biscuits)

The groundbreaking was a success
The predicted rain held off until later in the evening.
And we're excited to finally get started on the dog park . . .
which is named

"Bark in the Park"

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Planting Time . . . Again

As early as I can, I buy pansies for the planters
To replace winter's greens

They are such hopeful plants
They are such happy plants
(for they smile at you)
But pansies are cool weather plants

They were getting leggy
And our favorite plant place, Twin Oaks Nursery was having a sale
It's a win-win!
(See how much the pansies have grown!)

The second front planter
The "chippy" ones
Which Husband Jim wants to paint every year!

And we plant pansies in the planters by the back door
Quite an elegant entrance for a basement door isn't it?
The "baby" pansies planted in February
(I like a mix of colors for I can never decide on just one!)

They've grown nicely and put on a good show!

The back planter full of pansies
(as is the fairy garden!)

And an afternoon . . . 
Linderhof is ready for summer --

Begonias, I prefer red, in the front planters
(The reason red instead of pink or white is that red looks more like fall and so in September, October and even into November the front looks suitable seasonal.     And it saves buying fall plants in October!)

And in the side entrance planters

I ran out of plants before I could finish the back planter!
So tomorrow back to the garden store.
(And this year I got a steal of a deal -- two six packs for $3.50!)

I like standing on the porch and looking at the front planters.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Fresh out of high school, 
one by one my friends married
And I was hostess or co-hostess for bridal showers for them.
The early ones were either at the church or at a parental home.

Later, when I had my own apartment, I hosted several there.
Girls gathering to "shower" the bride with gifts.
Cake, punch, mints were served.

And after a few years, the bridal showers turned into baby showers
As my friends became pregnant with their first.
Most of the decorations were yellow
for back then we didn't know the sex of the baby
Thus, no blue or pink decorations!

And then there was a lull . . . .
Until Daughter Sarah grew up
And she hosted bridal showers at Linderhof.
I helped, of course.
And the cake, mints and punch
escalated into savory food and several types of sweets.
Sometimes, even, there was a bridal shower brunch!

We didn't host baby showers for her friends,
most, after college, didn't return to their hometown.
Those baby showers were in their new towns.

We have a tradition at church
A bridal shower for members or their children who grew up in the church
A baby shower for those same honorees for their first baby.

Saturday, I was co-hostess of one of those bridal showers
And it's been a long time since I had those duties.

It was at church

A lace cloth covered the "church table"
The bride's colors were coral, navy and silver

The most coral roses we could find
in a silver bowl
with navy ribbon
(one of our gifts to the honoree)

And "old style" refreshments
cake, nuts and mints

Wedding cake white cupcakes
On a silver tray
With coral and navy candied violas

And some guests even took two!

Nuts in silver bowls and silver mints in a crystal bowl

A sweet table
And what made it totally not "old school"
was the fact that we didn't use the
glass plates with matching cups!
(Everyone had at least 12 of those growing up
And everyone used them when they did showers --
sometimes I see them and think I should get some . . .
But then common sense prevails!)

It was fun co-hostessing a shower again
It brought back many memories from childhood showers that I attended to my Mom,
to my own showers, to Daughter Sarah's showers!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Entertaining Again . . .

I played hostess again today
One of the clubs that I belong to
came for lunch, meeting and program

The dining room table set for six
And a card table held four more
White tablecloths for both tables

The Spode blue room, grandmother's cutlery and damask napkins in silver rings
garden roses in crystal vases

The lunch?
A salad luncheon
Which were so popular in the late 70s and early 80s

And the potluck gods smiled . . . 
No duplicates!

The program

On Victorian silver serving pieces

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Back to Back -- Guests for Lunch

Two luncheons
Two days
Six guests

We start with the centerpiece

Garden wisteria

On Monday . . . 

The lace tablecloth
Jim's grandmother's cutlery
white damask napkins in silver rings
Spode Blue Room plates

On Tuesday . . . 

Lace tablecloth
white damask napkins in silver rings 
(different napkins than Mondays)
Spode Blue Room Plates
(different plates because Mondays were still in the dishwasher!)
Jim's grandmother's cutlery
(the same ones I used Monday because those got washed by hand)

Monday's Menu . . . 

A salad trio --
Fresh fruit salad with maple nutmeg cinnamon syrup
Christmas Broccoli Salad
(Also known at Linderhof as "Plan B" salad and the "B" isn't for broccoli)
Oven Chicken Salad
(the one my Mom always served when "the ladies" came to her house for lunch)

Served with corn madeleines

Strawberry fool for dessert
And if you haven't had a fool, you should!
It's a great light dessert
And what isn't there to like about fresh local strawberries and whipped cream
(With a little bourbon thrown in!)

Tuesday's Menu . . .

The last of the strawberries in a strawberry salad
with onion and home candied pecans
and homemade poppy seed dressing

Sarah's Chicken
(which is what we call it -- every single time I see the recipe, it's got a different name -- but to us it's Sarah's Chicken because it's Daughter Sarah's favorite chicken dish)

Rhubarb meringue pie
I was going to do the fool again because it was so good . . . 
But when I went to get the needed orange for the fool recipe there was
fresh local rhubarb in the store . . . 
I love rhubarb but had never made a meringue pie with it --
it was good!

And on Friday . . . 
I have another and bigger group of ladies coming for lunch
It's one of those old fashioned
"Salad Luncheons"
where everyone brings a salad
(and I'll provide also bread, drink and dessert)

It's certainly been a company week at Linderhof!

I'm sharing with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch and Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm