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.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cookbook Book Club -- April

After a long hiatus
From meeting on the first Tuesday (in March)
back to the last Thursday (in April)
we met Angela's challenge
Her choice for April:
Middle Eastern but not Greek

We all were familiar with Greek food --
gosh, I've even fixed Moussaka lots, made a walnut lemon cake lots, and took a turn or two at Baklava

But other Middle Eastern countries . . . 
I've not even eaten much from them!

The hostess not only selects the theme (chef or cookbook) 
but also prepares the entree

Angela's entree:

A lemon olive oil chicken . . . 

With couscous
(She has fixed this dish before . . . but she had never cut up a chicken --
so she considered that the learning part of her dish!)
(It did lead to a spirited discussion on chicken cutting!)

Our side dishes:

Rita's Lebanese rice and tomato salad
(Yes, it says rice and Rita didn't substitute pasta -- that was part of the recipe)
It was refreshing with a hint of ginger --
we all agreed it was quite good!

Michelle's Lebanese Roasted Stuff Onions
With a whole bag of Vidalia onions, Michelle chose this dish.
Like a stuffed paper only it was an onion instead of a pepper
and it had those Middle Eastern spices . . . 
Several of us took more than one serving!

Donna's Middle Eastern Rice and Lentils
Definitely the flavor of the Middle East in this dish that had lentils, rice, carrots and peas . . 
and all of those Middle Eastern spices

Sara's Lebanese Thyme Bread
It was good -- not quite as crisp as some Middle Eastern bread but not "puffy" either like a pita.
Those of us who took a half, ended up taking the other half!
It was the perfect bread to go with the meal!

My Armenian Nutmeg Cake
We all liked it -- more like a coffee cake and perfect with the French press coffee that Angela's daughter brewed for us.
It had a crispy crust and more sugar than a similar American cake.
Several said that they would make it and I would make it again.
It was just a plain good dessert!

Our plate of Middle Eastern Food
Not as many countries as could have visited
(Lebanon seems to be the choice of most of us)
But it certainly was a different meal and a meal that definitely stretched our comfort zone.

Thank you Angela for a great choice!

Next month it's Michelle's turn . . . she's making up her mind
It will be either
a - pies (or tarts) sweet and savory
(Where you bring either a sweet pie or a savory pie)
b - cooking from the 50s

I'm happy either way and if it's a) I'm hoping to get savory for I
know one that I want to make!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Fundraising Lunch

I often donate a luncheon to non-profits
for fundraising
It's what I can do to help worthwhile causes

Today, I had guests . . . 
they were the high bidder on my lunch

It's Spring . . . 

A Waterford biscuit barrel holds iris from the garden

My Quaker Lace cloth, the Spode Blue Room, Jim's grandmother's cutlery and a white damask napkin in a silver ring . . . 
And, of course, the menu!

We started with a salad.   Greens with a vinaigrette
Simple but classic

Lunch was Stephenson's chicken in butter and cream
and their green rice casserole

Since we had men for lunch as well as women,
I made a pie
Men like pie!

A meringue pie

Chocolate meringue
My Aunt Oceana's recipe

It was a fun afternoon
I love to share Linderhof 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

There's A New Look Outside

Linderhof was built in 1920
And in the 20's, all  (or almost) houses had front porches
Because in the summer, that's where you spent the evening

And Linderhof has a front porch
But the owners that we bought the house from
Had screened it in . . . 

So you could never see the front door from the street
(So why did I bother with a Christmas wreath?)
It seemed like it wasn't "friendly" with the screens hiding the porch

A screen door in the front

And sections of screen which broke up the view

So you didn't have a wide expanse of view
And screens were dirty
More than once a year, I had to clean them
And I really should have done it almost monthly!

I yearned for the house to look as it was when it was built . . . 

Linderhof 1924
But Husband Jim liked the screens.    It kept him hidden from view when he sat on the porch
The doors, too, kept the dogs in check.    They could go outside but couldn't get off the porch
(and that is why the previous owners screened in the porch . . . they had dogs!)

And then we saw an episode of Home Town and a similar looking house had similar looking screens
and when they removed them (one of the first things they did), Jim said it really did look better!

I jumped on the comment and made arrangements

Soon we had a pile of screen and wood in the drive!

And a front porch that looks like this!

Open and inviting!

Our Christmas wreath on the door can be seen from the road!

Although the neighbors do seem closer
But the view is wide and expansive!

As you walk up the front steps

And the view from the door to the street

I think it looks handsome . . . without the screens!
It's the house the way it was meant to be!

I am one happy woman!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Spring Lunch for Company

Company for lunch today
Friends from Nevada
To celebrate a birthday . . . 

The table in the dining room
The lace cloth and damask napkins in silver rings
Jim's grandmother's cutlery

My grandmother's china
And a menu, of course, for each place

The centerpiece of garden flowers -- lavender iris and yellow tulips
and bridal wreath

The menus echo the iris in the centerpiece

Lunch was full of Spring flavors . . . 

An asparagus quiche with fresh local asparagus

Served with a salad of romaine, fresh strawberries, red onions, walnuts and a homemade poppyseed dressing

Since they were Missourians,
dessert was Bess Truman's Frozen Lemon Pie

An old fashioned lemon pie full of lemony flavor
A perfect dessert for a warm Spring day

One of my favorite ways to spend a day is to have company for lunch . . . 
tidying up the house, fix a delicious meal and have great conversation

I'm joining Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Busy Week

Holy Week is always a busy week at Linderhof

First . . . are the PEO cookies

This year over 700 chick and bunnies were baked, iced, hand painted
for our PEO fundraiser

Of course, a package of each went north to Minnesota
for the Grands
Easter, after all is a candy holiday and all candy holidays call for
"Nana Cookies"

Thursday night,

we attended the Maundy Thursday communion service at church

Good Friday morning we were up early,
to tidy for company was company --
to help put all of those bunnies and chicks in bags
and tie them with a ribbon

Tradition now is coffee and hot cross buns after all the cookies are bagged!
Hot Cross Buns are a Good Friday tradition at Linderhof!

Then a trip South to secure provisions for the Easter breakfast at church
I did, however, find something for me . . . 

The Easter cactus -- we were in Germany during Lent one year
and every bed and breakfast we stayed at had an Easter egg tree and a blooming Christmas cactus in the dining room.
I bought 12 real hen's eggs decorated for Easter from Woolworths while in Germany
(for less than $1 each)
But alas, I never did find a Christmas cactus
(until this year!)
A true treasure!

Good Friday tea is always hot cross buns . . . 

And we always dye our Easter eggs on Good Friday
A dozen -- it's just for us
We don't need to hide them -- they are, after all, to be part of Easter dinner,
reincarnated as "deviled" eggs

The service of darkness reminds us of what happen on that Friday all those years ago

As if 700 plus cookies were not enough, Saturday found me making the traditional
"egg" cookies for our Easter breakfast.
They're beloved by children and adults alike.

The centerpiece for our Easter dinner table
It's just us but I still like real flowers
(garden ones this year)

This year we had a Holy Saturday evening service

Easter morning dawned not clear and sunny  but thunderstormy 
(I couldn't help but think of all the children waking up and not being able to go outside to find their Easter eggs -- because of the rain)

I was up early for I had eggs to cook -- 7 1/2 dozen to scramble
And a friend and I did the rest of the prep for our Easter breakfast . . . 
A wonderful church service
The church full of people
Followed by our catered Easter breakfast
(scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, hash browns, fresh fruit, hot biscuits, sticky buns, juice and coffee)
(We were so busy serving breakfast that I got not one picture!)

We're waiting now for Easter dinner --
very non-traditional:
prime rib, yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, green beans with bacon and onions and horseradish sauce
Dessert will be daffodil cake!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

We, at Linderhof, wish you and yours a

Blessed Easter

Friday, April 14, 2017

PEO Cookies for Easter

Every year, I bake cookies for our PEO Chapter's fundraiser

Monday, I make the dough
(for it needs to be refrigerated)

Tuesday, I bake the cookies
This year over 700 cutout cookies
Bunnies and chicks

Then they get frosted . . . 
Then they get decorated -- hand painted each and every one!

After they're dry, six is put into a cello bag and tied with a ribbon

Today, other club members joined me at Linderhof as we put
all of the cookies into cello bags and tied them with a ribbon


And chicks!

It takes many hands to make easy work of packaging over 100 bags of cookies
And tie them each with a bow!

Tradition has now become, after they're all packaged
we have Hot Cross Buns and coffee

 Not buns made by me, but purchased from All Saints Church in Nevada, Missouri
this is the third year and now that is a tradition!

After they left . . . 

It was good to get my dining room back again!

And this afternoon . . . 

I had another hot cross bun with my afternoon tea
Another tradition and a tradition that goes way back --
the hot cross bun for Good Friday Tea