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 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

Friday, April 7, 2017

Four Cookies -- One Recipe

I put my cutout cookie recipe to the test Tuesday
And baked up a storm!

The bunny and chick cookies that I am making as a PEO fundraiser

Put in cello bags and tied with a ribbon
An advance order because "grammy" is leaving on Friday
and needed the cookies for her grand.
(These are the first of the 700 cookies that I will make next week)

The hand painted frosted bird cookies

Placed on a doily covered silver tray
For our first meeting in April -- a champagne tea
And my contribution were these cookies.

Letters frosted in primary colors

And Little Golden Books
(both are for our library Grand reopening)

They set a pretty table
And the different cookies are because different board members
made the cookies.
The variety makes for a prettier table, I think.

The Little Golden Book Cookies and the chick and bunny cookies were frosted with royal icing.   Then the details are painted on the bunny and chick cookies, while pieces of printed wafer paper top the squares.

The alphabet was frosted with my favorite vanilla glaze -- 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, mixed together and then add 2 teaspoons of corn syrup.   You may need to add more powdered sugar or milk to get the right consistency.   I like it because it dries hard which buttercream doesn't.

My cutout cookies are an easy recipe and a good one -- I've made literally thousands.

1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 T. vanilla
1 t. almond flavoring
4 cups flour, resifted with
1/2 t. salt and 1 t. baking powder
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and flavorings. Add the flour mixture and beat or knead until smooth. Roll into two rolls, wrap in paper and chill for several hours.
Using one roll at a time, roll dough out on a lightly floured board. If thin crisp cookies are wanted, roll the dought about 1/16 inch thick; if soft, thicker cookies are wanted, roll about 1/8 inch thick.
Cut out as desired.
Bake in a moderate oven (375) until very delicately golden, usually 8 or 10 minutes. When cool, frost with your favorite buttercream frosting (to which I add almond flavoring).