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, August 26, 2017

Putting Food By

Is what families have done for centuries.
Summer harvest preserved for winter eating
Grandmother did it in order to have food for the winter,
Mother did it because she liked home canned green beans, she had a concord grape vine
and so "free" jelly, she preferred home canned peaches and the garden always yielded a lot o tomatoes.

A gift from a very generous friend, a five gallon pickle bucket of tomatoes

produced 11 jars of canned tomatoes, two jars of tomato and onion jam
and a jar of pickled green cherry tomatoes
To be put on the fruit cellar shelves

And some jalapeños from that same friend

Yielded 8 jars of hot pepper jelly

Every year, I also make the tutti fruiti
starting with the season's first strawberries and added fruit in season

Apricots are among the last of the fruits to be added

Stone fruit and berries and sugar and brandy 
An age old method of preserving fruit
All the fruit is now added -- time to sit on a dark corner of the
larder -- to age for a month to six weeks.

Also in the freezer (but not as picture pretty) are local strawberries, local blueberries, zucchini shredded and ready to add to cakes or bread, pimento peppers.

We try to save what we can for we prefer our own preserved fresh produce
rather than commercially processed fruits and vegetables.

Still on the agenda . . . more tomatoes, zucchini relish, bread and butter pickles, pesto, and peaches.

I'm an old fashioned canner in fact I use my mother's canner.
I'm a water bath girl -- for I'm fearful of a pressure canner.
Therefore, I do not can green beans (although mother did)
All of my canning is either sugar laden or laced with vinegar

I enjoy canning and I have a sense of pride when I see the shelves in the fruit cellar laden with my home canned produce.

And it is fun when I have company and they compliment me on the strawberry cobbler I'm serving for dessert that it is local and from the freezer!

Friday, August 25, 2017

A Change In The Breakfast Room

The breakfast room is not original to Linderhof
It wasn't even a porch that we enclosed
Where the brick floor is years ago was garden!

But it is one of our favorite rooms
And one of our smallest
But it's perfect for breakfast and lunch and tea and even casual dinners
When we first furnished it, we used our Duncan Phyfe chairs
That we had gotten with our dining room set when we moved her almost 30 years ago
Other chairs took their place but we held on to them
And once the breakfast room was completed,
they were the perfect chair to go around the breakfast room table

Husband Jim wanted them painted black and so I did
And got a black background colorful toile for the seats
And so they remained . . . 
Until I decided last year that I wanted to take them back to the original mahogany
And, because I needlepoint, that they deserved needlepoint seats

The needlepoint is really more burgundy than red but there were 3 magnolias
(two the same) and one different and a daffodil.
I needlepoint but I did not do the chair seats
I bought them off eBay -- from two different vendors.

However, I grew tired of the burgundy and the big flowers
I had not done the needlepoint
And so I decided to look for some fabric for the seats.

I adore toile
And that that perhaps a different toile might be a good choice.
I wandered into Hobby Lobby on Monday
And found this --

The subtle coloring I was hoping for
With a hint of blue -- perfect!
And it was on sale!

Tuesday, I recovered the seats

The fabric looks good with the brown of the chairs
And looks good in the room where it picks up the blue in the dishes in the sideboard

I'm a cheap reupholstered and so each chair is a bit different.
I didn't buy enough fabric to make sure that every chair seat was exactly the same
But, actually, I prefer it that way

I like the new look
Subtle enough that it doesn't overpower the green of the garden outside the windows.

And last night at dusk, when I was coming in from the garden,
I snapped ap picture of the breakfast room
New chair seats and all!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

It's Never Too Early To Have a Tea Party

The side board in the breakfast room is an ebonized 1870 piece
that we picked up in Ozark, Missouri seven or eight years ago
For a "rustic" room (with a brick wall, bead board and brick floor)
it lends a touch of elegance
Plus . . . it holds part of my collection of blue and white transfer ware

On the right hand side, on the upper shelf
Sits a very special blue and white tea set

 Real china, Blue Willow, a child's set
A gift from The Lunch Bunch
the Christmas after Lucy was born
A set that I hold dear

The grand girls (and their parents)
were here last week
Lucy wasn't here an hour before she pointed to the tea set behind glass doors and asked
"Can we have a tea party?"

Of course!

She carefully got the set from the shelf
And proclaimed to all that it was very "classy"
As we do, we fill the pot with water
And pass out cups and saucers

Lucy loves the little tea set
And loves "having tea" at Nana's

We pour tea into the cups, toast each other, pretend to drink our "tea"
And then pour the water back in the pot so we can do it over again.
Between pouring into cups and pouring back into the teapot,
it's a "wet" tea --
thank heaven for paper towels!
Teatime is over when there is no more water left to pour!

Lucy and I enjoy our teatimes together
It's so nice to be refined and have a spot of tea!

The  Grands
Lucy and Piper
Waving to all their Minnesota friends from our Fort

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A New Pitcher

I'm not sure if you would call it stalking,
but a year or so ago, I found a pretty pitcher
that I took a liking to
in a flea market in Nevada, Missouri

But it was pricey -- $50.00
And did I need a pitcher?

Of course, I didn't and so it stayed.

Every time I went to Nevada for lunch and shopping with
friend Shirley Ann, I would visit "my" pitcher.

And there it stayed.
$50.00 was really too much for a pitcher in a small flea market in a little town!

After about 8 months, it was marked down to $39.00
And I continued to visit 
Enamored by the pretty little pitcher.

I even got so bold one visit to ask
the person behind the counter, if they would take less.

The answer was "no".

So I left it.

Then this month, I decided that I really wanted that pitcher.
A want for a year is not an impulse buy
And so friend Shirley Ann was tasked in picking up the pitcher for me and bringing it 
over when she came to lunch later that week.

And now it is mine!

It's a pretty little pitcher.
I'm not sure of it's age
But when I checked on eBay for similar pitchers, it was listed as "Victorian"
And, of course, you can believe everything you read on eBay!

It's hand blown but into a mold not free style
for it has a pontil on the bottom

And this wonderful "lacy" top

And some great decoration on the bottom of the pitcher
Some green and gold

It does look quite handsome filled with iced tea!

And I treated friend Shirley Ann to tea on the porch.
It's cooler this week.
And I baked lemon blueberry scuffins to nibble on while we drank tea
from my 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Company for Lunch

Some of my favorite company came for lunch today
My Nevada friends . . . 
And for them, I like to set a pretty table

the lace tablecloth
and tall candles in crystal candlesticks
(which I don't light -- it's luncheon -- you never light candles during the day!)

My grandmother's china (Noritake Marcasite)
Jim's grandmother's cutlery
damask napkins in silver rings
Antique wine glasses
And a menu . . . for everyone!

A etched ice bucket serves as a vase for garden black eyed Susans

The menu

Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Romaine, strawberries, pecans, onions and a homemade poppyseed dressing
(one of my favorites)

Sarah's Chicken

The original recipe was called Chicken Red Apple from an old Nevada Thalia's cookbook
(and actually, it's one of those recipes that everytime the recipe is printed, it has a different name)
Chicken with dried beef, bacon and a sour cream, mushroom soup sauce
Baked every so slowly in a lower oven
Served with white and wild rice

Pecan Cream Pie

Kansas is one of the pecan capitals of the US
(ours are smaller than the big Southern pecans but they are tasty)
And I like anything pecan
And I like anything with cream cheese
And I like anything with whipped cream
So this is a winner/winner of a recipe!

It's an easy pie, a great summer pie
And it's so rich that a pie will serve 8!


9 inch baked pie shell
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
16 ounces full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. real maple syrup
1 cup finely chopped pecans plus 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans

In a bowl of a mixer using the whisk attachment, whip the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.    About 5 minutes.

In another bowl, mix together the cream cheese, vanilla, brown sugar and maple syrup until combined and creamed together.

Fold the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture and stir together.     Add in the 1 cup finely chopped pecans and stir together until combined.

Pour into the pie crust and smooth out the top.    Garnish the top of the pie with remaining 1/2 cup chopped pecans.    Refrigerate for at least 4 to 6 hours before serving.    Overnight is even better!