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, February 17, 2018

An Updated Bathroom

Rooms sometimes need an update and our
upstairs bath certainly did!

The before:

The old . . . 
green and beige striped wallpaper

It's the original tub,
The hex tile is not original 
(although that was what was there -- but the people we bought it from
glued carpet on top and we couldn't get the carpet up without
taking up the tile)
It came from a place in New York City that manufactured hex tile
to look like old
And it does!

White shower curtain and curtains
White tile . . . but with a dark green border
(which really looked good with the dark green and beige stripe wallpaper)

First step:
Strip off the wallpaper!

Luckily the green stripe (and the wallpaper under the green stripe) 
came off easily -- in one piece

But I was left with:

I did save a piece of this . . . it's part of the house and may be framed in the future!

This wonderful 50s wallpaper!
Which was hard to strip --
Lots of hot water, a steamer and patience
and soon my walls were wallpaper free!

The After:

A pretty green from Sherwin Williams
(I had that dark green accent tile after all)

The biggest transformation was the mirror over the sink
Many years ago we replaced the 50s medicine cabinet
with a plain mirrored medicine cabinet
But the footprint wasn't the same
And shamelessly, we just papered over the "holes"!

When we took off the wallpaper and decided that we were going to paint,
the "holes" had to be addressed.
The solution?
Frame around the mirror so it looks like a medicine cabinet from the 20's
The trim matching the trim in the rest of our house
And painted white -- of course!
All it would need is a knob
to look really authentic.
(Perhaps I need to figure out how to glue one on?)

The "pretties" on top of the linen cabinet
An old English blue and white bowl and pitcher
Bought in Nevada, Missouri
about two years apart.
Oh, they were a set but the slop jar was too expensive
And so I left it.
I even took the slop jar to the front desk and asked if they'd take more.

And then they were closing and most booths had at least 50% off.
Guess what came home with me!

The bathroom redo wasn't just about paint!
Notice the rain shower?

When we first put in a shower,
we had a faucet with a shower hose attached put in.
It's nice to have a "real" shower
And I love the rain shower head!

The sink was one that we put in right after we moved in.
The people that we bought the house from had removed
the old original pedestal sink
And put in a dinky vanity in the space.
We bought a pedestal
And our bath remodel also included new faucets for this sink
(I had cleaned them to pieces and some of the chrome had worn off int he back)

We think the bathroom now definitely has a feel of a 1920s bathroom.
We're pleased with the results

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Valentine Luncheon

Every year I host a Valentine Luncheon
for dear friends.

Some years, Valentine's Day is in the middle of Lent
thus we have our Easter egg tree as decoration for Valentine's

But this is a first
Valentine's Day is Ash Wednesday

And Ash Wednesday is the day when I always put up my Easter egg tree

On a chest in the living room
A dozen real hens eggs
Brought home from a Lenten trip to Germany
(bought at Woolworth's for 1 DM each)
Over 25 years ago

They've been part of Lent since 1992
and I couldn't imagine Lent without a Easter egg tree!

But it's also Valentine's and I was busy this morning
getting ready for five friends to join me for lunch

The table set in the dining room, with my Grandmother's china, Jim's Grandmother's cutlery, a Quaker lace cloth

 I love the dining room table set up for company!

At each place, a bag of Valentine heart cookies
For tea later that afternoon
A centerpiece of glass candlesticks, pink roses and a scattering of conversation hearts

I loved he pink of the roses.

The menu?

Cream of tomato soup
Made from my home canned tomatoes and cream -- real cream

A classic quiche
Full of bacon and onions and cheese

Served with a salad of spring greens topped with Gorgonzola

And Valentine's is always about the sweets!

Chocolate raspberry cake
(originally named "Christmas Cake" but I think I'll change the name to "Valentine's Cake")

Served with coffee
It's made in a miniature bundt pan so three little pieces of cake 
But it makes a nice presentation with whipped cream and fresh raspberries

I so enjoy my Valentine's Luncheons
We sat and chatted "forever"
Not wanting the day to end

And we had a special guest . . . 

The newest member of our family

A terrier mix
A Valentine Gift for Husband Jim and myself

We should have named her

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day



to you!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Christmas and Birthday Presents

Because of my computer problems, I didn't get to do a post
on Needlepoint Ornaments 2017

It's not every year (or else I would have almost 50 of them)
but I do try to do an ornament for our tree

This year it's a little "stocking" with an ice skating rabbit.
I found a wealth of ornament canvases at an Estate Sale for "nothing"
So this is vintage!
Simple and sweet!

And the gift ornaments?

All stitched and made into ornaments

Daughter Sarah's
It's the French flag
She spent a couple of weeks in Paris for her company
I thought it was a fitting ornament for 2017

A piper!

Petei's St. Lucia

On the back of each is stitched the name and 2017.

And the final ornaments
Not Christmas presents
But a birthday present
For Daughter Sarah
From her mother and her daughters!

They let me trace their hands and Lucy wrote her name
Then I needlepointed the hand prints like a Santa Claus
dated 2017 because that is the date that the hands were traced.

Made into a two sided ornament . . . 

Piper's Side

Lucy's side

Given as a birthday present because they were 2017 handprints!
And I didn't want to give a year old ornament in December
Besides, she can hang it on her tree this year!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Childhood Revisted

I've always loved books
And as a pre-teen
my love was horses and dogs
Every book I read was about horses or dogs

And even as a 12 year old, I understood having one's own personal library
and so with my allowance and birthday gifts,
I would buy books that I loved.

Mostly the books by Albert Payson Terhune
about his collies

And then I grew up
My taste changed
(I got into mysteries)

But I must admit that whenever I was in a flea market
if I found one of the old books that I so enjoyed
as a junior high school student,
I would buy it
(if it was $1 or less)

Some that I enjoyed and found . . . 

But one eluded me
It wasn't a horse book
It was about a red headed girl who lived with her aunt
and aunt gave her a make over and she went from a
"plain Jane" to a popular girl

Her name was Susan (or so I thought)
And the kids all went to Bandstand
and danced on TV

With the internet, I searched and searched
for the book to no avail.
I couldn't remember the title
Couldn't remember the author
But to this day, I think I could have gone to the library
and went to the shelf where it was!

And so I mentioned my plight to the children's librarian
at our public library.
The next day I got an email .  .
"is this it?"

A book called TV Bandstand
by Frances Priddy

The blurb that accompanied the title of the book would indicate it was the book!
And it was for sale on Amazon
(for far more than $1 -- but thankfully it wasn't one of those $200 books!)
And so I ordered it

And it came
And it was the book
And I binge read it!
And not only was it about TV Bandstand, the girl had a horse too!
That  part I totally forgot!

Whenever anyone does me a favor, I have to repay

And so I did with a tin of chocolate chip pecan cookies
(Her favorite -- I asked)

I did save a few for me
For afternoon tea
While I finished the book.

Whenever I don't have anything to read, I love reading these old books
that I enjoyed as a child/teen

It was a simpler time.
Often the only crisis is what to wear to the prom!
Sometimes in this hectic world,
we need simple books!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Pre- Breakfast, Pre-Super Bowl

Today is Pre-Super Bowl
Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!

This Saturday morning we started the day with a

That's a sweet treat before we dig into regular breakfast foods

It all started with a cruise,
when pastries were offered in the buffet 
And rather than order coffee in,
one of us would trek to the Lido deck
and bring back coffee and pastries for two

After, we'd dress for the day
And go to the dining room for a
"real breakfast"

One of our favorite pre-breakfast times
was the week we spent in Sorrento
With a balcony overlooking the Main Street.

Pastries and coffee were always ready early
And one of us would bring coffee and pastries to our balcony
What a delightful way to start the morning.

We sometimes do that at Linderhof

This Saturday morning finds us in the
breakfast room . . . 

With coffee, the paper

And a classic coffee cake

Simple coffee cake
A piece and a cup of coffee is a great way to start the day.

The coffee cake is easy to make and the ingredients are always at hand:


1 stick softened butter
1 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 c. sour cream


1 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 T. flour
1 c. coarsely chopped pecans (you can use walnuts)
4 T. butter

Preheat oven to 350.    Butter 13 x 9 pan

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sour cream. At low speed, mix until the batter is smooth. Spoon the batter into the baking pan, spreading the batter evenly.
To make the topping: combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and with your hands, work until they're crumbly. Sprinkle over the batter. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, February 2, 2018

February 2

It's February 2

Known as:


And the forecast is the same:

It is a tradition by some religions to bring their candles to their local church, 
where they are blessed and then are used for the rest of the year.
For Christians, these blessed candles serve as a symbol of Jesus Christ,
who referred to himself as the Light of the World.

However, here, the celebration of Candlemas has largely been replaced in
the secular media by Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day is from the Pennsylvania Dutch
who believe that on this day when the groundhog
emerges from its burrow and it sees a shadow
due to clear weather,
it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks.

If it doesn't . . . 
(due to cloudiness)
spring will arrive early.

(It appears that it is an enhanced version of the lore that clear weather on
Candlemas forebodes a prolonged winter.)

Of course, the groundhog that forecasts the weather
is none other than the one who resides in
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
by the name of Phil.

It's a media circus as they take Phil from his burrow
and ceremoniously see whether or not
he sees his shadow.

To celebrate, we often have "ground hog" for breakfast!

Whether you celebrate
Groundhog Day
I hope that the day may be cloudy and overcast

So that Spring may be right around the corner!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Kitchen and the Island

I love my little kitchen
The kitchen in my 1920's home

It's small
10 x 10
But it has two windows

One over the stove
(which I think was where the sink was located when the house was built)

And one over the sink
(which I think is where perhaps a breakfast table may have been placed --
when the house was built)

Both windows are original to the house
So their "footprint" was not changed over the years
And both sport white Battenburg lace curtains
Fitting, I think for a 20s house

The original unfitted cabinetry was replaced in the 40s --
after World War II
Plain wooden cabinets -- painted pink!
(They're still here in basement and garage -- wooden, painted but plain door fronts)

And then the 40s cabinetry was replaced once again in 1983
with 1980s oak cabinets
(Just like the cabinets which were put into any new build in the 80s)
We're grateful that when they did the backsplash they put in white tile,
not subway but 4 x 4's, and the countertop was the same.

But we wanted to "age" the kitchen . . . 
We took the panels out of the uppers and put in glass
And we painted them white!
Ten years later at Husband Jim's suggestion,
we painted the lower's green and the uppers a beige
20s green!

And 10 years ago, we changed the countertop from white 4 x 4 tile to marble

I think we did a good job of "aging" the kitchen because when we were
on a homes tour, we had many comments about "oh, they have the original kitchen"!

One of my favorite parts of the kitchen

Is this piece of marble
On top of an island
WHO would put an island in a 10 x 10 kitchen?
Put in an island way before islands were all that popular in kitchens?
Why, we would!

The marble has history
I worked for 30 years for the State of Missouri
At an institution for developmentally disabled
It was built in 1885 and originally was a wonderful example of Victorian architecture

But in 1991 it downsized from a whole campus of buildings to just 2.
Closed it's kitchen so it could  outsource it.
One positive from the downsizing and closing of the kitchen
was the kitchen was dismantled
Their pastry marble came to Linderhof's kitchen!
The perfect countertop for an island!

I even had a base built to fit
With shelves on two sides and a place for Jim's wine refrigerator in one end.
And because I thought it would be neat,
I stained the outside of the island and painted the inside shelves the cabinet color
Because islands should be a contrast

And this January, I decided that perhaps contrast was not a good thing
That contrast would not have been in the 20s
So last month I painted it to match the other cabinets

Looks so much better!
Makes the kitchen feel lighter!
(Can't believe that little bit of dark wood made the kitchen seem so dark)
And makes it feel cleaner
(which I don't understand!)

Now, of course, I'm mad at myself that I waited so long.
Mad at myself that I didn't do it in the first place!

I do love my little kitchen.
It's a great place to cook.
And although it's not original
I think it has a great 20s vibe!