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.

Monday, June 11, 2018

We Visit Hoot Owl Gardens

Today was an outing day
Friend Shirley Ann and I traveled North
to Linn County almost smack dab between Paola and Osawatomie
To a farm:

We were there to see the gardens
And owner Brenda was so gracious to give us a tour of her 
remarkable gardens!

The espaliered fruit tree garden . . . espaliered fruit trees form the fence to this garden
And inside there are some herbs . . . 

Good stands of feverfew!

Also, there was a spiral herb garden

You start at the bottom and the herbs spiral up!    Smallest to tallest!

After the tour, we retired to the porch where Hostess Brenda had lunch ready for our group

A farm table on the porch . . . 

Homemade crackers
(which were delicious)

And a chicken Caesar Salad
Which was wonderful!
Lots of garlic and lots of lemon!

Herbal tea, chicken salad and homemade crackers
It can't get much better than that!

Oh, but wait it did!

Dessert -- a rhubarb custard cake topped with a fresh strawberry syrup and coconut
(I've asked for the recipe -- I hope Brenda complies -- it was a good dessert!)

We left with nothing but an admiration for all that Brenda and her husband did to these acres
for besides the gardens there are bees and goats and poultry (chickens, turkey, peacocks) . . . 
But some of our group left with --

Baby chicks!
She was giving them away!
I'm not a chicken keeper and so no babies came home with me (nor with Shirley Ann) but there
was a young girl in our group  who was thrilled that she got to take chicks home!

It was a great way to spend a June Monday morning!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Afternoon Tea In The City

There is one place in the city
That is a slice of heaven for me 

Downtown Overland Park
The Clock Tower Bakery
Serves a true English afternoon tea
By advance reservation only!

I just don't stop by when I'm in the city by myself . . . 
No, I always have tea with a friend
This time it was friend Connie
who I met because of my blog . . . 
She was in the city visiting and we arranged to meet for tea

At the Clock Tower . . . 
On each table covered with a white cloth, are real tea cups and saucers, a tea plate,
the tea pot and cutlery and this folder:

Which contains:
the tea menu
the selection of teas
and the tea etiquette

Your tea is brought along with a three tier curate:

Sandwiches on the bottom,
scones and a cranberry pistachio shortbread on the middle tier
Sweets on the top

Sandwich selection:
cucumber -- of course -- two of them
roasted vegetable roll up -- two of them
egg salad (or egg mayonnaise as the Brits call it) -- a finger
chicken salad -- a finger
two small sausage rolls

A tender tall scone served with real clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam
(and a cranberry pistachio "biscuit")

The top layer:

Checkerboard Battenburg cake, a vanilla bean macaron, millionaire bars and a cream puff
We were so full that we both took three of our desserts home -- for tea time the next day!

Oh, and our scones . . . 
We both decided that we would eat one Cornish and one Devon
The difference you may ask?

Devon is on the left -- you put the cream on the scone and then top with jam

The Cornish is on the right -- jam first and then topped with cream

I prefer the Devon style

We drank pots of tea, visited and had a grand afternoon.
Both of us are Anglophiles
We both would love to live in England
And we've both been there several times.

We had a bit of England yesterday afternoon
on the prairie of Kansas
Two friends who share a love of tea

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Changes in the Garden

Our garden
Four beds separated by brick paths
We put it in in 1997

Centered first by a bed of thyme
Then by an armillary planter

This spring, in the garden, I started to find . . .

Empty holes
Where once there had been plants

And bulbs dug up
And they disappeared

No part of the garden was immune to the

I knew why
We had a "digger"

Mollie Mutt

She's 11 pounds of pure energy
And her front paws are a
"digging machine"

She's a terrier, you see . . . 
And terriers tend to be diggers!

Half of the new plants I bought were dug up!
She didn't bother the established plants --
She just went after the new ones.

To stop this carnage, we bought edging fence for the beds

Black, simple
Same lines as the "real" fence

She can jump over them
But she seemed to stay on the paths and dig from there
This puts a barrier between the walk and the dirt

I think it gives definition to the beds

And I like to see the plants and flowers cascade over the fence

I think it is an improvement
An improvement we should have made
even if we didn't have a dog problem!

But then there was the middle bed

A small bed with an armillary on top which also held flowers

However, it was her favorite place to dig
She dug up a goodly amount of my grape hyacinths
And I'm not sure what she did with them!

I tried putting up some old iron fence that I had around
the bottom bed.
Didn't work -- she continued to dig
Even though there wasn't really anything more to dig up in the bed!

So Wednesday morning, I moved bricks . . . and dirt

The bed is gone -- just more bricks
I like the armillary planter sitting on the bricks rather than in the middle of a flower bed

I think it is a win-win

Mollie was "advertised" as a terrier
at the no-kill shelter where we got her.
When we visited the vet today, Jennie insisted
that she looked more like a
Brussels Griffon than a terrier --

And I think she may be right!

I do think that she comes from Brussels Griffon stock
But how much, I don't know
And we won't know until we do a DNA test on her!

She's a funny looking little dog
and I joked that she was part Ewok and part Gremlin . . .
In reading about Brussels Griffons, I learned that the Star Wars Ewok was
based on George Lucas's Brussel Griffon . . . 

I am hoping that the fence keeps Molly out of the garden.
So far it has.
And she has other places in the garden to dig
And she's welcome to dig there --
she just needs to stay out of the flower bed!
I'm not sure I will replant the annuals that were dug up this year . . . 
Our garden won't be as flower filled for 2018
But at Linderhof:
Man, dog and flowers need to live in harmony!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Lunch Bunch Luncheon

We meet every month
Mostly at Linderhof
But occasionally we do have our 
"road trips"

May was at Linderhof . . . 

The dining room table all set for luncheon

Quaker Lace Tablecloth, Aynsley Pembroke, Jim's grandmother's cutlery
our French water glasses

Pink peonies from the garden

Peonies are beautiful but their bloom is so brief
Often cut short because of rains
And this year was no exception

The menu:

Mandarin Salad with Sugared Pecans

Chicken Tetrazzini

Served with biscuit bites


Cherry Berries On A Cloud

Served with coffee 

I'm channeling Betty Crocker recently --

Especially this wonderful cookbook
Full of good simple, easy to prepare dishes
The cookbook that all of the luncheon recipes came from
(with the exception of the biscuit bites)

Why am I channeling Betty?
Because Mother's Day was a Betty Crocker kind of day
I got to tour the Betty Crocker Kitchens as part of my Mother's Day present

The other part?

A Betty Crocker Kitchens Apron

And I know it's from Betty Crocker Kitchens
because it says so!!!

We had a great time at the May luncheon
where once again, Betty Crocker proves that her recipes are just
the best!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Cookbook Book Club -- May -- Jamie Oliver

We gathered at Angela's
Here theme:

Jamie Oliver

I don't think many have cooked from Jamie Oliver --
I know I haven't -- I've only made one thing of his:

Butternut Squash Muffins with a Frosty Top
I copied it from a bookstore cookbook because it looked good
And it is!
I've made them many times and it's one of my favorite muffin recipes!

But tonight wasn't about old favorites -- it was about
Jamie Oliver

brought two salads
A broccoli one and one with fennel, arugula, orange, nuts
Both with vinaigrettes (although different)
We thought them both very good!

brought Squashed Brussels
Brussels sprouts are so British but this was a great way to fix them
And since we eat a lot of Brussels sprouts, I'm sure this will soon wind up on the dinner table at Lindehrof!

brought Balsamic potatoes
Probably the best potato dish I've had in a long time
And again, I will make these!    They are different, really tasty
And I think would go well with summer grill meals!

My contribution.    It's the "Kansas" version of Jamie Oliver's
Asparagus with Tagliatelle
for our stores had no tagliatelle (so I used spaghetti)
and had no pancetta (so I used bacon)
But the flavor was good and would be a wonderful
first course for a dinner party
Or a great spring lunch dish!

made BBQ chicken
It was the best BBQ chicken I've ever eaten!

The dishes made for a nice plate of food
We all said that this was THE BEST Cookbook Book Club meal
(but we say that every month!
Because IT IS!)

But no dinner is complete until dessert

brought Frozen Yoghurt Layer Cake
What a refreshing cake and so pretty

The layers made for a pretty presentation
And it was the perfect end to this lovely meal!

We were all impressed with Jamie Oliver
The simplicity of his food
The taste of his food
The uniqueness of simple ingredients made into a fantastic dish.
It was definitely a good choice!

And if it hadn't been for the Cookbook Book Club, I
would have never cooked anything from Jamie!
But that's the purpose of the club --
to stretch our culinary horizons!

Next month is Copy Cat Restaurant Recipe
And it can't be something you've made before
(But you can have eaten it)

It should be interesting --
for unlike most months, we've not got assignments --
it's a true potluck -- bring what you want!