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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Puzzlement

In a flea market, a long time ago

I came across this spoon
A serving spoon, I thought!
A "pea" spoon, I thought!
For it had holes in it to drain liquid

And a bowl that's perfect for a spoonful of peas!

It once belonged to Karolina Nielsen
(it said so on the back)

But I was puzzled . . . 
Was it or was it not a PEA spoon?

So I inquired at Garden Web
There are a lot of antique experts on that site

After many guesses
(including a sugar sifter -- I didn't think so, but I did try to
sift sugar with it -- the holes are too small)

(Someone else joked that it was a lingonberry server -- the lingonberry liquid would drip out and then you'd just have a nice spoonful of lingonberries)

Someone finally came up with the notion that it was a
"tea" strainer or a "tea" spoon!
(I had 2 of the three letters right --
except it was a T rather than a P)

This afternoon, I decided to use it for

In the breakfast room
with a slice of pumpkin cranberry coffeecake for a nosh
And a book to peruse as I'm looking for a new recipe to bring to a do tomorrow night

It does fit perfectly not the cup

And the holes are big enough for tea to pour through
But not big enough for the leaves to get into the tea!

I'm convinced that that's what Karolina's spoon is --
a tea strainer!

But there is a second puzzlement:

I don't have twins -- the one on the bottom is a tea spoon
(an afternoon tea spoon, a 5 o clock spoon)
I think it is the same design!

And the back markings indicate that it is Swedish
And that it was made in 1907
(two years after the engraved date on the tea strainer)

I got them at different times in different cities.
The small spoons first
(which also are engraved on the back -- with an "LR")

And then the "pea" spoon which turned into a "tea" strainer spoon

I wonder if Karolina had small spoons that matched her strainer?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Meet Molly

We lost our Daisy last month . .  .
We got home from a doctor's appointment last month
And we found her in the garden.

It was heartbreaking.
But anytime you lose a pet, it is heartbreaking

But we believe that one dog is not enough
And three are too many
And Doogie was lonesome

So I'd like to introduce


She's 10 pounds of terrier terror
With a personality to match Doogie's!

She's a couch potato like Doogie
(which doesn't set very well with him)
And so sometimes he relegates her to the floor!

To remedy that we bought her a bed
It took all of 5 minutes before she decided that it was a pretty good place!

This is mine, she says!

And a perfect place for an afternoon nap!

While Doogie snoozes on the sofa
His preferred place for naps!

Molly is a terrier, of that I'm sure
But what kind, I'm not sure
She has lopsided ears -- one hangs down while the other just folds over
And hair that goes every which way
(I tell everyone that she is half Ewok and half Gremlin)

She's a rescue -- for we believe in adopting not shopping.
They said, and we agree, that she is right at a year old
She is full of energy!
And when she sleeps, she sleeps that sound sleep that only puppies can sleep!

We got her last Tuesday
Our Valentine present to one another
Already in less than a week, she's wormed her way into our hearts!

And Doogie's adjusting!
For he's never really had a friend who played with his toys before . . . 
That takes some getting used to!

But when they are outside, they are one . .  .
to chase the mailman, the neighbor, the squirrels.
It's a united front they present to any intruders on the grounds of Linderhof!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Cookbook Book Club -- PIZZA!

Our Cookbook Book Club 
met last night
And it was pizza!

We had a guest, Kevin -- a pizza maestro
to teach us about crust.

He first explained how to properly make a crust

And then with the dough he had prepared earlier,
we each got our own blob . . .

And Kevin taught us how to make it into a pizza

We watched as he showed us how to take our blob

And make it into a pizza shape!

Kevin demonstrated the peel technique

We all brought toppings to put on the pizza
Some of us were more simple in our choices
(like me)

I'm a pepperoni girl!

While others were more adventurous

like Liz
(notice how "round" her pizza is!)
Adding green peppers to hers

Angela and Donna saucing up their pizzas

While Barbara was the most individualistic --
She made hers square
She used a white sauce instead of a red sauce!

Once topped, all the rounds (or oblongs) of dough were put into the oven to bake
Under Kevin's watchful eye!

Mine, fresh out of the oven
All pizzas were cut into smaller pieces so we could sample!

The table was full of pizzas
And we couldn't find one that we didn't like
They were all good!

Of course, the Cookbook Book Club couldn't meet
without a dessert
And Rita provided one!

Peaches 'N Cream No-Bake Cheesecake

A perfect dessert after lots of pizza!

It was a fun evening
Lots of laughter
Lots of flour
(over a lot of us)
And plenty of good food!

A big thank you

to Rhonda for arranging for our dough-master Kevin
to come and teach us

to Rita and Joe for letting us use Kennedy Gym
for it had enough ovens that we could all eat at the same time

to Rita for bringing the wonderful dessert
for it wouldn't be Cookbook Book Club without a sweet!

And especially to Kevin (and his wife, Michelle)
for teaching us about pizza dough
for bringing the dough

It was a wonderful evening
And one of the best Cookbook Book Clubs ever!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Minnesota Food

We went to Minnesota earlier in the month
Actually, we went for the Super Bowl
(which was held in Minneapolis)

No, we didn't go to the Super Bowl
But we were up to babysit

Minnesota is the midwest
The upper midwest
It's food is different than what we are used to
on the prairie of Kansas.

For one thing, a casserole is not a casserole --
it is a "hot dish"

And according to Daughter Sarah,
the hot dish is the
tater tot/hamburger one
made at least once per week in most Minnesotan households
during the winter

Once home, we decided to 
"eat Minnesotan"

The famous hot dish.
A pound of hamburger, browned, with a diced onion
Once done mix the browned hamburger onion mixture with about 3 cups of frozen vegetables
(I used a mix of vegetables) and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup.
Pour into a 9 x 13 casserole and top with a 16 ounce package of frozen tater tots.
Bake for about 1/2 hour in a 350 oven.

And nothing goes better with a casserole -- oops, I mean hot dish
Than a salad

Not a "gourmet" salad 
But romaine and iceberg and cherry tomatoes
Dressed in the SE Kansas traditional dressing
of Ott's French with Blue cheese crumbles

The only place I've ever seen that combination

until we grocery shopped in Minnesota

And found
French Blue Cheese
A French dressing with blue cheese crumbles in a bottle
Proudly made in
(not Kansas)!

Who knew!

It's a good dressing and will be a bring back every time we visit.

The only thing we didn't do for our
"Minnesota Night"
was a jello salad and bars for dessert!

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!