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, March 28, 2018

Holy Week Lunch

It's Holy Week
Easter will be celebrated Sunday . . . 
And although it's not a special lunch
(for it was a regular Lunch Bunch luncheon)
but it was a special lunch

The table is set in the dining room
(and a new addition is the shades on the scones -- to help defuse the light)

Since it is almost Easter . . . bunnies made their appearance on the dining room table
"chocolate" ones bought long ago on sale after Easter
A vase of garden forsythia lends a spring touch to the table
And candles in the silver candlesticks

All set and ready for company --
food aromas wafting through the house
lamps and sconces lit
A fire in the fireplace (for it's a cold and rainy day)
A candle lending it's fragrance

A Quaker Lace cloth
Jim's grandmother's cutlery
Damask napkins in silver rings
The Aynsley Pembroke
(the 1900 era plates)

The menu:

A salad of romaine, sliced strawberries, red onion and pecans
with Ms. Gilmore's raspberry cream dressing
(Ms. Gilmore's is a tea room in Springfield -- their raspberry cream dressing is AMAZING)

JoAnn's Chicken With Artichokes
(an easy but yet elegant recipe)

Served with roasted asparagus and a crescent roll

Dessert anyone?

In the cookbook, it was called "Lemon Delight" but I renamed it
"Lemonade Pie"
It's tart, cool, tangy and sweet
And easy!

Decorated with lemon zest and a slice of lemon!
Served with coffee

The recipes all came from:

This cookbook
Not bought in 1976
(for I didn't live in Fort Scott then)
but had we lived here, I certainly would have bought the cookbook!
The irony?
I know so many of the contributors to this cookbook
I didn't know they were involved in Jaycees -- it's something they have never talked about
And husband Jim and I were also involved with Jaycees at the same time
Only in Missouri -- Nevada to be exact
Our women's auxiliary were not called "Jaynes" but rather simply "Wives"

We never published a cookbook
But a lot of my recipes in my own cookbook
are from those Jaycee days.
We worked hard, we partied hard
We ate a lot
And the wives were great cooks!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Cookbook Book Club -- BETTY CROCKER!

It wasn't my suggestion --
the group decided to do a "Betty Crocker" Cookbook Night
And I volunteered to Host
We do, after all, have a close personal relationship with

And if you read any of her old books, you know how to set the table . . . 

In the dining room
A tablecloth, real dishes, cutlery

A centerpiece should include flowers and ours did -- red carnations

We chose our Spode Blue Room, Jim's Grandmother's cutlery, damask napkins in silver rings
And our Quaker Lace tablecloth
Betty would be pleased!

Not an original but a reprint of the 1950 "Picture Cookbook" 
which revolutionized cookbooks
(a gift from Daughter Sarah)
The red carnations, cookbooks and spoons

Why spoons?    Why red spoons?
For more than 60 years, that red spoon is one of the world's most recognized logos, found on Betty Crocker products such as cake mixes, frostings, cookie mixes, meals . . . 

In 1954, they reasoned that putting Betty's image on the package wasn't realistic.
So what image could convey:   "kitchen helper", "warm and friendly" and "reliable guide"?
A red spoon it was determined!

When Betty Crocker herself heard that we were having a "Betty Crocker" night
for our cookbook club, she sent one of her iconic red spoons for each guest!

Along with the above tag.

One of the caveats of this Cookbook Book Club Night was that you were to bring the Betty Crocker cookbook that you got the recipe from:

All of our cookbooks on the living room coffee table.
Old, old cookbooks.    Beloved Cookbooks.    Much used cookbooks .
Cookbooks that had no cover from constant use.
Cookbooks that had the "scar" of being put on a hot burner
From two original Red and White Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook (one of which was a wedding present from her mother's co-workers when her mother got married in the 50s) , to a children's cookbook that one member received as a gift from her grandmother at age 8, to a grandmother's treasured cookbook

The menu:

Orange Pecan Chicken and Rice
(As hostess my contribution)
From Betty Crocker's Best Christmas Cookbook

4 chicken breasts
1 box of quick cook white and wild rice
2 ounces of chopped pimento
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 cups orange juice

In a square baking dish, mix rice and packet mix with pimento and pecans.    Pour orange juice over all and top with chicken breasts.      Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.     Sprinkle with parsley to serve

Rita brought Squash and Apple Bake from Betty Crocker's Cookbook

Angela's recipe was from the internet
Creamy Garlic Asparagus Bake

quarts water
lb fresh asparagus spears, trimmed (about 35 spears per lb)
packages (5.2 oz each) Boursin™ cheese with garlic and herbs, softened
cup heavy whipping cream
cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
medium plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1
    Heat oven to 400°F. 
  • 2
    To blanch asparagus, heat 4 quarts water (add 1 tablespoon salt, if desired) in 6-quart Dutch oven to boiling. Add asparagus; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Remove asparagus, and immediately immerse in bowl of ice cold water. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain well; pat dry with paper towels.
  • 3
    Place asparagus spears in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.
  • 4
    In medium bowl, mix Boursin™ cheese and whipping cream with whisk or fork until blended. Stir in Parmesan cheese; spread over asparagus. Top with tomatoes. 
  • 5
    Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with thyme

Barbara brought a cabbage salad from the
Original Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook
Salads, she said, were not as plentiful in the 50s as they are now
It was dressed with cooked (boiled) dressing
(which I've always wondered about -- I will say it was delicious and now
I am eager to make a dish with it -- thank you Barbara!)

Michelle didn't own a Betty Crocker cookbook but found the third edition of Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook  at a used book store (and if you saw Michelle's collection of cookbooks you would wonder why Betty was not represented!    However, she remedied that and bought three!)
Michelle had never made a molded gelatin salad (although she had owned a Tupperware salad mold "forever") nor had she made mayonnaise.    
This was a delicious recipe and the tangy tomato was a nice compliment to our meal!

Donna's "starch" was a rice dish -- from one of those pamphlet cookbooks that are at the checkout aisle.    Easy Mexican Cooking.     It was delicious and went with our non-Mexican meal but we all felt that it would make a Mexican meal extra special to serve this rice dish with tacos or an enchilada casserole.

Rhonda brought easy Buttery Cheese biscuits (correctly named Cheddar Biscuits with Old Bay Seasoning). .     Not her original plan for her original plan was "From Scratch Biscuits" from her mother's much loved original Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook
but after having to deal with a 12 foot trench after her work day ended, her time was limited . . . so she found these on the internet

Cheddar Biscuits With Old Bay Seasoning


cup butter, melted
teaspoon salt
teaspoon OLD BAY® seasoning (from 6-oz container)
teaspoon garlic powder
teaspoon parsley flakes


cups Original Bisquick™ mix
cup milk
cup butter, melted
cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
  • 1
    Heat oven to 425°F. In small bowl, stir together Topping ingredients; set aside. 
  • 2
    In medium bowl, stir Biscuit ingredients until soft dough forms. Drop dough by 8 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. 
  • 3
    Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Immediately brush hot biscuits with Topping. Serve warm.
And, of course, we have to have dessert!

When Liz graduated from Nursing School, she knew that she had to learn to quick and so bought Betty Crocker's Quick and Easy Cookbook.    It is much beloved and instead of the spiral book that she originally bought, it was so loved that she had to take it apart, put each page into a plastic sleeve and put those sleeves into a 3 ring binder.
Because it's from Betty Crocker's Quick and Easy Cookbook -- it is quick (canned pears) and easy (the lemon topping).     She told us the recipe and, of course, I thought I would remember but I didn't. I do know that it was made with lemon pudding and whipped cream and lemon zest and a soupçon of powdered sugar but I forgot the proportions.     
It was delicious!
And a dessert that our mother's might have served to the Bridge Club ladies!

 Chocolate Fudge and Peanut Butter Creams.     Brought by Sara.
From the cookbook, Betty Crocker's Boys and Girls Cookbook.   The cookbook was
given to Sara by her grandmother when Sara was 8.    The copyright is 1950 so she thinks that he grandmother may have bought it used.     Sara wasn't 8 in 1950.   In fact she wasn't even born!
But she's treasured that cookbook for many years (for she's more than 3 times 8 years old now!)

It was a nice compliment after the pears and lemon sauce and we kept passing the compote around.    Taking another piece of fudge or one more peanut butter cream

We always say each month that it was THE BEST!
And we certainly said that last night!

It was a fun evening as we visited and talked about food
and our experiences with Betty Crocker

Before they left, the girls wanted to say:

Thank You Betty!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

St. Patrick's Day

We've always celebrated St. Patrick's Day
Even though I thought I was German
(of course, we Germans celebrate ours with a whole month -- Oktoberfest while the Irish only have one day!)

However, when I had my DNA done -- I found out I was 30% Irish/English

So now it is my holiday as well!

St. Patrick's Day calls for four things:
  1. Beer
  2. Corned Beef and Cabbage
  3. Irish coffee
  4. Friends
Last night at Linderhof . . . 
those four things came together!

The table --
Lace cloth, English transfer ware, Irish linen napkins in silver rings

Daffodils are the perfect centerpiece -- it is, after all, almost Spring!

The menu -- a classic:


I decided to make this Irish Guinness Brown Bread instead of my classic
Top of the Tower Irish Soda Bread

And it may be a permanent substitute
It was good -- that good!

We don't serve courses.
Everything comes out of the kitchen on a big platter

Corned beef

Served with:

Horseradish Sauce
(From Stephenson's Restaurant in Kansas City -- the only horseradish sauce I make --
it is so good, I can almost eat it with a spoon.   Not only good for corned beef -- it goes well with brisket and roast beef)

Dessert was neither Irish nor Green

A lemon sponge cake
for one of our guests loves lemon!
It's Mother's recipe and she often made it for Easter Dinner
It is a "spring" cake!

After cake, you can't celebrate St. Patrick's Day without:

Irish coffee
(the little mugs given to me many years ago by a dear friend.   Used only once a year --
but it wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without coffee out of these sweet mugs!)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day

We at Linderhof wish you and yours
Happy St. Patrick's Day

Monday, March 12, 2018

Tea Wares

I love tea wares
I have loads of tea wares
One of my favorite, of course, is Spode Blue Italian

In England a tea set is this:

Six cups, Six saucers, Six tea plates, an open sugar and creamer and a square cake plate
You often find these sets here in the United States
I think they're often souvenirs  from a trip to England

 Sometimes you'll find a set with a pot -- rarely, but sometimes you do
(I think that tea is brewed in a favorite pot and so a "special", "matching" tea pot is not a necessity)

Another tea ware:

The Sandwich Plate
(rarely do you find these as part of the tea set -- but you can purchase them separately)
They're a long rectangular plate
(I use mine more for loaves of tea breads or pound cakes than sandwiches)
This was an airport purchase from the Harrod's Store at Heathrow --
just before we boarded the plane.

In looking on line I found this ad from the 1930s:

And there is my sandwich plate
Called "a set" with six square plates . . . 
Hmmm . . . 

So now we have all the accroutrements of tea --
cups, sauces, plates, pot, sugar, creamer and a plate for cakes and a plate for sandwiches!

Cakes on the top
Sandwiches on the bottom!
Both Spode Blue Italian

My cake plates (yes, plural, I have two) were an always wanted.
I didn't buy one when I bought the sandwich plate on the way to the gate as we left Heathrow
And I regretted it
Then I would search on eBay and find one . . . 
But I could never complete the transaction.

Then I would forget bout it . . . 
And months later look again

But, alas, I went Spode Blue Italian Cake Plateless!

Until last Friday!

My son-in-law's Aunt, Jo, found two . . and bought them
for me!
She knew how much I loved Spode Blue Italian 
I met her Friday in Springfield,
we had lunch in a tea room
And she gifted me with two cake plates!

How sweet of Jo!
But we are, after all, kindred spirits --
we both love crystal, china and silver
And we use them!

Today, I made a lemon drizzle cake
For tea
A cake rather than cookies because I had a cake plate
That I needed to use!

Tea for the two of us!
How I wish Jo could have joined me for the maiden voyage of one of the cake plates!

Traditional English Lemon Drizzle Cake on a Spode Blue Italian Cake Plate
(Doesn't get much more English than that!)

The cake is easy to make and is a favorite of ours:

Lemon Drizzle Cake

1 cup self rising flour
1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. sugar
2 teaspoons lemon curd
grated zest of 1 lemon

For the drizzle:

Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 T. sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a loaf tin and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Put all the cake ingredients into a food processor. Blend together for 2 minutes. Scrape mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cake is still warm, and before turning it out of the tin, mix the lemon juice and sugar together until the sugar dissolves somewhat and pour this mixture over top evenly. Let sit for about 10 minutes before removing from the tin to cool completely on a wire rack.

A big thank you to Jo, a kindred spirit, for the wonderful gift
of not one but TWO Spode Blue Italian Cake Plates!