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.

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!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

It Was Thirty Years Ago Today . . .

That we changed our citizenship . . .

Both Husband Jim and I were born and raised in Missouri
(Kansas City to be exact)
and I'd never lived anywhere else.

Even though Kansas City spans two states
(Missouri and Kansas)

I thought to live in another state you had to have a passport!

But thirty years ago we switched our allegiance
from Missouri -- The Show Me State

Kansas -- the Sunflower State

Fort Scott, Kansas to be exact
Which was only 20 miles from where we lived in Missouri
It wasn't like we had to trek half way across the country --
we really only moved 20 miles!

The move happened because Husband Jim's employer
wanted us to move.
I didn't want to --
especially to Kansas

But one blustery day in March (a Tuesday to be exact)
on his way to work, Jim happened to see a for sale sign

this picture was taken in 1924 -- not the year we bought it

on an American Foursquare Craftsman
on National Avenue -- the Main Street in our little town

It was the only house we looked at!
We made an offer, it was accepted

And because we had been to England a year earlier and had fallen in love with the fact that houses had names rather than addresses, we decided this house had the same charm that those
English cottages had and needed a name!

At Husband Jim's suggestion, we named it Linderhof
for the builder was of German descent as was I.

That was in 1988
We've been Kansans for 30 years, we've lived in Fort Scott for 30 years
and we've lived in Linderhof for 30 years
It's the longest we've ever lived anywhere!

And that calls for a celebration!

Using the 1924 photo, we made postcard invitations and mailed out a goodly number

We don't like to do things the easy way . . . 
We were in Minnesota for Mother's Day and arrived home Tuesday night
The party was Friday --
Three days to put a party together!

Jim was in charge of the patio and setting up drink

I was in charge of the garden . . .

And the house . . . 

And the food!

We got it all done in three days -- 

The weedy needy garden was made presentable
(and received many compliments)
The house was clean
The patio and drive were made leaf free
and Jim set up the bar with wine, spirits and beer

And our guests came . . . 

A whole patio full

And then off in the corner were the Pergola People!

It was a perfect evening --
Not too warm, no rain, no bugs
The drink flowed
And the food was in the dining room

Rainbow Vegetable Tray

Fresh Fruit with White Chocolate Dip

Ann's Cheeseball

 Lumpy Dip

Stuffed Eggs

Oh, and meatballs, we can't forget the meatballs even though I forgot to take a picture of them!

Dessert was served in the breakfast room

 Texas Sheet Cake
A classic recipe but a good one
For crowds, it is my go-to chocolate cake recipe
And the good news is that it feeds a crowd.

We were happy to share our home of 30 years with our friends as we celebrated
our 30 years in what we consider now our "adopted" home town.

Linderhof 2018