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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A January Lunch

Cold has descended on the prairie
Not the cold of the north
For we're not expected to get in the negative temperatures
Only in the single digits

But a cold day
Calls for a warm lunch

In the dining room
Luncheon for four!

No tablecloth
Quaker Lace in the center with candles in silver candleholders
And a crystal vase of pink tulips

Quaker lace placemats
Jim's grandmother's cutlery
Damask napkins in silver rings
Aynsley Pembroke china

On the sideboard, the coffee service awaits dessert

We're all ready for company!

The menu:

Italian salad
Romaine, peppers, cherry tomatoes and black olives
Tossed in an oil and vinegar dressing

Baked ziti
A casserole of Italian sausage and cheeses

Garlic bread
Warm and crusty
buttery garlic goodness

Coffee served with the cannoli tart
A perfect dessert tor an Italian meal.

The menu for this luncheon started with dessert.
I had a container of mascarpone that I needed to use
and I found this tart.
Since cannoli is Italian, 
it came me the theme for my luncheon.
I had Italian sausage in the freezer and decided that I would like
the main course to be a casserole -- it would give me more time with my guests.
And what better start than a simple Italian salad!

The cannoli tart will definitely be made again.
In fact, it may be my go-to dessert whenever I serve pasta!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

January and The Kitchen

This is my kitchen
In my 1920s house
Basically, there isn't much more than what is shown in this photo
In the 20s, kitchens were food factories
It wasn't a place to entertain or even socialize
And when Linderhof was built,
it was meant to be the domaine of the paid cook

And even though I love to cook,
my small kitchen really suits me
for I'm not a social or an entertaining cook
I like to cook
Then in the dining room or breakfast room, have people enjoy
the delectables which came out of the kitchen!

Every January, I do a closet, cabinet and drawer clean of the whole house
Christmas is often not good for my organization
Plus cleaning sometimes in December is spit and polish
as one find time or just before company comes.

The dreary January days are perfect for going through everything
And then coming back and really cleaning.
Not quite as thorough as the Spring or Fall clean
For it's really more about the inside of closets, cabinets and drawers!

But this year, I decided that my kitchen cupboards needed a redo
Sadly, I don't have any before!

Last weekend, I took EVERYTHING out of the cabinets
It was ALL OVER the countertops and island
It looks as if a TJ Maxx had exploded in my kitchen!

Then slowly, I went cabinet by cabinet, replacing the shelf paper
And adding plastic lace to the shelf edge
And put back what I felt like I used
Where I thought I would use it!
(Which wasn't necessarily in the same place it came out of --
which confuses Husband Jim some . . .
but it's good to give them puzzlements ...sometimes!)

And when I was finished I was quite proud of my work!

My main cabinets where I keep those items I use most often

The cabinets on the other side of the kitchen

The double door cabinet
which now houses all of my Johnson Brothers Indies
on the bottom two shelves
It's my breakfast dishes
and my luncheon dishes
The top shelf holds some Blue Room plates
(which I often use when I have company for lunch and don't want to do dishes by hand!)

The corner cabinet next to the double cabinet.
Bottom shelf holds my bone china Spode Camilla tea set
(and now I have a teapot to match!)
Middle shelf holds a Wedgwood pottery Asiatic Pheasant tea set
And the top holds blue and white milk pitchers

The cabinet to the left of the sink
holds the glasses that we use the most
I've had them "forever" and not broken a one
They're French and plain and are wonderful
And next to them juice glasses

To the right of the sink:
My blue and white breakfast for one set on the bottom and middle shelf
(An estate sale find for "nothing" because the estate sale company thought it was a bunch of mismatched china!   I immediately realized what it was and was so excited)
The top shelf holds some German cake plates that matches a big German cake plate that is stored elsewhere!)

The corner cupboard
Bottom shelf holds my English mixing bowls
The middle shelf holds my mother's covered cake plate
And the top holds my Spode punch cups

The little cabinet next to the corner one
Bottom shelf holds smaller French glasses
(I had no cabinet that would hold them all!)
Middle shelf holds my breakfast things -- egg cups, egg coddlers)
Top shelf holds more cake plates -- these are French and are blue and white with fruit on them and I have a sandwich plate and a round cake plate that match.

A couple of days later, I finished the "outside" of the cabinets,
I scrubbed all the cabinets, washed all the glass doors, wiped down backsplash, washed off light fixtures

So the kitchen shone . . . both inside and now out!

And there's always something nice about the smell of clean!

The island is a piece of marble over 100 years old from the kitchen
of the place where I worked for 30 years.    When it closed, I was able to get this piece of marble
that had seen many biscuits and breads made on it's surface.

The refrigerator, cookbooks and the cabinet next to it that holds most of my baking pans
and items too deep to go into regular cabinets.

The other side of the kitchen where the coffeepot, tea kettle, toaster and mixer reside.
The island shelves hold small bowls which I often use when I cook,
teapots (the Utilitarian ones so that they're hand if I want to make a pot of tea)
and the bottom shelf holds pitchers for when I want my tea cold!

It was nice on Tuesday, to mop the kitchen floor and know I was done . .  .
At least for a year!
Will it stay this way?
Who knows.
What will happen to the things that I found non-essential?
Who knows,.
But I do know that I will not get rid of them until at least January 2020
In case there is something important there that I truly need!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Year's Day at Linderhof . . .

Even though we did stay awake until midnight,
we were up at our regular time
And ready for breakfast!

Once again in the breakfast room
Because Scott City is back in it's bins and those bins are back in the basement.
Since it was a holiday, we used our Spode Blue Italian
rather than our usual Johnson Brothers Indies for breakfast!

Since it was a "nice" dinner -- our New Year's Day Dinner
we chose to eat in the dining room
When it's just the two of us, I like to use lace placemats
My grandmother's china, Jim's grandmother's cutlery
Twenty-first century wine glasses!

The menu:

Roast of beef
Prime rib, slow roasted to perfection
served with roasted potatoes

And the world's best creamed spinach
From friend Vince who used to serve it at The Buffalo Grill 

Jim requested dessert:

Strawberry hazelnut pavlova roll
which was actually a
blackberry pecan pavlova roll
because when you live in a small town you often can't find hazelnuts
strawberries were $8.00 a box
and I wasn't going to spend $8.00 on tasteless winter strawberries
even though the recipe called for them.
And actually, it was quite good!

A slice of prime rib, some roasted potatoes and creamed spinach
with a nice bottle of red wine to wash it all down

And we filled the silver coffee pot and cream pitcher
For we were in the dining room and it just seemed proper
to pour from silver
when we ate our slice of pavlova roll!

And after, husband Jim retired to the living room and the sofa and football,
I did the dishes.

Later we watched a movie . . . 
Lavender Ladies
(I would recommend if you like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith -- it's a slow English movie)

And this afternoon I brought out three hyacinth vases with bulbs in them
It's my way to rush Spring!