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, February 26, 2019

A Company Luncheon

I had company for lunch today
The Lunch Bunch
As always, lunch in the dining room

The prettiest flowers at the market were red carnations
much better suited to Valentine's Day
but since I was using my Grandmother's Noritake,
the red works!

A Quaker Lace runner and placemats -- both dating from the 50s
All in perfect condition

A dinner plate to rest the soup bowl on,
a bread and butter plate with butter knife for the popover
And a gumbo spoon for the soup

It was a simple luncheon
Soup, bread and dessert!

The soup is a recipe from The Dairy Hollow House in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Sadly, it lives only in memories and in the pages of a cookbook
aptly titled The Dairy Hollow House Cookbook

It's chicken and rice and olives and vegetables and cream and wine
Can a soup get any better than that?

The soup only adds to the table setting

Popovers were the bread hot from the oven.
I adore popovers.   I have a popover pan.
They're called a "quick" bread
But I always forget that they take a long time to bake
(a half an hour or so -- so I don't consider them "quick"!)

Dessert was special

An orange cake
Made from the fruit of  my Calamondin orange tree.
The Calamondin orange tree I've had for 16 years.
(I've never harvested the fruit before!)

It was delicious.
The recipe will be in my column in The Fort Scott Tribune and The Nevada Daily Mail
this Saturday -- you'll just have to wait for that recipe!

We had a lovely afternoon.
The dishes are done and put away.
A cake made for a friend is baked, iced and ready for pick up.

Dinner tonight will be out!
At our local Kiwanis pancake fundraiser!

Oh, and here's the soup recipe -- I heartily recommend it!


4 T. butter
1/4 c. finely diced onion
1/4 c. finely diced carrot
1/4 c. finely diced celery
5 T. flour
4 c. chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 c. white wine
1 1/2 c. half and half
1/2 c. cooked white rice
1/4 c. black olives, sliced into circles
1/4 c. pimento stuffed olives, sliced into circles
1/4 c. peas, frozen
1 chicken breast, cubed

In a skillet, saute onion, carrot and celery until softened.     Sprinkle the vegetables with the flour.     Gradually whisk in the chicken stock.      Stir vigorously with the whisk as you raise the heat to medium, to prevent lumps from forming.      When stock is smooth and slightly thick, transfer it to a Pam sprayed heavy soup pot.

Add the white wine and simmer for 20 minutes.     Then stir in the half-and-half.      Lower heat; from this point, the soup must not be permitted to boil.

Add the rice, olives, peas and chicken.     Heat through.    Taste and correct the seasonings.     Add salt and pepper to taste.    

Serve very hot, with finely chopped parsley floating on top.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Needlepoint Pillows -- The Internet is Wonderful!

When I was young and first married,
we lived in the city
We had one car
I rode the bus to work
That 45 minutes, I decided, would be a good time to do handwork.

I had read Mary Martin's Needlepoint book

And I became enamored with needlepoint

That, would be my handwork.

I bought a canvas -- the center was already filled in
And you just did the background

I still have it!
It's a sweet little pillow and I still adore it!

And over the years, I got braver and went from just filling in background
to actually doing all of the pillow:


(A charted design rather than a painted one)

And then I became a Mom and life got in the way.
I put away my needlepoint

Only to resurface in 2011 when we took our first transatlantic cruise
before we spent that Spring in England
I bought a canvas and thread
and stitched my way across the ocean and around England

It's still a favorite pillow

And so my stitching began . . . 

Husband Jim gifted me with this canvas one Christmas

I finished the round pillow before we headed home and I bought this one in England

 Shamlessly, the Oriental pillow was a flea market find
But the magnolias was not

And I learned on that transatlantic cruise from the British travelers
that I was doing a tapestry cushion
rather than a needlepoint pillow!

A friend gave me a box of her needlepoint --
In it was this partially done cushion

A adored it

And it came with thread
Thread still in it's wrapper!

However, there wasn't a lot of background wool.
I figured if I could get around the outside of the cushion, then I could
use a similar but different color for the middle section.

But as I stitched, I found that I didn't even have enough for the outside . . . 
What a bummer!

Then I checked on Etsy
I had the color number and the brand
A simple search of DMC Tapestry Wool No. 7925

There was a whole box!
For $5!

I bought it and hoped that the color was close
(you know that anything (fabric, thread, tapestry wool, wallpaper) not from the same
dye lot is not always a good thing!

But this one worked!!!
You can't tell them apart!

How great is that!

So now I'm madly stitching away at my latest tapestry cushion!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Valentine's Day 2019

Yesterday was Valentine's Day!!!

And as is my custom, I invite friends for a Valentine's Lunch

Only in 2019, when you celebrate with women friends, it's called a
"Galatine" party
(Gals Valentine)

But I still call mine a Ladies Valentine Luncheon

In the dining room, of course
Lace Tablecloth
Aynsley Pembroke

A menu for each place
And a wee cornucopia which I made and filled with Hershey kisses

I was fortunate that three of my hyacinths burst into bloom
I decided to use them as my centerpiece
But, alas, they were a bit floppy, so they were clustered together in the middle of the table
But the aroma was heavenly -- a spring aroma!

Husband came home just before lunch with . . 


Delicious smelling creamy roses!

Perfect roses!
But, alas, too tall to replace the floppy hyacinths
So I put them on an end table in the living room
Where they were the star of the show!

Lunch was simple!

A salad of mixed greens with blackberries, cashews, red onion and a homemade poppyseed dressing

Salads all ready to serve!

The main course was chicken baked 'n' butter and cream

And individual portions of Stephenson's Green Rice

It made for a pretty plate!

Dessert awaited on the sideboard.

The cake my mother always made for Valentine's
Baked in heart pans
And frosted like hers with 7 Minute frosting
(But not her recipe, alas, but my friend, Shirley Ann's)
And then sprinkled with pink coconut

Served with coffee

It was a nice luncheon
We had a grand time visiting and sharing

One of the highlights of the year, is my Valentine's luncheon for dear friends.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Cookbook Book Club -- Tried and True But Not Yours!

Always has a hiatus in November and December because we meet on the last Thursday of the month . . .. and family would not likes leaving the family Thanksgiving . . . and the time between Christmas and New Year's is always a busy week . . . 

In October, we decided on our theme -- to be hosted by Rhonda

Tried and True but not Yours!

We had our assignments
(our assignments are the category we're to bring)
and then we drew to see who would supply us with their 
"Tried and True" in that category.
We would make and bring and critique (as we always do)
But then the originator of the recipe would critique to see 
how well we did!

Rhonda had a conflict
So it was moved to Linderhof . . . 

 The dining room is ready for our guests!

The meal, as always, was stupendous!
It was the "best ever" . . . as it always is
(Either we have baby birth brain or it does get better every month)

The Menu:

Angela's Appetizer
Made by Michelle
I'm not sure what the name was but it was good, Michelle said it was easy,
and even with the Bourbon Smoked Gouda subbing for plain Smoked Gouda, it was tasty!
Angela gave Michelle a thumb's up!

Rita's Main Dish
Made by Rhonda
A curried chicken and rice dish
We all liked it except Rhonda was a littler apprehensive in the 1/2 cup of curry powder
the recipe called for and put in a 1/2 teaspoon
(Rita is checking to see whether there was a typo in the recipe that she typed off for Rhonda)
We all thought it was quite tasty!

Michelle's Cheese Potatoes
Made by Me!
They were good but not cheesy enough!    

Sara's Greek Salad
Made by Rhonda
We all liked it especially the dressing.    Rhonda thought it was too tart but we all thought it complimented the salad and the rest of the meal very well.    Rhonda did add olives which the original recipe did not call for!
Sara said Rhonda had nailed it!

A rogue dish -- Fire and Ice Relish
 recipe from no one but made by me.
I had all the ingredients in the fridge, saw the recipe in a cookbook and so I made it
It made way more than we could eat, the cookbook said it didn't last that long
so I included it on the table -- it complimented the rest of the meal very well!

 Rhonda's Artichoke and Rice Salad
Made by Michelle
It was very good.     Sara said she could eat it every day for lunch it was that good.
There was little left!
Rhonda said Michelle had nailed it!

Belynda's Bacon Brussel Sprouts
Made by Donna
We all liked them very much 
Michelle (because Belynda wasn't here but she's eaten them a lot) said that Donna nailed it!

Belynda's Balsamic Vinegar Brussel Sprouts
Made by Donna
We all liked these too.    Donna added mozzarella balls to Belynda's recipe.
We couldn't decide which we liked better.
(And if Donna is given two recipes she'll make both! -- and we're glad she did!)
Michelle said that Donna had nailed it!

My Vince's Buffalo Grill's Creamed Spinach
Made by Rita
It was a hit and several came back for seconds
Martha said Rita had nailed it!

But we can't have a meal without dessert:

Donna's Weight Watcher's Pumpkin Cake
Made by Angela 
It was amazing.    You would never know it was a Weight Watcher's recipe.
We lapped it up!!!!
Donna said that Angela had nailed it!

Rita's Cranberry Cake with Vanilla Sauce
Made by Sara
Rita said Sara had nailed it!

It was good.    We couldn't decide which cake we liked best
and we all ate every crumb of both.

It was interesting that so many of the recipes were not from books but rather handwritten or hand typed on paper or recipe cards.
It was also interesting that some of the recipes were "sketchy"
A comment was made that several felt as if they were participating
in a technical challenge on The Great British Bake Off
Enough directions to make the dish but some directions not quite clear enough!

I did the potatoes and I did not put on enough cheese.   It called for American cheese and I put on 5 slices . . . Michelle said I should have put on 15!    Quite a difference and while the potatoes were good, they were not as cheesy as they should have been!

Others fared better in their "technical challenge".

Also, even in our little town, sometimes ingredients are non-existent and things were substituted.    When the make said, "I had to substitute . . . " many chimed up with "you should have called me, I have that in the larder, freezer, refrigerator"!
Next time we know we'll put out an SOS email first
before we either drive to the city for the ingredient or make a substitution!

It was fun and it was interesting to see how your recipe tasted when someone else made it!

We're looking forward to February.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Is it Groundhog Day . . . or Candlemas?

It's February 2nd
The day that determines when it will be Spring!!!!

The Germans celebrate with Groundhog Day

They're not lovable creatures -- ground hogs!
They're not even cute creatures!
But they make an appearance on February 2nd
If they see their shadow, we'll soon have spring . . . 
if it's sunny, well, another six weeks of winter!

Today on the prairie . . . 

The sky looks like this!
Which means that Spring is soon on it's way
And we believe it . . . 
For it is supposed to be 60 degrees today!

The German in me celebrates Groundhog Day!

With ground hog for breakfast
in the form of biscuits and gravy


ground hog for dinner

In the form of a baked ziti casserole

But the English in me celebrates Candlemas

Sound familiar?

We never have to worry about this --
our Christmas decorations have been down for most of January!

But tonight . . . with our ground hog, we'll celebrate

By lighting candles on the dining room sideboard

And having candlelight at dinner
(the dinner of our ground hog!)

I'm optimistic that the shadowless groundhog and the cloudy day
will indeed predict that spring is soon on its way!