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.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Cookbook Book Club -- Magnolia Table

Rita was the hostess and chose

A couple of us had the cookbook and a couple more had family that had the cookbook
(although one member said that their mother and sister would NOT let them borrow it -- she had to take pictures of the recipe!)

And as we always say . . . . it was the best meal ever!

We started with

Beck's Crackers
Which I brought as part of my appetizer offering.
They're easy and not at all soggy which is what I expected in soaking crackers in 2 cups of oil!

They're tasting.    Make an ordinary soda cracker special and would make them again
to either take or as an accompaniment to a first course salad when I had company.

Our entree:

Hostess Rita

 chose this dish.     We all thought it was delicious even though one of the ingredients is the elusive can of Cream of Onion soup!    (Joe, Rita's husband, had to drive to Pittsburg to get it!!!).  But yet, last spring every store in our town carried it!    But alas, no more!
We all agreed that we would make this dish!


I had appetizer 

I chose deviled eggs.    Quite different from mine with candied bacon on top and dill pickle relish inside.    I've made deviled eggs with herbs before but never with dry mustard.     Will it replace my
tried and true -- never!    Will I make it again -- perhaps!     They certainly were pretty on the plate!


Sara was our overachiever this time and brought two.
(but in fairness to her the other vegetable person was gone and she took up the slack!)

This was a new dish for me although several other members it's a regular holiday offering.
It's tasty and certainly easy because it's a can of this or a box of that.

 Sara's vegetable dish No. 2

She made a half recipe and we all really liked the dish!

Our starch/bread:

Michelle chose bread

Jo Jo's biscuits.     Plus the strawberry butter!    Which we all adored.   It's an unusual biscuit in that it is more like a quick bread (said Michelle) in batter texture and it has an egg!    They are a tasty biscuit and you can certainly taste the baking powder in them.

Our Salad Offering:

Donna brought a tomato avocado salad that was delicious!
Not from the book, but we didn't care because it was so good!!!

It was a full plate of food!
(oh, and you can see the strawberry butter!)
And plates were licked clean!

Of course, no Cookbook Book Club would be complete without dessert:


brought Donuts.    OMG, they were good!    A strawberry with a lemon glaze and
a regular doughnut with a maple glaze.
We took half of each (way too full to have a whole one of each)

And the other dessert?

Rhonda made lemon pie.
Her's was prettier than Jo's

We had small pieces but it was so good!

We all agreed that Joanna Gaines recipes were easy.    Ingredients (except for that elusive cream of onion soup and we may be in a non cream of onion soup area) were easy to find.    She used lots of butter.    (As people were describing their recipes it was . . . I used 3 sticks of butter . . . I used 2 sticks of butter . . .).  And her recipes definitely feed a crowd based on what was leftover.   They're Texas size recipes but that's only fitting for she lives in Waco!    We agreed that many could be cut in half rather than have tons of leftovers.

I have the cookbook and until yesterday had only made the biscuits from it, but I do think I will be using it a bit more.    In fact, I have company coming for lunch tomorrow and will make the Jalapeño cornbread to accompany my luncheon stew.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Mother's Lilac

I call this Mother's Lilac
But perhaps I should call it my lilac
For it's great great grandmother
grew outside the bedroom window
of the apartment my parents lived in
when I was born.
Before I was a year old, the perfume of this lilac's ancestor
perfumed the night air as it's fragrance wafted in and over my crib!

It's an old fashioned lilac
I'm sure it has a "real name" but I'm not sure what it is.
The very same lilac can be found in abandoned farm yards
For often that was one of the first thing a farm wife would do,
get a start of a lilac and plant it in the corner of the yard!

It's been here 20 years
And most years it does bloom
(the years it doesn't is because we had a frost, killing the blossoms)

Mother would never let me have a start as much as I begged.
"You'll kill it" she always said.
So the year that we lost her, before we sold the house, I dug up a start
and planted it between the drives at Linderhof.

The very next year, it bloomed.    Just one blossom.
But I figured that bloom was Mother's way to tell me that she was happy
that "her" lilac would continue to grow.

My parents moved from that apartment when I was five,
And a start was planted in the garden of our new house.
We didn't live there all that long, but when we moved to the ranch house in the
suburbs, a start moved with us.

Just one each time -- mother wasn't greedy!

And I yearned for a start of that lilac.
For although I call it Mother's, I think of it as mine!

The flowers are perfection
And the aroma is heavenly

I don't cut all the blossoms for I love the smell of lilac whenever I go outside.

The lilac has some "starts" around the base.
One is going north on our next trip to visit Daughter Sarah
and her girls.
A fourth generation will be able to enjoy this humble lilac.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Back Door

In the 20s, "back" doors to houses were often on the side --
they weren't "back doors" per se,
but rather considered a
"Service Entrance"
(and you'll find them labeled as that on 20s houseplant)

Our "back door" or "service entrance"
is on the side and it isn't a true back door

It opens onto a landing --
up three steps and to the right is the door to the kitchen
down 10 steps and you're in the basement
When Linderhof had an ice box, it was in the hall off the kitchen,
the same hall that leads to the service door.
Handy for the iceman.

In days gone by 
(when Linderhof was young),
not only was ice delivered to this door,
but so was milk and groceries.
The maid (and yes, in her early years, Linderhof had a maid)
took care of answering this door and I am sure
that this is how she entered the house when she came to work
And through this door she went, when she went home in the evening

But it's a pretty door
And really too elegant for a back door
Actually, it's too elegant for a service entrance!

Occasionally, when our front porch was screened, we had guests coming to this door,
thinking it was the front!

It really is too pretty to be for the use of delivery men!

 Especially with the corbels holding up the roof
And the only last remaining original outside lights
(they were damaged by the hail storm a few years back but we
were able to match the glass -- it's hard to tell which pane is a replacement)

And on either side of the door

Are concrete planters
Which fit perfectly on the brick walls that flank the door

We fill them with pansies in the spring

And begonias in the summer

 A cheery back entrance

And you'll note that the ceiling of the "porch" is painted haint blue,
like the front porch!
It's the perfect touch!

But, alas, you'll notice that the screen
(the 100 year old screen)
looks as if it has seen better days.

I hadn't really noticed
(you know how you don't look at things)
until I took a picture of this year's pansy plantings
and thought OMG --
I need a new screen in my door!

Off came the screen door,
down to D and J glass
and they kindly fixed me up!

Looks so much better
And perhaps it will last another 99 years!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

I'm Daffy Over Daffodils!

I love bulbs --
tulips, hyacinths, daffodils

But I mostly love daffodils
They are a forgiving bulb 
Will happily sit in the ground and multiply
And their yellow and white colors are like a welcome ray of spring sunshine!

And I plant way too many every year
But I'm a horrible keeper of the bulbs
For I forget what varieties are where!

But I enjoy them
And they're all over Linderhof's garden --
both front and back!

This year even Linderhof's fairies have
Not planted by me in the fall, but bought already in bud from Wal Mart
They certainly lend a cheerfulness to the fairy garden!

The row of daffodils lining the north fence

A beautiful white with a pretty center

And a small yellow one

Yellow daffodils are like rays of Spring sunshine!

Yellow with an orange center
Another small variety

And a white ruffly one that's also fragrant!

Some more small ones
(which I probably bought for the fairy garden but planted them here instead!)

And these wee white ones!

The rose bed is lined with them
planted years ago

And this year we planted some to line the walkway from curb to sidewalk
We ran out so that will be the first place we plant this year!

But the daffs are not only to enjoy outside
But inside as well
And we keep them on tabletops until they're gone
We're glad we planted early, mid and late bulbs
For we have a long season of bloom

On the breakfast room table

An assortment

And on the living room coffee table

Some pretty white ones!

But as there are daffodils in the garden
there can be daffodils in the kitchen
A daffodil cake!

It's an old cake, Daffodil Cake
Half angel food and half sponge
So half white and half yellow
The last time I baked it, I set a juice glass in the center and put a bouquet of
daffodils in it!

My guests were impressed.

Here's the recipe in cake you want to serve a Daffodil Cake this spring!


1 1/4 c. sifted cake flour
1 1/2 c. plus 2 T. sugar, divided
1 1/4 c. egg whites, at room temperature (about 10 eggs)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
4 egg yolks
1 t. grated orange rind
2 T. orange juice

Orange butter Frosting:

1/4 c. butter
1/8 t. salt
2 T. orange rind
3 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 c. orange juice
1 1/2 t. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375.

Sift together flour and 1/2 c. sugar.     Beat egg whites in a large bowl, until foamy; add salt and cream of tartar and vanilla.    Beat until soft peaks form.    Sprinkle in 1 cup sugar, 1/4 c. at a time, beating until just blended.    Fold flour mixture into egg whites, 1/4 c. at a time, using a rubber spatula.

Beat egg yolks with orange rind, orange juice and remaining 2 T. sugar until thick and light.    Stir 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture.

Scrape yellow and white batters into an uncreased 10 inch tube pan to give a marbled eggiest with white layer on top.     Bake 30 to 35 m minutes, until done.     Invert pan; let cool.    Remove cake from pan.

To prepare frosting, combine butter, salt, orange rind and 1 c. powdered sugar in a mixing bowl.    Beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy.    Add remaining sugar and orange juice alternately, beating until smooth and spreadable.     Beat in lemon juice.    Frost top and sides of cake.