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, March 26, 2020

The Fairy Garden

I've always been enchanted with fairies and their gardens And way before it became popular, I created one at Linderhof

In 2008, I used an old wheelbarrow that Husband Jim had gotten someplace. 
For a few years it sat between the drives on the north side of the house and was planted with annuals It's most successful planting, however, was one of pansies one fall By spring it was absolutely beautiful and as I washed the dishes I could see the wheelbarrow of pansies -- it made winter bearable!
 I made the fairy house at Red Cedar -- it was a class -- cheaper than what you could buy a comparable house for but not cheap by any means. Fairy houses were rare and costly in 2008. I lined the paths with stone and did plantings.

 It was a successful garden! But in 2009, I decided to move it. So I put it in the garden by the side fence. I also made it flat rather than leaning. I have a few "things" in the garden now including a potting shed. And a big fairy watches over!

And before 2009 progressed much further, I moved the fairy house -- which isn't as hard as moving a real house. Also there are "things" in the garden -- an arbor, fairies, toadstools!

 In 2013, the garden is still by the side fence. There are some shrubs as well as pansies and do I spy a bee skep? And a bigger fairy? The sparseness of the 2013 garden was because it was shady and so I moved the garden back to it's original location -- I have a pond -- with a fish and somewhere there are fairies -- but you know they are shy creatures and will hide!

I moved the garden back to the original location --
it isn't "location, location, location" with gardening
but rather "sun, sun, sun"
And it was just too shady by the back fence for anything really to flourish in
the fairy garden.

It seems at home here!

I always enjoy Spring time when the pansies are blooming!

 Last year Wal Mart had some wee daffodils and I bought them for the fairy garden. They looked smashing among the pansies and other plantings!

 It's 2020 and there are a lot more things in the garden -- more fence, a mailbox (because fairies do get mail), another arbor and a bench in the fenced off garden, a rocker by the front door and a table, chair and wee tea set. The bench, rocker, table, chair and tea set were a 50th anniversary gift last year -- but I don't know from whom. It was wrapped but there was no card! It's a nice day today and the fairies have been busy this morning. They've tidied up their garden a bit. I think that they, too, like the rest of us are homebound. And like fairies always do, when humans are about, they turn to stone! 
(That's daughter Sarah's story and she and I stick to it!)

 My grands love the fairy garden And they have one of their own. 

A big pot rather than a wheelbarrow And they play in theirs -- burying the garden tools, wheelbarrow, fairies and even their fairy house! But they always dig it up again. 

It was Lucy's second birthday present --
Piper got her toy chest
So really, although Lucy shares nicely with Piper -- it's really Lucy's garden

And a few years later at a Piper/Lucy joint birthday party,
the theme was fairies --
guests enjoyed checking out the fairy garden
(and, of course, the fairies turned to stone upon spying humans!)

 It's the small magical part of the garden at Linderhof -- this fairy garden. And I must say that usually the fairies are much better garden keepers than I am!

I'm happy to say that a local shop, Redbud, carries Fairy garden supplies
So if you want to build one of your own . . . all it takes is wee plants and a little imagination!

Friday, March 6, 2020

The Flamingo Saga

What started out as one flamingo . . . 
four years ago, when on a shopping trip, Nana bought Lucy

a flamingo purse
(because she was a good little girl while her Mother shopped)
She's clutching her "prize" as we're leaving the store!

She still has the flamingo.
It's name went from "Mingo" to "Fleur"
Lucy names everything!!!

Fleur becasue it is a girl flamingo, silly!

Lucy decided that she needed a husband for Fleur . . . and some babies.
But in Minnesota, you don't run out and buy stuffed flamingos --
you don't run out and buy any kind of flamingos!

So she asked her Momma to call Nana
So Nana could make a husband and babies for Fleur
"because Nana can make anything"!


I certainly was challenged and how could I NOT live up to that comment --
"Nana can make anything"!

We convinced Lucy that only Mama Flamingos had purses
and that was one problem solved

I bought fleece  both pink and white
(because Lucy informed me that babies were white)

Before I could get Fleur's groom and babies made,
Lucy decided that they also needed wedding clothes!


I made a pattern for "Mingo"
(which is what Poppa Flamingo was to be named)
And cut it out and stitched it up!

I made the children more on the order of flamingo Christmas ornaments -- only white!
(and they were hand stitched!)

And I was pleased with how they turned out.

As to the wedding clothes,
I had leftover sparkly pink tulle from Halloween costumes

It made a great veil!

And I made a black and white bow tie for Mingo that could be slipped on and off.
The children got no clothes -- they were children after all.

Once made, I packed them in a box and shipped them off to Minnesota
They arrived!

And Lucy was elated and still thinks "Nana can make anything"!!!!

I could not create a family for Lucy without doing something for Piper.    Her request was much simpler for she not only had a mama cat, she had kittens so all she asked for was a Daddy Cat.
Which I found at Wal Mart.
I made his bow tie and I made a veil for her momma cat.

She was as happy as Lucy over her animal family
and loves her big cat.

The girls had to create special beds in their room that night for their families
and before they could hop in their beds, they had to tuck their
families in.

I have come to the realization that I was born to be a Nana . . . 
It is a joy to please these little girls.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Cookbook Book Club -- Molly Yeh

Last night was Cookbook Club
At Linderhof
The Theme was Molly Yeah

Table is set and ready for company
Spode Blue Italian on rattan chargers
blue linen napkins
And my "normal" bouquet of flowers
which seemed cheery for a rainy February night

We had fun with Molly
She's young and vibrant and likes sprinkles!

And her food is good
Although we all agreed that she was a bit "putty"
And she did use unusual ingredients
Unusual ingredients that we couldn't find here so how did she find
them in the supermarket in her little town closet to her farm
on the Dakota/Minnesota border?

Since I was hostess, I provided the entree

Chicken Pot Hotdish
Hotdish, a Minnesota classic
cooked meat, frozen vegetables, a can of cream of soup and tater tots on top
But Molly takes it up a level -- with chicken, a white sauce, fresh vegetables
But still topped with the frozen tater tots
All put into a casserole and baked!

Michelle brought challah.
Michelle bakes bread so baking bread was not new to her
but braiding it was!
As a person who ate three pieces,
it was really good bread!

 Rita has starch and she chose the German potato salad.    It was really really good
and she says that she will make it again and others said that they would make it as well!

Angela brought grilled veggie salad with an avocado ranch dressing. Oh, my was this good -- I especially loved the dressing -- it would be good on anything!

Rhonda brought the other salad -- bagel salad.    With a lemony vinaigrette that was really good as well.    Besides being good at sprinkles, Molly is good at salad dressing!    This one had lettuces, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs (which some of us carefully picked around) plus homemade bagel croutons and cream cheese rolled in everything bagel seasoning.    I did notice when Rhonda went home, that although there was salad left, none of those cream cheese bites were!

Sara had vegetables and she was our over-achiever this time.    She brought two.   The roasted Brussel sprouts dish was very good and there was little left for her to take home!

Sara's other dish was creamed spinach with crispy cheese and she followed Molly's direction and used frozen spinach although she would have preferred fresh.    The crispy cheese definitely added to the dish!

Belynda had vegetable as well and brought the Brussels sprouts latkes which were really really good.    Several members had never had any kind of latkes.    We especially like the Dijon dipping sauce that accompanied the dish!

There's nothing like a Monster cookie and Donna chose that as her dessert.    She had wanted to make the lemon cake with cranberry glaze but upon coming home from work at 5:30 and noting that it was a 2 hour recipe, she decided to go with Plan B -- the cookies!     they were a perfect ending!   (and her grandchildren I'm sure enjoyed the leftovers!)

We never just have one dessert and since the member that was bringing the other dessert wasn't coming, I asked first one member if she would bring a dessert (she's always happiest when she gets to bring dessert - but she was too busy) and so I asked Donna who often brings two of whatever her category is but she was too busy as well, so I decided to go ahead and make something.
That lemon cake with cranberry glaze was enticing and I did have the 2 hours to do it, but decided that a cookie might be a better second dessert choice so I chose the salted chocolate rugalah.
With sprinkles!
They were very good and even our non-chocolate person ate one!

We did visit into the night and solved every problem in our town and the world!
We also noted that we are starting our sixth year of Cookbook Book Clubbing
and five of the original six members are still with us!

Next meeting is "smash burgers"!