Monday, July 25, 2016

One Steep at a Thyme - MATBA Summer Seminar

The Quarterly Meeting for the Mid Atlantic Tea Business Association (MATBA) was held on Monday, July 11th at One Steep at a Thyme in Jamesburg, NJ. A carpool of MATBA members (Susanna from The Rosemary House, Lin from Tickle Your Fancy, Marcella the Tea and Hat Lady, and Janet from Over the Teacup and not pictured, Nancy from Sweet Remembrances) traveled from PA to NJ for this old-fashioned Fourth of July inspired meeting.

MATBA meetings always begin with a welcoming session where a nice selection of hot teas are offered along with an assortment of breakfast treats. Since most members travel a distance to each meeting, it's a nice opportunity to unwind from the journey and to greet members as they arrive at staggered times.

Owner and MATBA member Kathleen Hippeli prepared a nice variety of assorted scones and delicious toppings, croissants, mini quiches, and fresh fruit salad. Touches of red-white-and blue could be found around the tea room.
Once everyone arrived, the morning presentation, Tea Vessels = a way to steep up tea sales was presented by MATBA member Darlene Meyers-Perry of The Tea Lover's Archives. Darlene also maintains an interesting tea blog, The Tea Enthusiast's Scrapbook. This presentation on Tea Vessels was the same program that Darlene recently shared at the World Tea Expo held in Las Vegas. Those of us that were not able to travel to the Expo were particularly appreciative that Darlene was willing to present the program to the Association members.

Darlene Meyers-Perry

MATBA members

Special thanks to Darlene for her informative and interesting program. It's a wide wide world of tea accoutrements, and a journey in acquiring them and learning to utilize them!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Castle Creek Lavender Thyme Faire

This past June we vended at a new lavender festival only 10 miles from us, at Castle Creek Farm! It is so exciting to have an herbal event so close to home. Castle Creek Lavender Thyme Faire celebrated their 3rd year for this festival where they promote all things herbal, along with lavender, thyme, honey, and fiber.
 This event featured talks and vendors focused on lavender.  The gardens were well labeled so you could learn which lavender plant you wanted to plant in your own gardens.

While it is a relatively new event and you can see that reflected in the size of the lavender plants in the field, it is going to be fun to watch this festival grow.  One of the highlights was watching the llama shearing on Saturday.  Castle Creek Herb Farm in Dillsburg, PA is the host of this festival.
Angelica's favorite parts were the horses including the mini's, and the lavender ice cream!! They had chocolate lavender, raspberry lavender, and vanilla. Yum! Cedar's favorite part was playing with the boys in the creek. This event is a winner for the whole family!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mansions along the Delaware River - Pennsbury Manor

View, facing the river
The final mansion we visited on our traveling bus tour was Pennsbury Manor, the re-created country estate of William Penn. This is a living history museum that takes us back to the 1680's, an era still dependent upon travel on the Delaware River.   

William Penn received the land of Pennsylvania (Penn's Woods) from the King to settle a debt owed to his father. While William Penn only lived in America for 4 years, he founded a government that was built on representation of the people, ethnic and religious tolerance and a fair jury system.
William Penn was fair with the Indians and other land owners and entertained many here in this home just up the river from the city he designed, Philadelphia.

The withdrawing room, a private room just for William Penn for coffee, tea or hot cocoa, all expensive commodities in the time.
In the large Kitchen garden many herbs were grown, and even more vegetables for the manor, the guests and the servants. The cistern in the middle was filled with water from the river.

Hops Vine, grown and harvested to brew ale

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mansions Along the Delaware - The Grundy Memorial Museum

The Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Museum, overlooking the scenic Delaware river, was established by the late Senator  Joseph Grundy. It represents the later part of the 1800's and is an excellent example of a Victorian Era Residence. The decor and furnishing constitute a fine Victorian residence of the era. The woodworking in this mansion is amazing, with carved oak paneled walls and a majestic staircase in the foyer.
This mansion was located in the center of the town. It was an extensive property but the grounds were obviously very well maintained. A glimpse of the peaceful river can be spotted in the background of this arbor. The guides told us about an amusement park that used to be located on the island directly across from the mansion.
Beautiful Victorian china display
Elegance and fine dining!
Afternoon Tea
And a few displays from the bedroom.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mansions Along the Delaware - Andalusia

The Rosemary House recently hosted a Traveling Herb Seminar that featured Mansions along the Delaware River. This tour showed us what over 300 years of entertaining along the Delaware River looked like back in the day. The Delaware River forms the eastern border of Pennsylvania and separates our state from New Jersey. Now a very peaceful view, in the early days of our developing country, the river was a multi-lane highway of commerce and traffic. Our first stop was Andalusia. This Greek Revival style home has been entertaining visitors since 1836.
This lovely country estate is located 13 miles upstream from central Philadelphia in Bucks County. Privately held by the Biddle Family, we were fortunate to be able to take a peek inside and a very quick walk around the grounds. An attempt at commercial grape growing was made in the mid 1800's. Two enormous masonry walls have been partially restored to show their original purpose. These walls currently enclose and enhance the formal garden.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Taste of Tea

Each year Penn-Cumberland Garden Club holds their annual Bertha P. Reppert Herb Tea Party. This is the 52nd year for this creative event. Typically, this is a themed event with a special speaker and coordinated menu and foods that feature many herbs. This year the Tea and Hat Lady, Marcella Farina was the speaker. As a Specialty Tea Institute (STI) Certified Tea Specialist, Marcella generously shared her knowledge on tea. She brought many tea items to display, and this Korean Tea Cozy Basket caught my fancy.
Korean Tea Cozy
This compact Traveling Tea set affords you the opportunity to sit down and brew some tea for yourself and several friends wherever you are in your journey.
Marcella's presentation was both interesting and informative. Shown here are a few tea gadgets from her personal collection. Tea cozies, a tea themed mat, gong fu teapot, tea tasting cup, and a draining tray are just a few of the tea related items she shared. For more on tea, follow and like The Tea and Hat Lady on Facebook.
Since this event was held in early spring, the outdoor planters were not very far along, so the committee decorated them with miniature tea settings.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Pretty as a Princess Tea Party

Yesterday, a very hot July day, we welcomed the Mermaid Princess and Rapunzel to the herb gardens of Sweet Remembrances and The Rosemary House for a delightful afternoon tea and an entertaining visit from both princesses. Little girls dressed in purples and pinks and ocean blues gathered under the pavilion to enjoy a summertime activity. The tables were set with a seaside theme, and colorful cups quietly announced the purpose of the day.

Tangled Fresh Fruit with Scuttle's Almond Cream
Mothers and daughters, grandmothers and aunts, great nieces, too, were offered hot tea or pink lemonade before the first course was served. Once everyone had a beverage, plates of Tangled Fresh Fruit were served with Scuttle's Almond Cream. After the fresh fruit, three tiered trays laden with tea party treats were presented to each group of guests.

Angelica with the tiered tray.
The bottom tier featured sandwiches:
  • Ursula's Zucchini Bread with Mascarpone Cheese Filling 
  • Perfect for a Prince Peanut Butter and Jelly Squares 
  • Pretty as a Princess Glittery Magic Wands 
  • The Ruler of the Sea, King Triton's Crowns 
  • The Royal Guard's Cucumber Rounds 
  • Mother Gothel's Ham Salad Teapots
The middle tier held:
  • Let Down Your Golden Tea Bread 
  • Queen Arianna's Favorite Cream Scone with Sweet Cream.

The most popular tier featured
  •  Rapunzel's Favorite Flower Cupcake 
  •  The little Mermaid Beach Cupcakes
  • Sebastian's Favorite Popcorn Balls

While the young girls were enjoying their tea and treats, the Princesses from My Fantasy Party visited each table and shared stories and laughter about their adventures. A craft was also shared by the princesses. Singing, 'Princess Says', and photos with the princesses rounded out the day.

Sandwich Assortment
We've joined Bernideen's Tea Time Blog Party this week. Check our her blog, and fellow bloggers!
Sharing happiness!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Entangle- Mint??

Is your mint patch an entanglement of mint varieties? Try sinking individual pots in the ground. Be sure to leave about 2 inches of pot above ground so that mint doesn't escape. The mint will try its hardest to grow outside of the pot but if you are firm it will stay contained. If your mints grow together you will loose the uniqueness of the individual varieties and simply end up with "mint". So it's best to keep your chocolate mint away from the orange mint and separate that from the pineapple mint and don't let the spearmint or peppermint rule the roost. Instead keep them all in separate pots sunk in the ground so that watering isn't a problem.