Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tea Quote

Find yourself a cup; 
the teapot is behind you.
Now tell me about hundreds of things.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Rosemary Topiary

It is easy to create your own Rosemary Topiary.  To make a heart shaped topiary, shape the heart using an 18 gauge wire.  We like to twist the ends together and create a piece the depth of the pot. We also glue the wire to the bottom of the pot for added stability. Next, select two small rosemary plants with a fairly straight and long leader. We have a nice selection of herbs plants available in the shop!
Plant both of the rosemary plants in the same flower pot.  Run one leader up the right side of the heart and the other up the other side. You will need to use very small twist ties to attach the rosemary to the heart shaped wire.  We like to use two plants as it will grow all the way around the heart shape faster. As the rosemary plants grow, continue to attach the plant to the wire with little twist ties to reinforce the shape of the heart.
You can also make a "standard" or lollipop-shaped topiary. Tie the leader to your tall straight wire.  You don't want to pinch the leader until it reaches the height you want it to be.  Then as the plant grows, pinch the rosemary and it will start to bush out. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Lemon Caesar Salad

Lemon Caesar Salad - it's the dressing that makes this a hit!
1 head Romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
garlic croutons

Fresh Lemon Dressing
1/2 c. oil
1 Tbsp. sour cream
3 Tbsp. lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper (or more!)

In medium bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth. Let dressing flavors blend and marinate overnight in fridge. Before serving, remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Gently toss dressing with Romaine lettuce and Parmesan cheese. Plate salad, Add croutons and top with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Sweet Remembrances Mother's Day Tea

Mother's Day celebrations in Sweet Remembrances Tea Room were held on Sunday. Sweet little herb plans, wrapped in foil with a teapot shaped caddy attached served as both the centerpiece for the table and a little gift for each attendee. A printed menu with a few of mom's favorite expressions were placed on each table. 
Clean Up Your Room! Wait until your father gets home! Call me when you get there! and I love you! 
Any of those sound like familiar refrains from your youth?

Before the Afternoon Tea began, guests selected their tea from an extensive tea list. Assorted large and small teapots were shared among the tables. Once tea was served, the Afternoon Tea was served, beginning with a fresh Lemon Caesar Salad topped with garlic croutons and Parmesan cheese.

Individual sandwich plates were served next which featured our Queen Adelaide Ham and Chicken Salad Triangles, a warm Rolled Asparagus Sandwich with pistachio nuts and bacon bits, a Petite Tart Shell filled with piped cream cheese and Super Sassy Pepperelly (a specialty item sold in The Rosemary House), May Flower Sandwich with a hint of almond and rose geranium flavors, Roast Beef with Cucumber, Radishes and Herbed Goat Cheese, and a Skewer with Tortellini, Tomato and Baby Mushroom.

Scones, always served fresh from the oven, featured Traditional English Cream and Cinnamon Chip with Sweet Cream and Raspberry Preserves alongside Fresh Fruit.

And the little trio of desserts included Chocolate Glazed Poppyseed Cake, Miniature Key Lime Pie, and Raspberry Shortbread Cookies.

We hope you enjoyed a very special Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

MATBA - Goodie Bags!

The Mid Atlantic Tea Business Association offers an excellent opportunity for like minded businesses professionals in the tea industry to connect and share on several levels. The mission statement for the Association is to advance the knowledge of tea through networking and educational opportunities for the entrepreneur within the tea business. In this end, the Association offers an Annual Seminar typically held in April, and three additional meetings held in January, July, and October. At the Annual Seminar this year, Goodie Bags were provided to the members in attendance. They were full of samples and brochures. Special thanks to all the members that contributed to this bag of delights!

 Gypsy's Tea Room, where the seminar was held this year, shared a sample of Gypsy's Blend. Their house blend is a decaffeinated black tea with sweet raspberry and rich vanilla undertones.
East Indies Coffee and Tea shared a sample package of 5 pyramid tea sachets with such flavors as Chai Americaine, Earl Grey a la creme, Assam, Lemon Souffle Rooibos, and Pomegranate.

Susanna Reppert of The Rosemary House included a sample of  their special herb seasoning or bread mix.  Tea-for-All included a sample of roasted Hojicha, a green tea from Japan while The Tea and Hat Lady included Rosie's Heart, a dark tea with a dusty rose flavor from the Hunan Province of China. Bingley's Teas provided a boxed sample of their newest Jane Austen inspired tea series. Karen Donnelly from Enchantment for Your Table tucked in a pretty card that featured a recipe for Buttermilk Currant Scones. Darlene Meyers Perry from The Tea Lover's Archives included her website information and The Tea house Times had a clever promotional card with a tea measuring scoop attached to the card encouraging you to 'get the scoop'.  And the Association added their newest sticker for members to display at their business location.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Afternoon Tea - Gypsy's Tea Room, Westminster, MD

A recent gathering of tea related business owners and members of the Mid Atlantic Tea Business Association (MATBA) was held at Gypsy's Tea Room in Westminster, MD last month. In addition to a welcoming reception and program, those in attendance enjoyed a delightful Afternoon Tea.

Before we were seated, the tables were set in all their finest with iced mint tea and a fresh Strawberry Almond Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette. The salad featured fresh greens, strawberries, mandarin oranges, goat cheese and almonds; a very tasty combination!
The teas that were offered during the Afternoon Tea were specifically selected to be paired with the menu. Options included Pinhead Gunpowder, Darjeeling, Keemun, and Classic Chai. To continue with the theme of our morning session, the Science of Taste, it was suggested we compare the variety of teas with each different menu option to see how they interacted, either complementing the food, or perhaps even overpowering either the tea or the food. All four teas were available on the table to consider how they worked with the menu. 

A warm White Chocolate Scone with jam and cream was offered after the salad.
And following the scone course, the traditional three tiered tray was served. On the bottom tier, the sandwiches included a Traditional Cucumber Sandwich with Chive Butter, Smoked Salmon Canapes with Cream Cheese and Fresh Dill on Pumpernickel, Pork Tenderloin on Baguette with Sweet and Savory Pepper Jelly, and Granny Smith Apples, Cheddar & Chutney on Whole Wheat. An abundance of flavors right there!

The middle tier held a nice assortment of fresh fruit and Lemon Mousse Parfait which was so light and delicate and presented with a fresh edible violet.

And dessert featured Shortbread Cookies and (to die for) Chocolate Truffles.
Special Thanks to Jo Fleck and her daughter Lora Andrews for a delightful and memorable Afternoon Tea. Following tea, the MATBA members held their annual business meeting and concluded the day with the presentation of Goodie Bags.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

MATBA - Morning Reception - Gypsy's Tea Room

The Mid Atlantic Tea Business Association recently held their Annual Seminar at Gypsy's Tea Room in Westminster, MD. The seminar typically begins with a Morning Reception. Attendees traveling from MD, NJ, and PA arrive during this time, providing a casual start to the day until everyone arrives. Several varieties of teas are brewed and ready to enjoy along with tea breads and fresh fruit.
The event was hosted by Jo Fleck of Gypsy's Tea Room and her daughter Lora Andrews of Cup Tea Bar & Cafe, also located in Westminster, MD. Lora balances her time and expertise between both locations all the while juggling the responsibilities of motherhood. 
The tea offered in the morning included Lung Ching (green), Ti Quan Yin (oolong) and  Irish Breakfast (black). The teas were specifically selected to complement the tea breads and fruits that were served. Mango Lime Tea Bread, Lemon Thyme Tea Bread, and Lavender Tea Bread rounded out the variety of tea breads. They were enjoyed with Lemon Curd or Honey Butter.

Business Associates representing Tea by Two, Bel Air, MD
 As we sampled the morning breads, fruits, and teas, we were instructed to pay particular attention to the pairing of the teas, noting how the tea and food tasted together, or observing the possibility that the flavor element perhaps disappeared or even clashed with the flavors. All of these observations were to be discussed and reviewed during our featured seminar topic that was presented by Dr. Virginia Utermohlen Lovelace on the Science of Taste.
Tea Merchandise in Gypsy's Tea Room

Monday, May 2, 2016

Summer Wardrobe Addition

 One of our cousins lives in California, and she and her husband recently visited the Japanese American National Museum located in Los Angeles.

And how fortuitous for Nancy, as she's now the recipient of a new tea shirt! Tish spotted this shirt, thought of her, and sent it along as an un-birthday present! Designed by Ken Sasaki of Sasaki Stuff, the design is called the "Tea Maiden". It's presently listed on their gift shop website if you'd like one!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy May Day!

Once the coveted gift of a secret admirer, May baskets seem to have gone out of style. Alas, we live in a harried time and a pretty basket of flowers found on our doorstep would indeed be a surprise. In a less stressful era, weaving tiny baskets and gathering mosses to line them were another sure sign of spring. Forget-me-knots, violets, primroses and pretty little wild flowers nestled in the moss were a sentimental offering. 
Excerpt from Mrs. Reppert's TwelveMonth Herbal, 1996, Remembrance Press

May Day celebrations are held all around the world. One enchanting little tradition involves secretly putting a pretty bouquet of fresh spring flowers on your neighbor's doorknob. If they discover you doing this, they must give you a kiss! What a sweet little tradition! This lovely little nosegay includes smiling pansies, sweet lily-of-the-valley, a petite spring tulip, and lovage greens. This delicate little bouquet is in an embroidered hankie that has been folded and neatly pressed into a cone. A satin ribbon, with two bows is attached to the hankie in order to hang it on the door.
Happy May Day!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Celebrating the 5th Wedding Anniversary!

Has it really been five years since we celebrated the Royal Wedding of Kate and William? Their love continues to blossom, and they capture our hearts with each arrival of the royal blessings.

At Sweet Remembrances, we celebrated the wedding with several gala events. This display of all things wedding which included my vintage Barbie Doll in her wedding gown, was set up in the tea room for a week of royal celebrations.
To begin the festivities for the week, Nancy donned a pearl tiara and served a Ladies in Waiting Tea that featured a diamond and sapphire cookie to resemble the engagement ring.

A Royal Reception was planned for the following evening.

Shown here is the sandwich selection from the Royal Reception that we enjoyed after the wedding. As you can see, gold, crystal, and china were all put into service for such a regal occasion.

Dessert included Will and Kate's favorites - a rich chocolate biscuit cake and a sweet petite raspberry wedding cake.

It has been fun looking back to the celebrations from five years ago!
Here's to the next five! May they be just as happy and blessed with good health, lots of adventure and great joy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Treasures from Friends

Every other month, a group of friends visit Sweet Remembrances for Afternoon Tea. They are a happy lot of work buddies - some are still in the work place, others have since retired - but they gather together to laugh over old times and keep up with friendships forged over the years. During their last visit, they surprised me with an amazing tea themed gift. Nestled in a red cloth box was the most intricate little tea set made using natural bird egg shells.

The set, from Mexico, included a petite tea pot crafted with the whole egg, a sugar and creamer also made with the whole egg, and six amazingly delicate little tea cups using half shells that are nestled in small brass fittings to resemble a tea cup. This is the most unique tea set I've ever seen! And it came with a glass display box.
Cleverly artistic sister Marj, arranged the tea set in the glass box and tucked geodes, thin pieces of sliced rock, and feathers to compliment the set. What a beautiful treasure to display in the tea room. Thank you so much to fellow tea fanatics that simply knew I would adore this special tea set!