Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Little Miss


From cute to coy.... in a few simple moves.

Coy by definition: marked by cute,
coquettish, or artful playfulness

Saturday, September 27, 2008

MOLE PLANT

Euphorbia lathyrus, commonly know as the Mole Plant is a biennial (two year plant). This picture shows a small forest of the mole plant in its first year of growth.
The following photos show the second year growth of this milkweed cousin. Allegedly, the roots give off an enzyme that repels moles within a large diameter. We don't have moles so perhaps it is working. It has a spiky look to it, almost prehistoric. The round balls on the plant are the seed pods
beginning to ripen and drop to seed for next year.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Through the door...


"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead
where there is no path and leave a trail."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Step Back in Time


We bid thee kindly welcome!
We celebrated the Medieval era last night as we hosted a 14th century multi-course feast in the tea room. The menu, served on trenchers (hollowed out thick slices of bread utilized as plates), consisted of Dilled Veal Balls, Cabbage Chowder, Golden Leeks and Onions, Puree of Peas, Baked Herbed Eggs, Mixed Pickles, Chicken and Rice with Almonds, Boiled Garlic, Mushrooms and Leeks, Pumpkin Bread with Lemon Curd, Hermits, Circlets, and Mulled Cider.
The Lords and Ladies in attendance received a brief touch on the etiquette of the era before the meal (share the 'messe' courteously, don't drink from a shared cup with your mouth full, don't pick your teeth with your knife, nor wipe your mouth on the tablecloth, do not gnaw bones, or tear meat to bits with your teeth or fingers, no belching or spitting please). In addition, the King's wash basin water was sampled to confirm that no one had attempted to poisoned him, the meal served, and a sampling of fresh figs from our fig tree preceded the presentation on the fascinating lore and history of herbs utilized in foods, medicines, as poisons or amulets.
Fare thee well.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chicle/Chewing Gum


One of our recent after school activities was to be "Chicleros". Using the sap of the Sapodilla tree we made our own chewing gum. The sap is called Chicle. The Sapodilla trees grow in the rain forest and the sap is tapped out of the tree annually for 4 or 5 years.

To make our sticky mess we melted chicle and added corn syrup, confectioners sugar and tutti frutti flavoring.

We continued to work in the confectioners sugar and flavoring until we could roll it out and then cut it into chicklet size gum squares to be enjoyed by all. Most gum today is made by synthetic gum bases and other chemicals so this chewing gum kit was a clever glimpse into the past and fun way to help the rainforest.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Sense of Fall


The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Friday, September 19, 2008

Talk Like A Pirate Day


Aaaargh maties..... be it known that yer 19th day of Septemberr marketh International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Aye, 'tis true! Shiver me timbers, 'tis a day to celebrate! Peg Leg, Old Salt, Hook, Crow's Nest, and Captain Jack took sail this August past whilst a few lily-livered landlubbers stayed ashore.

The scurrrvy lot later celebrated with a bountiful feast where yer manners be cast aside. Yo, ho, ho - that be their favorite dinner! AAARGH!



Thursday, September 18, 2008

In Bloom in the Garden - Passion Flower


Whoo Hoo! We are so excited to finally have a happy and perennial passion flower in our garden. It has taken us several tries in several different locations but our efforts have been rewarded.

It is native to the Americas and the early Spanish explorers were overcome by its glory. Our native American Indians used the passion flower as a nerve tonic and sedative, one that is remarkably effective. For centuries it has been used for insomnia, neuralgia and epilepsy.

The fruit of the passion flower, passion fruit, is being used in more and more beverages. While our passion flower has several large fruit on it, I am not sure they will ripen in time for us to try and use them.

This exotic native is also a world wide symbol of Christ's Passion. Emblematic of faith and piety, the mystical Passion Flower repeats the drama of Easter in its stunning waxen blossom. for example: the five petals and five sepals are said to represent the ten apostles (excluding Judas and Peter, the doubtful one), the three parted leaves symbolize the Holy Trinity, the three stigmas are said to look like the three nails and on and on the symbolism continues. The double corona of 72 purple filaments which form an exquisite fringe within the flower are representative of the crown of thorns. Of course the lavender and purple colors of the passion flowers are the colors traditionally associated with Lent and Easter.
Gorgeous, Medicinal, Edible, and Symbolic - what a joy it is to have this herb in our garden!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In Bloom in the Garden - Garlic Chives


Allium tuberosum or Garlic Chives are providing a wonderful place for the bees to feast right now. These lovely white flowers are delicately garlic flavored and are delicious used in salads. We also use the flat leaves all year round in salads and vegetable dishes. A hearty perennial we will be sure to cut back these flowers before they can set seed. Neither a garlic nor chives this plant is indeed an allium with a garlic flavor and it looks like chives so it is well named. We love to add garlic chives to our herbal vinegar. Simply stuff a mayonnaise jar full of garlic chives leaves and flowers too. It doesn't have to be packed tight but it must be kind of full. Then pour vinegar on top of it, you can use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. Label. Let it sit for 2 weeks and then strain. Use to flavor pickled beans or with a bit of oil as a salad dressing. It has a terrific flavor.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gardening

Gardening requires lots of water -
most of it in the form of perspiration.~Lou Erickson

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sneak Peak!

Here's a peak at some of our Mother's original watercolors that will be available at our upcoming Art Auction Benefit the end of this week. There will be many local featured artists (oil stretched canvases, ready to mat or framed original drawing, watercolors and more) in addition to Mom's work. For those of you unable to attend our benefit, to be held in Sweet Remembrances Tea Room on Friday Sept. 19th and Saturday Sept. 20th, we have posted some of Bertha Reppert's watercolors that you may bid on during this week! All the proceeds from this sale will be placed into The Bertha and Byron L. Reppert Scholarship Fund which annually benefits two local high school students that demonstrate an interest in political science, horticulture, business, or journalism.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tea Cups



"There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea."
~Bernard-Paul Heroux


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Herbal Cordials or Liqueurs

We recently held a class on Herbal Cordial making. This special event included the directions to make your own, and provided the opportunity to sample some home made cordials and liqueurs. If you want to do-it-yourself, the three basic steps for making liqueurs are steeping, sweetening and aging.

Steeping

Using a wide mouth jar, steep herbs, fruits, nuts, seeds, roots, or flowers in an alcohol base. Many types of alcohol are used: grain, vodka, rum, brandy, champagne, gin, whiskey. Steeping time is anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. At that point you strain and add the sweetener.

Sweeten
The main sweetening agent is a simple syrup: 2 parts sugar to 1 part water, boiled together for 5 minutes and then brought back to room temperature. Make extra and store it in the refrigerator. As a general rule add 1 C sugar syrup to 3 C alcohol or to personal preference. For a thicker “crème de” consistency double the amount of sugar syrup and you can also add some glycerin or add 2/3 C fructose and corn starch. Also note that the greater the amount of sugar syrup the lower the alcoholic content of the liqueur.
For example:
1 C sugar syrup added to 3 C 80 proof vodka produces 60 proof liqueur.
2 C sugar syrup added to 3 C 80 proof vodka produces 48 proof liqueur.

Aging
Finally an aging period of a few weeks to a couple of months allows the beverages to mellow and the full flavor to come forth.

RECIPES:

Tea Liqueur
1 T good quality tea leaves, we like earl grey or darjeeling
1 ½ C vodka
½ C sugar syrup

Steep the leaves in the vodka for 24 hours only.
Strain, filter, and add sugar syrup. Ready in 24 hours!


It’s Berry Good
10 oz package of berries, strawberry, raspberry or any berry (fresh or frozen)
1 ½ C Vodka
¼ C sugar syrup
Steep berries and the juice in the vodka for one week.
Strain and filter.
Taste and add sugar syrup as needed.
Note: Many frozen berries are pre-sugared.

Surprise some of your friends with a homemade liqueur. These elegant cordials and liqueurs make great gifts! Make some now, let them age, and then package them festively for the holidays. Your friends will thank you profusely!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Innu Tea Doll

This sweet little doll was recently given to me by a family friend. She found several at a yard sale, and shared one with me, along with its history. The doll holds an important part in the history of the Innu of Labrador, the last known hunter/nomadic people of North America. Black tea was a valuable commodity; and the members of the community were expected to help carry this precious cargo when they travelled to new hunting grounds. Hunters consumed the tea to keep their energy strong, and in addition, the respected elders were guaranteed a supply of tea. The handcrafted doll, made with a fabric body, caribou skin face, and dressed in traditional clothes of the Innu was stuffed with loose tea and provided an extra cache of tea in case the original supply dwindled. If the tea supply was low, it might be necessary to cut open a doll and share the tea. Later, the doll would be refilled and returned to the child. Although no longer made for their original purpose, the tradition of making tea dolls continues as the elder Innu women of Labrador, pass on the technique to the younger women; teaching them about this important part of their history.
There is a collection of Innu Tea dolls in storage in the Smithsonian museum that are very elaborate and demonstrate the clothing of the Innu people, and the complexity of the tea dolls.
Thank you Roxanne for sharing this little treasure with me!


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fairies at Play!


The Fairy Festival for 2008 has ended. Won't you come out and play next year!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fairy Festival Fun


Thank you Marilyn for sharing Wordle so we could create this little word collage!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fairy Food Snack Sacks!

Click on Fairy Festival for information about our annual fun fest!It's time to pre-order your Snack Sacks for the Fairy Festival! These festive little treats can be ordered for young and old, enjoyed in the garden or in the tea room. They contain Magic Garden Fresh Fruit and Pixie's Peanut Butter Bites. You'll also enjoy an Enchanted Bologna and Cheese Teapot Sandwich, and Wish Upon a Star Cheese and Ham Pieces. Mystical Carrots and Magical Celery round out the lunch bag.
For the sweet tooth, there's Fairies Favorite Petite Treats and Tinkerbell's mini M & M's. Flower Princess Lemonade is also included with your Snack Sack. Call Sweet Remembrances (717-697-5785) early to order your Snack Sack for the Fairy Festival to be picked up either Saturday or Sunday.

(The Fairy Festival is held Rain or Shine. In case of inclement weather, all scheduled events will be held inside the tea room.)