Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Teapot Song

This sheet music features I'm a little Tea Pot with words and music by Clarence Kelley and George H. Sanders. Not only are the teapots dancing on the cover of the music, but they can be found inside on the musical score, dancing, smiling, and kicking up their heels while pouring tea.
The back of the sheet music includes instructions on how to dance The Teapot Tip. Looks complicated to me... perhaps we should start a write-in campaign to request it be featured on Dancing With the Stars!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tea Cup Girl


Sheet music... Tea-Cup Girl, by Weston Wilson... for sale at all Music Counters or direct from the publishers - 35 cents post-paid ~ 1921

Far, far away there is a garden, by the China Sea, There sits a maiden telling fortunes, o'er a cup of tea; Ah San is her name, Sets my heart a flame. Under the cherry blossoms there, 'neath balmy skies of blue, She'll tell you pretty stories of your past and future too; I'll go back some day, And to her I'll say: Tell a fortune just for me, I plea, Ah San, O'er your tiny cup of tea, beside your fan; If it doesn't say I love but you, it isn't true, For no one else would ever do. And you know I have a doubt, about your heart; Won't you give me just the slightest little part? Tell my fortune in your tiny cup of tea, And tell me does my little teacup girl love me? Some people tell a fortune by the lines up on your hand, Some use a crystal ball to see the future you command; These I don't believe, Really they deceive. If it is romance I am seeking, to Ah San I go, And in a blossom scented garden whisper soft and low, Tell me now I pray, What the tea leaves say? Tell a fortune just for me, I plea, Ah San, O'er your tiny cup of tea, beside your fan; If it doesn't say I love but you, it isn't true, For no one else would ever do. And you know I have a doubt, about your heart; Won't you give me just the slightest little part? Tell my fortune in your tiny cup of tea, And tell me does my little teacup girl love me?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Churros ~ Spanish Fritters

This gadget, hand carried from Spain well over 20 years ago, is used to make Churros, or Spanish fritters. A typical Spanish donut, churros are enjoyed as a breakfast treat and also sold by vendors along the streets or at festivals or carnivals. They are meant to be purchased and consumed immediately after frying.

Churros
2 c. water
1 Tbsp. oil
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. flour
Oil for frying
granulated sugar for dipping

Place the water, oil, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once, reduce the heat, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until a ball forms. Cool slightly. Using a Churro maker, press the dough out into strips 4 inches long. The strips may also be shaped into loops. The fluted shape is essential. Heat the frying oil, at least 1/2 inch deep, in a skillet until it is very hot. Reduce the heat to medium and fry the Churros, turning once,until they barely begin to color. Drain. Roll in granulated sugar. Serve warm. Enjoy!
(Recipe from The Foods & Wines of Spain by Penelope Casas).
This very special treat was recently enjoyed at our home 'just because'. Alas, the nutritional value doesn't warrant making them too frequently but it was fun to break out the Churro maker and have some freshly made Churros.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What would you do with this?


Anybody have one of these in their kitchen? and what would you do with it?

The kids had fun in the kitchen the other day.... pictures and recipe tomorrow!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

We have a winner! Make that 10 winners!

Congratulations to the following winners of Bertha Reppert's TwelveMonth Herbal, our giveaway in the Herb Blog Contest series.

The Essential Herbal ~ foxwoodfarm99 @ yahoo.com
Aquarian Bath ~ Tumbleweed Trails
Garden Chick ~ mrs.mommyy @ gmail.com
Torchsong Studio ~ Jules, mooncatfarms
PrairieLand Herbs ~ jill @ davejill.com
Patti's Potions ~ nfmgirl @ gmail.com
Sunrose Aromatics ~ michele @ TheSoapGardenBoutique
Nature's Gifts ~ craftygardener @ xplornet.com
Herbs From the Labyrinth ~ comfrey cottages
The Rosemary House ~ Ikinlala

Please contact us with your mailing address so we can get a copy of Bertha Reppert's TwelveMonth Herbal in the mail to you. Thank you so much to everyone that participated in this contest. Your response to our contest giveaway was overwhelming. We truly appreciated all your comments, and enjoyed reading the ones you posted on Rosemary's Sampler and on all the other participating blogs!
Congratulations to all the winners!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Please Note: If you did not win a copy of our Mother's TwelveMonth Herbal, but might still be interested in owning your own copy, click here for ordering details.

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's Contest Time! ~Week 9

This week's Blog Contest is hosted by Nature's Gift. They are pleased and excited about
hosting this contest, but have found that the hardest part has been trying to decide what to offer as the prize!


This week's prize is a Deluxe Personal Inhaler, filled with the winner's choice of several healing synergies.

We'll ship one of these pretty purse-sized inhalers filled with your choice of our
SineEase Synergy, for easing sinus pain and congestion, Happy Morning Synergy, recommended for easing the nausea of morning sickness, but also helpful for motion sickness, etc., or our research based depression fighter "Citrus Smile."

To be entered in the contest, post a comment here, and for additional opportunities to win, visit all the blogs listed below.

And to make the contest even more exciting, ONE lucky entrant, drawn from one of the listed blogs, will receive a signed copy of Marge's Book "Essential Oils and Aromatics". You may check these links for some of the reviews. From the Journal of the Northeast Herbal Association, or from The Massage Therapy Journal.
Remember all of the blogs below are participating, so visit all of them and leave a comment to increase your chances of winning.
Aquarian Bath
The Essential Herbal
Herbs from the Labyrinth
Patti's Potions
PrairieLand Herbs
The Rosemary House
Nature's Gift
Torchsong Studio
SunRose Aromatics
Garden Chick

Congratulations to La Tea Dah, this week's winner for Week 9!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Fragrant Scented Geraniums

This almost absolutely perfect herb-as-houseplant is the scented geraniums. Fragrant and edible, these mimic plants will put a world of tastes and scents right on your sunniest windowsill. Nutmeg, ginger, rose, peppermint, lemon, orange, apple, cinnamon, lime and more -- a whole cupboard of fragrances and flavors with which to play.

These delightful plants assume many forms, tall or small, large leaved or tiny, some felted, some frilled, some variegated. Although not grown for their flowers, they will indeed occasionally reward you with sweet colorful blooms to brighten your day.

As easily grown as any other geranium, they need your sunniest south or east windowsill and a generous pot of decent soil. Feed once in a while and water when dry. If they get long and leggy pinch them back for bushier growth. Use the tips as a garnish, or to flavor a pot of tea. When we groom the dry leaves they go in the vacuum to fragrance the home while we sweep.


The old fashioned rose geranium, a handsome plant, is delightful in cookery. Line the bottom of the cake pan with several leaves from the scented rose geranium when you make a white cake and enjoy the fragrance as it bakes. Your cake will have a delicate and delicious flavor of roses and you will receive rave reviews!

(Our Blog Contest is still on-going this week, scroll down a few posts to leave a comment to win one of Bertha Reppert's books.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tending your Herb Garden


Now that you have selected your sunny well drained site, chosen the herbs you will find most useful and planned a simple design, your herb garden is very close to reality even if it is still entirely on paper.

For a small garden with just a few plants, it is sometimes better to purchase herbs in pots and already sizable enough to plant out.

Prepare the soil as you would any new bed, by deep spading and incorporating compost. It's quite true that herbs do not do their best in overly rich soil, so ordinary garden soil will produce a generous crop. On the other hand weeding and cultivating is made easier with proper preparation. Incorporate lime in the area because herbs like an alkaline situation and give them a hearty meal of bonemeal. That's all the special treatment they require.

Referring to the design charted on paper, set the plants in place according to your plan, adjusting the spacing as necessary until it gives you satisfaction. Now you are ready to plant the herbs.

Be absolutely sure to plant them with the labels, an essential means of developing familiarity with your new friends. It will help others too, who come to view your herb garden. Visitors who read "chives' or "tarragon" or "savory" know what they are looking at.

Water them in and continue to keep them watered if they wilt. However, pampering them is not necessary once they become established.

Besides weeding and cultivating (a thick mulch will take care of this chore), the most important herb gardening task is cutting and trimming. Keep them clipped!

When the mint gets out of hand and sprawls beyond its allotted space, cut it back. When the chives are a foot tall, keep them cut and used. Trim the thymes and sages with shears into neat little clumps, occupying only as much area as you wish them to have.

Collect the clippings, the precious harvest, to freeze or dry. Enjoy the fragrant little bouquets on your kitchen table and desk at work. There you can finger them, sniff them, call them by name and get to know them better.

PS: The most important advice here is "keep them clipped" This is the key to successful herb gardening!

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's Contest Time! ~ Week 8


Bertha Reppert (1919-1999) was the founder of The Rosemary House and our mum. She was a Renaissance woman ahead of her time when she opened a herb and spice shop in a conservative East coast town in 1968. Convinced that once everyone learned about herbs they would love these plants as much as she did, she became an avid educator about the secrets of herbs. Lecturing, writing and always promoting herbs, Bertha Reppert became a mentor to many. This weeks prize is a copy of her last herbal and one of our very favorites.

Bertha Reppert's TwelveMonth Herbal features 365 herbal essays one for each day of the year. Written like she is speaking to a friend this book is fun, informative and easy to read. Many folks have told us they reread the book every year and make their own daily notes in the margins. Be sure to leave a comment to this post and at the other participating herbal blogs (see the links below) for your chance to win this clever book (an $18.00 value) filled with herbal lore, recipes and crafts (priceless). Sisters Susanna, the herbalist, and Nancy, the culinary artist, continue to share their Mother's love of all things herbal at The Rosemary House, the herb and spice gift shop, and at Sweet Remembrances tea room.

The following blogs are also participating, so stop over, post a comment on these blogs for additional chances to win this weeks giveaway AND the chance to explore some cool blogs.
The Rosemary House (where a list of winners will be posted on the 24th)
Check back we have a couple more weeks of give-aways!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Planning a Herb Garden


Planning and planting an herb garden is one of the special joys of the Spring season. The best herb gardens start on paper. Select a sunny, well drained site as close to the kitchen as possible and carefully plot it on paper. Be assured that the size need not be large. A spot as small as the top of a card table will suffice for a beginning herb garden. Here are some simple kitchen garden plans with simple designs that can be tucked in a small sunny corner hear the house.

Now make a list of the herbs you think you might like to grow. If you are familiar with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, they will give you an excellent culinary garden. If fragrance is what you seek, then include lavenders, lemon balm, lemon verbena plus some of the many scented geraniums.
First lay out the plan of your garden on paper. It is vastly important that an herb garden have a design for herbs are basically quiet plants, rarely flowering and with "hidden virtues" as the old herbalists always put it. Placing the plants within the framework of your design will give your herb garden, no matter how small, great distinction.

The Rosemary House is always available to you if you cannot find your herb plants locally. We carefully ship herb plants in the Spring season.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pashka


Pashka is a traditional Russian Easter dish, creamy and tasty, think cheesecake without a crust. This has become an Easter tradition in our household, enjoyed for breakfast. Of course, it can be enjoyed any time you would you like to serve it. Consider it easy to make, delicious, and beautiful to present.

Pashka
2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese
1/2 c. butter
1-1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped citron
1/2 c. slivered almonds
Blend all the above ingredients. (we use the Cuisinart). Line a new five-inch clay flower pot with cheese cloth. Pack the Pashka mix into the pot. Chill overnight. Before serving, invert onto platter, remove cheesecloth, and mark with a cross of raisins. Garnish with strawberries. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eggs....naturally

We recently held an egg dyeing class using all natural materials. The preparation for the class included boiling turmeric, red cabbage, celery seed, spinach, carrots, and chamomile, individually for about 15 - 20 minutes each to extract the colors. We also made a good strong tea concentrate. After straining the concentrate, we added a touch of white vinegar to help set the color.

After you have hard boiled your eggs, and you have the concentrated natural dyes, it's a simple process to dip the eggs; or toss them in the dye and let them slowly color. You will notice that the eggs are a much lighter shade than the dye bath.

Beautiful subtle colors are produced from the natural dyes. Our Easter preparations are just about finished!

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's Contest Time! ~ week 7

Welcome to week 7 of the herbal blog contest! This week we are featuring Aquarian Bath your source for all natural gentle soaps, herbal balms, salves, deodorants, and spa pillows. Aquarian Bath's soaps, balms and salves are either unscented or lightly scented with only pure essential oils. This week, enter to win you choice of a Lavender Spearmint Lip balm in a 0.15 oz tube OR a Lemon Lime Lip Balm in a 0.25 oz slide tin, and 20% off on your next order with Aquarian Bath.
The Lavender Spearmint Balm is made with Extra virgin olive oil, Shea butter, Beeswax, Castor oil, Spearmint and Lavender essential oil. The Lemon Lime lip balm is made with Coconut oil, Shea Butter, Castor oil, Beeswax, Jojoba, Lime and Lemon Essential oils, and Zinc Oxide, a mineral used in sunscreens.To win one of these lovely balms, enter by posting a comment in response to this blog entry and take a chance at winning! Entrants must include their email address to be eligible to win. US and Canadian residents are eligible.

*The following blogs are also participating, so stop over to enter with them for additional chances to win AND the chance to explore some cool blogs.
Aquarian Bath
The Essential Herbal
Herbs from the Labyrinth
Patti's Potions
PrairieLand Herbs
The Rosemary House
Nature's Gift
Torchsong Studio
SunRose Aromatics
Garden Chick
The winners will be announced at the Aquarian Bath blog when the results are in from all participating blogs. Enjoy.
Keep coming back and keep entering. We have some great prizes coming up, and we'll be having the contests until the middle of May!
Congratulations to Crafty Gardener, the winner of this week's contest!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hippity Hoppity


Here comes Peter Cottontail....
hoppin' down the bunny trail...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tea Tray at Gypsy's

It's always fun to have a reason to 'go to tea'; and Monday provided that reason! We attended the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association annual seminar which was held at Gypsy's Tea Room in Westminster, MD. We were first served a delicious fresh salad with a choice of two dressings, and then we each had a butterscotch scone with cream and jelly. After the salad and scone, this beautiful tea tray was placed center stage in the middle of the table, laden with scrumptious morsels and tasty treats! The bottom tier had an artichoke, feta, and salmon quiche, plus a cucumber sandwich, a tasty cream cheese spread on brown bread, and a cheese and turkey spiral. On the middle tier, a nice variety of fresh fruit surrounded little peanut butter parfait cups. The top held the cutest colorful decorated Easter egg cookies and a chocolate truffle. Beautiful! and Yummy! If you're ever in the area of Westminster, MD, a visit to Gypsy's Tea Room is a must. It is situated in a beautiful old building that has been transformed into a memorable tea room, each room more beautiful than the next.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tea Bag Folding

Many years ago, on one of the tea related discussion groups on the Internet that I belong to, a couple from Holland requested tea bag envelopes. A unique way of making the world a smaller place, I was happy to oblige this request. Con and Gon sent a personal thank you note for the 'very nice teabag envelopes. It was a real surprise. The bags of St. John's Wort, Apsara (esp. original black), Wagner's and Lady Caroline's are completely unknown, and are very welcome in my collection.' In exchange for the teabag envelopes, they included a sampling of tea bag folding, basic instructions to make your own, and a few additional collage type cards made with some of the tea bag envelopes they have collected over the years.

Although I don't have a recent count, I do remember that they had an amazing number of unique tea bag envelopes, and were quite pleased to add the ones I sent them to their collection, noting that any duplicates would be exchanged with other collectors.
Colorful and creative, unique and unusual, I was as excited to receive these miniature works of art as they must have been to receive the teabag envelopes. I often wonder if Con and Gon are still collecting, counting, cutting, and folding teabag envelopes?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lovage


Lovage, Levisticum officinale, is another of the mimic plants of the herb world. It looks like celery, smells like celery, tastes like celery but with one very distinct difference. It is much easier to grow in our gardens then celery. This herb is one of the last to go to sleep in the winter and one of the earliest herbs awake in the spring. A quite tall perennial reaching 3 to 6 feet, it can be used fresh or dried in soups, salads, stews, fish dishes, -- anyway that celery can be used. The stems are bitter except in the very early part of the year so we use primarily just the leaves in our cooking. The stems are hollow tho - making them useful as a straw for your bloody mary!

In days gone by lovage tea was made with seeds, stems and roots of the plant and used medicinally for pleurisy, quinsy, and the augue, as a gargle, an eyewash and to remove freckles!
Today we use lovage as one of our primary ingredients in our Love Bath Balls, the ultimate in perfumed bathing, both soothing and invigorating.

If you are interested in learning more details about growing lovage or about some of the other wonderful herbs and their uses, we recommend Herbs with Confidence. It is a basic how-to book of excellent gardening tips, tried and true recipes and crafts.

Friday, April 3, 2009

It's Contest Time - Week 6

Welcome to Week 6 of the Herbal Blog Contest! This week, enter to win a .15 oz. Healing Wand from Prairieland Herbs! These healing wands contain herbally infused certified organic olive oil, locally produced beeswax, vitamin E, essential oils of tea tree and lavender, and are the perfect size for your pocket, purse, or diaper bag. They work wonders on cuts, scrapes, rashes, burns, dry skin, hangnails, etc. To win one of these useful and natural healing balms, simply enter by posting a comment in response to this blog entry and take a chance at winning!!! Don’t forget to include your email addy so we can contact the winner! The following blogs are also participating, so stop over to enter with them for additional chances to win AND the chance to explore some cool blogs.
Prairieland Herbs
Aquarian Bath
The Rosemary House
Natures Gift
Torchsong Studio
The Essential Herbal
Garden Chick
SunRose Aromatic
Herbs from the Labyrinth
Patti's Potions
These blogs are all participating in this weeks contest. Visit each one to post a comment and increase your chances to win the herbal healing wand this week!

Keep coming back and keep entering. We have some great prizes coming up, and we'll be having the contests until the middle of May!
Congratulations to Jules @MoonCatFarms ~ she is our winner this week!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Egyptian Onions


Wow, our Egyptian Onions (Allium cepa viviparum) are up a foot high already!

This remarkable onion develops bulbs at the top of slender green shoots, bypassing the formation of flowers and seeds. It is a curiosity in the vegetable and herb garden. It also happens to be a superb onion - useful top, bottom and in between. All parts are edible. The little top bulbs make excellent small onions to be creamed or boiled with peas; the green stalks can be chopped into salads. They are hollow and make lovely onion rings for garnishing or frying. The bottoms are eaten as any other onion. They are very easy to grow and once you have them you will always have them. Absolutely hardy! Also called top setting onions, winter onions, multiplier onions, or walking onions. The name walking onions is because as the tops mature and get heavy they fall over and slowly creep around the garden. The top will set in July. Don't forget The Rosemary House sells the Egyptian Onions as well as a large selection of other herb plants. Shipping begins in Mid-April.


Onion Soup

1/2 lb. of Any or all parts of the Egyptian Onion
1/4 lb. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Quarts consomme

Saute Onion in butter until wilted; add the flour and brown slightly, then add consomme, slowly while stirring. Simmer 1/2 hour. Serve, strained or not. In each steaming bowl, float a piece of toast, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and thyme, made bubbly under the broiler for two minutes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool's Day! Have fun!


The earth laughs in flowers.
~e.e.cummings

What makes you laugh?