Monday, August 30, 2010

If...

If we opened our minds to enjoyment, we might find tranquil pleasures spread about us on every side. We might live with the angels that visit us on every sunbeam, and sit with the fairies who wait on every flower. ~Samuel Smiles

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Taking one day at a time.

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day.
~anonymous

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Strawberry Chutney ~ An Appetizer

Strawberry Chutney over Peppered Goat Cheese Spread
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. goat cheese, softened
1 tsp. coarse black pepper
2/3 c. strawberry preserves
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 T. raspberry wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. freshly zested lemon
1/2 tsp. freshly zested orange
4 c. sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 c. golden raisins
Assorted crackers

Mix cream cheese, goat cheese, and pepper. Form a large log or individual portion sizes. Cover with saran wrap. Chill until firm.

In a small saucepan, combine preserves, brown sugar, vinegar, lemon and orange zest over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add strawberries and raisins. Let cool. Prior to serving, top peppered cheese spread with the strawberry chutney accompanied with crackers.

Monday, August 16, 2010

From Tree to Trellis

Sadly, our festive tea pot tree came down in a rainstorm earlier this summer. The tree, with three distinct branches instead of one solid base, pulled apart into three directions. Fortunately, most of the teapots survived the fall and were transferred to the entrails wagon until we selected a new home for the collection. Eventually, the trellis arbor between the Rosemary House and Sweet Remembrances was designated to be the new home, and with the help of some energetic kids, we began placing teapots up, over, and around the arbor. It's a different 'look' than the tree,but quite fun in its own right.The teapots have a new home, and we're happy to keep adding to the collection.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Everyone Loves a Wedding!

On a peaceful Saturday evening in the herb gardens of The Rosemary House, a gathering of family and friends witnessed the exchange of wedding vows between a young couple in love.With the Mayor of Mechanicsburg officiating, quiet words were spoken to confirm their true love. A blushing bride, a handsome groom;
two souls, one heart.

The party moved into the tea room for a lovely dinner receptionand concluded with wedding cake.
Best Wishes and Congratulations to Sara and Matt.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Serenity Tea Room ~ Maryland

August always includes a visit to a new tea room, a special birthday treat! This year, we headed south to Frederick, MD, for the Royal Tea at Serenity Tea Room. Angelica enjoyed the sparkling apple cider with the sweet strawberry garnish. A choice of chilled soup options included Strawberry (pictured here), Mango, or Cucumber. Hot or Iced Teas were also selected, and their signature Strawberry Iced Tea is shown here.
Salad was next and featured mixed greens, cranberries, blue cheese and a tasty vinaigrette.The three tiered tea tray was presented with finesseand included a pleasant variety of sandwiches and savories, warm scones, and beautiful sweets.
Egg Salad squares, cucumber rounds, chicken and pecan mounds, a tomato pesto savory, and a flavorful shrimp savory completed the sandwich selections.
The Royal Tea concluded with a chilly Mango Sorbet. And, for the birthday girl, a sweet little floral shaped brownie with the stem and leaves piped in chocolate. What a fun little extra touch!
Joining Susanna, Angelica, and Nancy were friends Mary Jane from OH and Pat from MD. Birthday celebrations are indeed memorable when celebrated with family and friends.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cucumbers... a culinary blogging party

With the summer harvest in full swing, vegetable gardens are yielding produce at an incredible pace. Several friends have joined us in a blogging party featuring recipes that will inspire you to create some tasty and flavorful creations. This week, we are concentrating on the mighty cucumber. Our featured recipe, from Sweet Remembrances Cookbook, is a Chilled Cucumber Soup. For additional cool cucumber suggestions, visit the participating blogs listed below.

Chilled Cucumber Soup
2 cucumbers, peeled
1 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. parsley, minced
2 tsp. chives
1-1/2 tsp. dill
2 tsp. burnet
6 mint leaves
1/4 tsp. minced tarragon
2 tsp. lemon juice
1-1/2 c. plain yogurt
Peel cucumbers, remove seeds, and cube. Place the cucumbers, buttermilk, herbs (as many fresh as possible), and lemon juice in a blender. Blend on high speed until well mixed. Place in a large bowl and whisk in yogurt. Chill.

Torchsong Studio ~ Creamy Cucumber Salad;
The Essential Herbal ~ Cucumber Lime Salsa;
Birdworms & Buttermilk ~ Cucumber Cooler and Cool as a Cucumber Cocktail;
Sagescript Institute ~ Cucumber Spread (Tzatziki);
Swisher Hill Soapworks ~ Cucumber Salad for a Lazy Day
Garden Chick ~ Cucumber Dill Sauce

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hydrangeas

The majority of the cottages in Rhode Island have at least one lush and lovely hydrangea bush. Hydrangeas love moist soil and the colors vary based on the soil, particularly the degree of acid/alkalinity and minerals, especially aluminum. Vibrant colors abound.If you are interested in drying your hydrangeas, this is the best web information I have found. Medicinally, hydrangeas were used as a diuretic and to remove calculi deposits in the body. Although they are not commonly used medicinally any more, they are still enjoyed as a lovely summer flower!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

RI cottage gardens

A walk around the little neighborhood of our vacation spot in Charlestown RI yielded some cute garden vignettes. Definitely, a beach town. Peace and tranquility, calm and quiet abound.And the perfect solution for that boat that no longer floats perhaps?
My personal favorite!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer blues....

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.
~Celia Thaxter~

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Newest Acquisitions...

It's always exciting to find beautiful teacups and/or teapots while vacationing. These teacups have been joyfully added to the ever growing collection and will all be put to good use. All were made in England, and most are bone china. The blue pansies, top center, are from the Remembrance Series. (How appropriate!) The pink rose, far right, is a Queen Anne teacup, while the heavily decorated teacup (front center) is a Gainsborough bone china, marked Spencer Stevenson. Far left, the pretty strawberry teacup, appropriately named 'strawberry' is not bone china. It is always doubly exciting to discover holiday teacups to use in December. These two pretties will be tucked away until our first holiday tea of the season, the day after Thanksgiving.
The teapot, marked Ellgreave (A Div. of Wood & Sons, England) is genuine ironstone. It will be a fun addition to the tea room pretties.