Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Granite Rose Tea Parlour, Granite, MD

In September, members of The Royal Tea Club gathered in Granite, MD  to enjoy an Afternoon Tea at the Granite Rose Tea Parlour. This beautiful 1890's Victorian home offers the perfect location to enjoy tea.

Individual pots of tea were offered to each guest. Once the little pot was on your table, warm scones were served. We each enjoyed a Pineapple Sage scone served with cream, lemon curd, and jelly. The tiniest fresh fruit garnish completed this course.
A two tiered tray held an assortment of five sandwiches that included two cucumber sandwiches each with a radish garnish on white bread, a tomato pesto sandwich on a half croissant, homemade zucchini bread with orange cream cheese, and an apple and cheese chutney sandwich. Such a pretty and tasty assortment of sandwiches. Little touches of fresh fruit garnishes were on the plate and atop the sandwiches.

The dessert medley included a raspberry oatmeal bar, a buttery cookie, and chocolate mousse.

We enjoyed our get-away to this tea room. As members of the Royal Tea Club, we try to attend at least one or two of their events during the year. Many of their activities conflict with our business schedule, but the date for this tea fell shortly after the Fairy Festival but before the Tea Festival. We were thankful for the interlude.
Their refrain is:

'Sit long ~ Talk Much ~ Laugh Often'. And we did.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Fresh Rose Geranium Apple Cake

This Apple Cake (L) with hints of Rose Geranium added for extra flavor was served at a herbal harvest tea we presented earlier this month. The recipe was requested by several attendees, and I am happy to share it with our readers. It was a recipe that was given to my mother by an Amish woman that sold squares of this extra moist apple cake during the Pennsylvania Dutch Days held at Hershey in the mid to late 1960's and early 1970's. We were fellow vendors, and she was happy to share. We have enjoyed this cake ever since. It has stood the test of time! 
Fresh Apple Cake
2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. oil
2 eggs
4 c. apples, peeled and diced
1 c. nuts
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. freshly snipped scented rose geranium (optional)
4 Tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
1/2 c. butter (do not substitute margarine)
1/2 c. Crisco
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" cake pan, set aside. Mix sugar, salt, soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add oil and blend. Beat eggs, add into mixture. Stir in prepared apples by hand so as not to crush them. Blend in nuts and vanilla. Add flour, gently mixing until blended. Add snipped scented rose geranium, if using. Pour into prepared pan and bake 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Meanwhile, prepare icing. Mix flour and milk in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick (takes 4 - 6 minutes). Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to cool. In large mixing bowl, cream butter and Crisco. Add granulated sugar and vanilla. Cream again. Gradually add cooled flour mixture, a few spoonfuls at a time. Beat until smooth (up to 5 minutes). Frost cooled cake. Keep refrigerated.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Happy Halloween Afternoon Tea!

Our annual Halloween teas were held these last two Sundays in October. The tea room, decorated for the season, sets the scene while the menu is centered around the theme.

First course, once tea is served, featured a seasonal Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with fun things added like raisins, bacon, red onion, and cheddar cheese pieces all tossed with a creamy dressing.
 The sandwich plate included a Full Moon Chicken Salad Sandwich. Although difficult to see in the photo, there is a little silver bat flying over the moon. The Pumpernickel RIP Coffin has roast beef with a water chestnut/onion filling. There is a Parmesan Cheese Toasted Ghost (the favorite sandwich, I'm told). Cyclops Eye was a cream cheese based sandwich with lots of almonds for crunch, and sliced olive for the eye. A Pimiento Cheese Black Calico Cat rounded out the sandwiches.

The scones featured a Traditional English Cream Scone in the shape of a ghost. The triangular scone is a Curried Pumpkin and Ginger Scone with small pieces of crystallized ginger along with curry and turmeric as added flavors. Toppings included Sweet Cream and Cinnamon Honey butter. A sweet jellied pumpkin and fresh orange slices graced the plate.

A trio of petite desserts included a Lemony Curd Ghost, Gingerbread Brains, and a Oreo Truffle Mummy.

It's always fun when our guests dress for this event! 


Saturday, October 26, 2019

A Happy Halloween from Sweet Remembrances

In addition to decorating the herb gardens, the tea room is decorated for the season. Festive pumpkin teapots become the focal point for the decor on the Victorian secretary with various other pumpkin decorations.

A lace hanging laden with bats is strung high between the doorway separating the front room with the back room while creepy spiders crawl up the lace curtain in the rear room.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Some Gangrene Tea in your pumpkin tea pot or perhaps you prefer Creepy Cappuccino?

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Haunted Gardens of The Rosemary House

Once the PA Tea Festival is over, the Rosemary House gardens are transformed into a haunted adventure. All three gardens are decorated with pumpkins, scarecrows, goblins and ghosts. Our community holds an annual 'Streets of Treats' event where families visit local businesses for candy. Market Street in front of our business is closed to traffic, and local organizations set up booths with activities and more candy.
Everyone is encouraged to stroll through the gardens 'if they dare'.

In the gazebo

Under the Pavilion
Bay tree

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sip for Peace - PA Tea Festival 2019

At the PA Tea Festival we participated in a Sip in for Peace at the close of each day. This event was sponsored by the International Tea Sippers Society who provided the perfect sipping cup for our gathering. They have supported Sip in for Peace around the world the entire month of September, noting that the International Day of Peace is celebrated annually on September 21st.

 According to Babette Donaldson, "no one alive has experienced global peace. There is no shared vision or language. Tea has the potential to empower individuals to reclaim a personal sense of peace and inspire a vision of what could be". Attendees gathered at the Peace Pole in the herb garden, and on Friday our Peace Ambassador Lin Henry of Tickle Your Fancy guided the group in sharing personal moments of peace and reflection. She concluded with a silent moment of peace while playing 'What a Wonderful World'.
John (far right) from Tea-for-All was our Peace Ambassador on Saturday. He shared his personal feelings about reflection and finding peace in life. Both of these events were tranquil and peaceful and provided a moment of hope and inspiration to those that attended. The teas we served featured a blend of teas from around the world. Tea unites us and comforts us.
Our Peace Garden, tucked in the back corner of The Rosemary House garden is dedicated to our hope for Peace on Earth, Internal peace for all people and Eternal peace for our beloved mother and her sister and sister in law.
Let there be peace on earth.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Tea Tastings - 2019 PA Tea Festival

Limited in size, specialized in scope, the Tea Tastings take place in The Rosemary House outbuilding. They are scheduled both Friday and Saturday and feature specialty instructors concentrating on a unique topic. We were pleased to welcome Dr. Sally Wei, a certified Tea Sommelier from California. She covered a wide range of Taiwanese Oolongs and offered a unique introduction to this spectrum of teas.

Another specialty class featured an introduction to Cooking With Tea presented by Debbie Hartman where participants learned how to incorporate tea into their recipes, offering hints and tips along the way.

The Tea and Sushi pairing class featured local business entrepreneur Nate Baer of Retro Sushi. Nate demonstrated sushi making and Mike Raab of Tea for All prepared a range of green teas that would complement the final product. 
Teresa Weddelman journeyed from Ohio to instruct two distinct classes. She hosted a Tea and Chocolate Pairing seminar that offered quality chocolate paired with equally good tea.

Her second seminar was a class on clever and tasty Mocktails that included tea. She shared fun ways to garnish the lovely brews.

These were just a few of the specialty events that took place during the festival. These seminars require an additional ticket to attend, and it is recommended that the tickets be purchased in advance as there is limited seating for each session. New Tea Tastings/Seminars, and perhaps a few favorites will again be scheduled for next year.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Japanese Tea Ceremony - 2019 PA Tea Festival

We are so fortunate that Sachiko prepares individually hand whisked bowls of Matcha, Japanese Green Tea.

Understanding the Japanese Tea Ceremony is a lifelong learning process. The ceremony incorporates four principals; harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility with the understanding that this is a once in a lifetime moment, never to be repeated, all the while creating a moving meditation for the guest and the host. The process is documented in this series of photographs as the pictures tell the tale of this ancient tea ceremony.