Monday, July 24, 2017

Afternoon Tea at Kent Manor Inn, MD

A recent Monday afternoon took us south to Maryland and just across the magnificent Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Stevensville, MD on Kent Island. We headed to the Historic Kent Manor Inn (circa 1820) to enjoy Afternoon Tea with friends of the Royal Tea Club.

The tea table was ready and waiting for us. A selection of Tazo teas graced the table alongside fresh lemon slices, sugar cubes and honey. The sleek modern white tea pots held hot water that was refilled as needed.

Afternoon Tea was served buffet style in a separate room. Fresh floral arrangements, antique boxes for added height, and pristine white serving bowls artistically arranged set the scene for the tea.

Everything was well labeled with the first course consisting of a Savory Salad of Baby Greens with pine nuts, blueberries, and smoked blue cheese. There were two dressing choices; Vidallia Onion or Raspberry Vinaigrette. Fresh and light, the salad was a pleasant starter.

The variety of finger sandwiches included (R) a Grilled Chicken Salad with Tarragon and Stone Ground Dijon in triangles. Below left, there is Marinated Cucumber on a Baguette with Grape Tomato, Boursin Mousse and Dill, and below right is Albacore Tuna Salad squares with Cornichon Pickles & Meyer Lemon all garnished with micro greens.

A creamy Poached Egg Salad prepared with Mascarpone Cheese and Chives rounded out the selection of tea sandwiches. The sandwiches were all very fresh and flavorful.

The far end of the table held Assorted Baked Scones with a selection of Blueberry, Wild Berry, and Apple Cinnamon. Toppings included Cool Whip (or something similar) and Orange Marmalade.
This serving plate held large soft chewy Oatmeal Cookies and a variety of petite cheesecakes rounded out the dessert selection.

High School Senior Angelica and Mom Susanna

The elegant Inn on 220-acres of property including 1-1/2 miles of waterfront has a long history and many owners. The property has been restored and expanded over the years, and now features 24 luxurious guest rooms, conference rooms, and beautiful outdoor space for weddings with seating for 600! We had a mere 45 attendees in our gathering, but it was a very delightful and memorable afternoon!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Sunday in June Garden Tour

We had the opportunity to tour several local gardens last month. The little decorative touches that were to be found in each garden were special little discoveries. This lace covered table provides the perfect spot to sit and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of this garden. Tucked among the green, it offers a little haven to sit and simply be still.

Practicing poses for senior pictures, Angelica happily perched on the steps of the rock garden. At the first garden that we visited, they offered small sample of ice cream! That was a fun surprise!

Every little corner of this garden had some unique ornamentation. It's fun to see how creative the homeowners can be with garden art. And of course, the little collections of teacups caught our eye!

Friday, July 21, 2017

TasteBuds Luncheon

Our seasonal luncheon hosted by Linda Gauvry of TasteBuds Personal Chef Service was held last week. Fresh tasty summer delights were the theme for the menu. Prior to serving lunch, the guests were served individual pots of tea of their choice. The appetizer began with a bowl of  Watermelon, Cucumber, Feta cheese and garden mint. That was served alongside two slices of moist and flavorful lemon zucchini bread. 
As usual, there were two entrees offered. You could select between:

Tortellini Pasta Salad (cheese tortellini tossed with tomatoes, spinach, fresh corn, and basil in a herb vinaigrette) served with Cornbread Roll and honey butter.

or, if you preferred,

Honey Mustard Chicken Salad (tender chicken breast strips on a bed of mixed greens with bacon, tomatoes, basil, fresh corn, and honey mustard dressing) served with Cornbread Roll and honey butter.

Dessert featured a generous portion of homemade Raspberry Chocolate Cake (moist chocolate cake with a raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting, topped with fresh berries). Yum!

We hope you find the opportunity to join us for one of TasteBuds Luncheons. The next luncheon is scheduled for Saturday, August 26th at 1:00. Be sure to contact Susanna to make your reservations! The menu is equally delicious! Here's a sneak peek!

Balsamic Blueberry Salad - mixed greens with blueberries, herbs, and toasted pecans tossed with a balsamic dressing
Glazed Peach Bread

Choice of Entree:
Chicken Pesto Sandwich - tender chicken breast in a creamy pesto dressing on a crusty roll with mozzarella cheese, served with a fresh corn and tomato salad

Mediterranean Couscous Salad - couscous with chickpeas, cucumber, sweet peppers, and kalamata olives in a herb vinaigrette, served with a fresh corn and tomato salad

Vanilla Cupcakes with Berry Buttercream Frosting

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Gnome Invasion!

We have had an invasion of the cutest little gnomes. If you wander around the herb gardens, you might just find a little guy tucked here or there. This sweet little mushroom forest is home to a hand painted scene featuring assorted mushrooms and a little blue stream. A touch of wooly thyme is growing beneath the metal mushroom collection.

Nestled under the bay tree in another corner of the garden is this little gnome fruit and veggie vendor. We are the happy to be the guardians of these creative and artistic gnome scenes that were recently gifted to Susanna.

These little guys are poking their heads out from below some shrubbery.
And, if you look closely, tucked in a corner beside the gazebo is another one of Steve Hoke's gnome homes. We won this one during a fund raising event, and are happy to add it to the growing collection.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lemon Balm Tea

The Essential Herbal magazine, featuring all things herbs, has included an article on summer herbal brews in their July/August 2017 issue. This informative herbal magazine offers six issues per year and includes a wide range of information pertaining to herbs. For the summer issue, iced beverages are one of the topics featured. We are pleased to note that one of mom's recipes was included in the article.

With an abundance of lemon balm growing in the herb garden during the summer, a refreshing lemon balm tea is the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day, and a delicious way to enjoy the fresh lemon flavor of this prolific herb. Add a touch of honey to sweeten the brew and a few cloves to add a hint of spice along with freshly squeezed lemon to highlight the lemon flavor, and you have a delicious summery drink without any caffeine.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Kutztown Folk Festival - July 1 - 9

Look for Susanna (representing The Rosemary House) and Molly (representing The Essential Herbal) vending at the herb booth at the 68th annual Kutztown Folk Festival. This week long event honors the heritage of the Pennsylvania Dutch. The little Herb Garden sign marks the location of the booth and the four square herb garden right beside it. At the Herb Garden, you'll discover medicinal herbs utilized in a myriad of ways crafted into healing salves for example, along with culinary herbs used to flavor and enhance home cooking or pickling.

Quilts, crafts, food, and fun are all highlights of a visit to the folk festival. These cinnamon rolls are baked continuously all day, served warm, oozing with a sweet glaze and rolled with love, they are a must-have treat! And another staple of the festival is a large mug of sarsaparilla. Root beer or birch beer are also options. There's plenty to eat and enjoy from corn fritters to stuffed pretzels.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July!

Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all!
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.
~John Dickinson

Friday, June 30, 2017


Sweet Remembrances Cream Scones
The Cream Tea Society in England has announced that this year, the 3rd annual National Cream Tea Day is June 30th. Established by Rodda's Cornish Clotted Cream, it's a celebration that I think we should consider making international!
Celebrate with family and friends, with fellow coworkers during break, or simply with a good book, a pot of tea and a scone with cream and jam. Just do it!
The Tea Lady, Judy Larkin, and her English Scones
Kathy's Kove, NJ

 Cream Tea is a much simpler form of Afternoon Tea. It is just the basics! Cream (lots of it), jelly (preferably strawberry), scones fresh from the oven is best, and tea. Endless pots of tea!

Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Roadside Pub, England

 Is it pronounced Scone (like cone) or Scone (like gone)? It's a regional thing, either (long e) or either (long i) is correct. While in England, a young lady (maybe 7 or 8 y/o) listened as we ordered scones (like cone). We overheard her ask her mother, 'mummy is it scone (long o) or scone (soft o)? Her mother replied, it's scone (like gone), they are American and pronounce it differently.

The Empress, Victoria, BC
 And then there is the controversy, which do you slather on first? Cream, and then jam? or Jam, and then cream? It is an ongoing debate, all about personal preference or which region of England you hail from. Devon vs. Cornish. Devon is cream first, jam on top. Cornish is the other way around. It makes no difference in how it tastes!
My preference, cream first, then jam!
Cream Tea? Yes, please!