Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Spring! A St. Patrick's Day Tea!

 As we celebrate the first day of Spring, we are reminiscing about the St. Patrick's Day Tea held this past Friday. Guests dressed in various shades of green navigated the snowy sidewalks to attend this special event. The first course included a Mixed Green Salad tossed with a Fresh Basil Salad Dressing, Parmesan Cheese and a Four Leaf Clover Crouton, for good luck of course!

 The sandwich plate featured Ranch Chicken Salad on Whole Wheat Bread, Savory Parsley and Olive Cheese Spread on Clover Shaped Pumpernickel Bread, Sliced Apple Sandwich with Orange Honey Butter, a Miniature Toasted Reuben on Rye, Rolled Asparagus Sandwich, and an Open faced Carrot and Cheddar Shamrock.

The scone course included a Shamrock shaped Traditional Cream Scone alongside Cranberry and Orange Irish Soda Bread with Sweet Cream and Lemon Curd toppings. The St. Paddy's Day Fruit Medley was topped with Honey Lime Dressing.

Dessert featured an Almond Flavored White Cupcake decorated with a Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow. Thanks to JP for sharing this clever idea! There were also gold wrapped chocolate coins and shamrock favors on the table for each guest to enjoy.

We were pleased to welcome Sasanach for his entertaining musical contribution with his Irish tunes played on a fiddle. There is a short video link on Sweet Remembrance's Facebook page that captured the spirit of the tunes he played.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wishing you . . .
A green, growing garden,
A good cup of tea,
A day touched by sunshine,
And warm memories.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Tea Pot Totem in the Snow

The Winter of 2016/2017 in Pennsylvania has been kind to us. Although there have been some bouts of very cold weather, the majority of snow storms missed us this year. Here we are, marching into spring, and an overnight storm has descended upon the area with threats of another storm next week. A one-two punch after a relatively snow-free winter. 
This storm isn't really a punch though, the big fluffy flakes are coating the trees, bushes, and the tea pot totem, but sidewalks and roads are simply wet. No shoveling. No school delays. It's really a win-win with beautiful snow to look at and no hassle involved. The location of our retired (meaning chipped or handle-less) tea pots has transitioned over the years. Originally, they were supported on a pussy willow tree that sadly succumbed to a summer storm. We retrieved all the tea pots, and moved them to the wooden arbor that joins the Rosemary House gardens and Sweet Remembrances gardens. It was a process that included the voluntary help of some of the neighborhood kids. 
Late this summer, a situation arose (Susanna will happily tell you about it if you ask) that opened up a new location for the tea pots. Over several weeks, we moved the tea pots from the arbor to our newly found totem. The teapots make a much better statement on the Tea Pot Totem then they ever did on the trellis. We still miss the pussy willow tree, though. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Winter Health - the natural way

Susanna has been working with talented intern Natalie Westling. Natalie is currently a student in three schools: Goddard College in Vermont, The Institute of Integrated Nutrition in NY and a student of Rosemary Gladstar's course the Science and Art of Medicinal Herbalism. This is one of Natalie's homework assignments for the Rosemary Gladstar course.

Ginger Honey:

I loved watching the honey liquefy due to the ginger changing the consistency! I do not like ginger, but this made it so that the ginger slices were almost candied and they were so yummy!   Note: Simply peel and slice the fresh ginger and add honey over it. The honey draws the moisture from the ginger and gives the honey a great ginger flavor. Make a small batch as it doesn't store long. Use the ginger honey pieces when you make scones.

 Fire Cider:

My fire cider is still infusing, so I have not tried it yet, but the process of making it was very fun! It felt good to finally make this famous recipe and learn about the legend behind it! I also added a little fresh rosemary to mine because I love the smell, flavor and characteristics of rosemary and I am excited to see how it turns out

Tahini Miso Paste:

This is the best thing I have ever tasted in my entire life! This is the new hummus for me! I added ginger, horseradish, garlic, cayenne and nutritional yeast. So yummy!!

Note:  The Basic Recipe is 1 part Tahini and 1 part Miso. Then you can add Spirulina, Cayenne, Nutritional Yeast, Garlic,  Horseradish, and/or Ginger. This is an basic "do as you please" recipe. It's delicious to spread on toast or add to rice or mix with hot water for soup. Store in the fridge for months.

Cold Care Capsules/Tablets:

I made capsules and tablets because I wanted to try both methods. The tablets are for myself because I cannot swallow capsules and I haven't had the opportunity to use them yet, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how it turned out! I used a lobelia tincture to wet the powdered mixture. The capsules I tried on my boyfriend when he had a cold and they seemed to work very well! He didn’t mention anything specific, but the cold seemed to mellow itself out very shortly after he started taking them.

Vitamin C/Immunity Tea

Vitamin C/Immunity Tea:

I made a tea for the winter that was astragalus, crushed rose hips, hibiscus, slippery elm, elderberry, and licorice. I haven’t tried it yet but since the weather is getting colder, I may have to soon!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Edible Flowers Chart

The Edible flowers chart is one of our favorite in the postcard series designed by Lorraine Cameron in 1996. This series of three large over-sized postcards (herb chart, spices chart and edible flowers chart) is available for purchase (the set of 3/$5.00) in the shop or by mail. Contact Susanna at the shop by phone (717 697 5111) or by email to order a set.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Shrove Tuesday - Fastnacht Day

Pennsylvania Dutch heritage poster on display at the Kutztown Folk Festival fairgrounds, Kutztown, PA

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Spices chart

This lovely hand drawn chart gives you simple hints and tips on how to use your spices.  This is a postcard designed in 1994 for The Rosemary House. My niece gave me a fun tip about using fresh ginger. She peels her ginger, and then keeps it in the freezer. Whenever a recipe calls for fresh ginger, she pulls it out of the freezer and uses a microplane to zest the frozen spice directly into her cooking pot, returning the unused portion of ginger back to the freezer until it is needed again. Every time I pull ginger out of the freezer, I think about my niece and this tip that she shared! Do you have a favorite spice that you absolutely must have?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Basic Herbs Chart

We love the soft drawings of this Herb Chart postcard designed by Lorraine Cameron for The Rosemary House in 1993.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tea with a View at Oceanhaven, Nassau

Now this is tranquili-tea, er, tranquility! Following the informative garden tour at Ocean Haven, we enjoyed a beautiful and serene tea tasting on the patio overlooking the water. The setting was simply perfect, and the tea was a delight.


Our host and hostess, out-of-region MATBA members Paul and Denise Worrell of Naturally Bahamian prepared a delicious sampling of Bahamian treats. We were offered a variety of teas and juices to start which were all very refreshing. Pumpkin Soup, gently seasoned with Bird Pepper and Thyme was on the table.
Before we sampled any of the gourmet delights, we took a quick photo of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association members and several spouses.
Left to Right, Mark Myers, MATBA President Mike Raab (Tea for All), Paul our driver, Lora Andrews (Cup Tea Bar), Kathleen Hippeli (One Steep at a Time), Ray Hippeli, Nancy Reppert (Sweet Remembrances), Amy Myers (Dollies Tea Room), Debbie Raab (Tea for All) and Gypsy Fleck (Gypsy's Tearoom).
Oceanhaven Green Salad with sorrel mango vinaigrette dressing was complemented with BaHammus and Vegan Herb Crackers. BaHummus is Paul's consolidated version of Bahamian Hummus. Mini Fish Patties rounded out the sampling for the main course.
Dessert included Bahamian Otaeete apple pies and pumpkin bread. What a delightful and delicious way to spend a morning!

                      And did I mention the view?

Monday, February 13, 2017

SuperFood Smoothie

While enjoying our Tea, Talk, and Tour at Ocean Haven in Nassau, Naturally Bahamian business owner Denise Worrell served her delicious SuperFood Smoothie. So thick, so delicious, and so refreshing and energizing - super food indeed! She graciously shared her recipe with us.
Super Food Smoothie
6 oz. Coconut Milk
1 c. papaya, berries
1 c. kale/spinach
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
organic sprouts
banana to taste

Thank you, Denise!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ocean Haven - Tea, Tour, and Talk

Our next adventure took us to the home of Denise and Paul Worrell, owners of Naturally Bahamian for a Tea, Talk, and Tour at Ocean Haven. Their home is named Ocean Haven because of its proximity to the ocean and because they consider it a haven to anyone who comes. They practice a sustainable way of life, and with a 365 day growing season, the garden is abundant with medicinal plants and fruit bearing trees. Sadly, the devastation from  Hurricane Mathew in 2016 took down a large majority of trees. At one time, the house was not visible due to the abundant growth of trees. Slowly the trees are sending out new growth.

Paul shared an enormous amount of information as he guided us through their property promoting age old traditions that pertain to the Bahamian flora. The bougainvillea bush is the best natural security guard with its prickly spikes. The flowering jasmine. blooms at night and perfumes the air. The gumelemi tree is a good incense, an antidote for poison ivy, helps to build blood for the pregnant mother, and the leaves are used in tea. Here Paul is showing the Pride of Barbados, a heat loving plant whose species name means 'very pretty'.
Our group gathered around and listened to all the information he shared, knowledge handed down to him from his father. Papaya plants grow like weeds and will bear fruit within a year. It is said to be good for high blood pressure. While the coconut tree is an import to the Bahamas.
Guava is high in Vitamin C and antioxidants. It'll be the next miracle plant! Paul cautioned to harvest sustainably, only harvesting a maximum of one fourth of the plant.


 Aquaponics Unit

Harvesting turmeric

The aquaponics unit is self sustaining with natural gravel filters. Everything is grown in fresh water and there are no artificial insecticides.
Spanish Thyme

Ducks, chickens, and goats round out their endeavors. Trips to the grocery store are far and few between.