Tuesday, December 1, 2020

December!

Today we turn the calendar to the last month of 2020. December brings frigid temps amid eager anticipation of the holiday season. This holiday teacup is a souvenir of our memorable visit to the Butchart Gardens near Victoria on Vancouver Island, Canada. It always brings forth a wave of memories of a glorious garden, beautiful flowers around every turn, colorful blossoms in every corner each garden more beautiful than the previous one. We also enjoyed Afternoon Tea in the library, another fond memory! This teacup is full of lovely memories!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

A Presidential Tea - 2020

Every four years it has been our tradition to host a Presidential Tea as a culmination to the months (years) of campaigning that leads up to a presidential election. We hold this special event on the Sunday before the election while everyone is still hopeful that their candidate will pull through as the winner. The tea room transitions to an elegant dining establishment, the tables are set with the finest china, touches of gold along with red-white-and-blue sets the scene. A Chardonnay Lemon Spritzer with fresh fruit and frozen raspberries welcomed the guests as they arrived.

The first course featured a Pear & Pecan Salad topped with spring onions, parmesan cheese, goat cheese, sugared pecans, and ripe pears all dressed with a Parmesan Balsamic Dressing. We offered a range of hot tea selections honoring our Allies around the world that include The Paris Accord (black & oolong blend with vanilla, currant, bergamot & caramel), A Very British Herbal Tea (with herbal symbolism, mint for courage, lavender for luck, and marjoram for virtue), Morning Mist (a light green tea with a soft sweet taste), Keemun Superior (a plain black tea with earthy notes), and Red, White and Blue Lady (a flavored black tea with strawberry, coconut & kiwi flavors).

An array of sandwiches included a Cranberry, Rosemary, and Pecan Cheese Spread on Wheat crackers with a tiny sprig of fresh rosemary, Marinated English Cucumber Sandwich, Cheesy Mozzarella Pumpkin Tartlet, Sliced Turkey with Parsley Shallot Mayonnaise with a Star studded topper, and Chicken & Almond Tea Sandwich with Basil Butter.

The scone course included a Traditional English Cream Scone served with Sweet Cream and Raspberry Preserves alongside a slice of Red, White, and Blueberry Bread with fresh raspberry touches. Petite gold stars graced the Sweet Cream.

Dessert included a Rosemary Shortbread Eagle sprinkled with gold sugar and a Petite Chocolate Toffee Torte which consisted of layer upon layer starting with a crisp pecan base, a chocolate ganache filling, a yummy toffee mousse, and a swirled whipped cream rosette with a dusting of chocolate shavings.
Our guest speaker was John Moeller, author of Dining at the White House.  His passion for cooking inspired a journey to France which eventually led him to the White House. Chef Moeller served at the pleasure of three First Families over a thirteen year span. He was part of the team responsible for creating the dining experience at the White House, featuring a wide variety of meals, from formal state dinners to outdoor picnics to small intimate dinners for the President and First Lady. John Moeller was an interesting and entertaining speaker as he shared his experiences and personal stories about both Bush presidents and Clinton in between. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Masks of Mechanicsburg - highlighting The Rosemary House

The Downtown Mechanicsburg Partnership is sponsoring a social medial spotlight on downtown businesses and how they have adapted to the Covid 19 pandemic. Area businesses large and small have struggled during this time, trying to maintain normalcy in unique times while safely operating their business and offering a safe haven for customers. Below is the story that Susanna shared about The Rosemary House, including a recipe for a do-it-yourself disinfecting spray. 

The health and well-being of customers has always been a primary concern at The Rosemary House.  Whether it is suppling herbs and seasonings to enhance your daily meals or whether it is providing relaxing and fragrant essential oils to elevate or calm the mood of your personal space. For over 50 years The Rosemary House has always been there for the well-being of their customers. Currently, staff are happy to have “masked” discussions with customers about which herbs will best suit their needs. Looking to spice up your cooking or seeking herbs to help you sleep or support your immune system or simply want a tasty cup of tea? The Rosemary House is your local source for herbs, spices, teas and gifts.

Want to make your own disinfecting spray to wipe down those high touch areas? Here is a quick and effective recipe that The Rosemary House uses to keep their doors and counters clean:

  • 1 cup alcohol (either rubbing alcohol or vodka)
  • Add 30+ drops of your choice of essential oil (orange is uplifting, tea tree is anti-viral, lavender is relaxing, or eucalyptus to open sinuses, all are available at The Rosemary House!)
  • Add ¼ cup distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
  • Mix all together, bottle, and spray and spritz as necessary

The Rosemary House, your one stop herb and spice shop, was established in 1968! Herbs, Tea, and Gift items. Established in 1968, this family business is owned and operated by Susanna Reppert Brill. Parking in the rear or on the street. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

For more about the Downtown Mechanicsburg Partnership, follow them on Facebook!


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Halloween Tea - 2020

 Our annual Halloween Teas, held twice during October, feature special touches throughout the menu. Creepy Crawly Coleslaw was the first course served after our guests received their pots of tea. If you look closely at the photo, you'll see tiny edible bats adorned the salad plate. They complement the black paper bats that are flying above the centerpiece.

A variety of sandwiches were served after the salad. Here you'll find The Great Pumpkin Cheese Sandwich with a touch of parsley garnish, the ever popular Toasty Ghosty with parmesan cheese, the Sweet and Savory Spooktacular Bat has a cheddar cheese filling with strawberry jam on the pumpernickel bread, Queen Adelaide's Coffin with a ham and chicken salad filling, and in the center, a Witches Eye made with our popular French Style Cheese Spread, radishes, and an olive eyeball.


The next course includes A Ghost of an English Cream Scone alongside a Pumpkin Pecan Scone. Sweet Cream and Cranberry Orange Curd plus fresh orange slices and a jellied candy pumpkin complete the plate.

For the Dessert course; 
Be prepared for a Zombie invasion (or chocolate cupcake, chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles, with a Zombie hand), Witches Finger (if you dare) (a green chocolate covered pretzel with an almond fingernail), and Never look directly into the Ogre's Eye (a matcha flavored cookie with chocolate ganache and candy eyeball). 
                               May your Halloween be creepy and super spooktacular!                                                                                    

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

American Fruit Bread with Rosemary

Debbie Hartman, of Thyme with Debbie has graciously shared the recipe for American Fruit Bread with Rosemary that she served at the Cooking with Mediterranean Herbs Class. Chockfull of yummy fruits and nuts plus the added boost of the fresh rosemary made this bread (served as mini muffins) a real treat. The muffin is very moist, but the addition of the orange marmalade with infused rosemary took it up a notch.

American Fruit Bread with Rosemary
2 c. flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 baking powder
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
fine zest of one orange
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. water
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 c. craisins, cut in half (or dried cherries or dried apricots)
1/2 c. raisins, cut in half
1/2 c. chopped dates
1/2 c. nuts
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced (or more to taste)

In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder together. Add melted butter and freshly zested orange to the flour mixture. Add orange juice, water, and beaten egg. Stir to blend. Fold in remaining fruits, nuts, and rosemary. Bake in a greased and floured bread pan at 350 degrees for 70 minutes, or until loaf tests done. Enjoy with your favorite brewed tea!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Cooking with Herbs of the Mediterranean Region

 We recently hosted a special cooking demonstration and tasting session that featured the herbs of the Mediterranean region. We were pleased to welcome Debbie Hartman of Thyme with Debbie as the instructor and culinary wizard for this program. With Debbie out front in the tea room, and her husband George coordinating things in the kitchen, it was a working team that provided an enjoyable evening for our guests.




The first course featured Greek Oregano, with flavor descriptors such as peppery and spicy. Oregano can be added to summer veggies, pasta, pizza, cheese and cream sauces, chili and Mexican foods for example. Debbie shared this beautiful appetizer plate that featured Mediterranean Herbed Olives (notice the rosemary skewered olive!), along side a potato appetizer, and a herbal goat cheese spread served with crackers and cucumber slices. The goat cheese was garnished with freshly zested lemon and a few oregano leaves to nibble.
The discussion continued onto Rosemary, which grows with abundance into a showy bush in the Mediterranean region. Described as piney, pungent, and spicy, Rosemary adds well to meats, poultry, veggies such as eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and beans, along with fresh fruits and baked goods. Here Debbie prepared a lovely Orange Marmalade with Rosemary served alongside American Fruit Bread. The fruit bread was moist and tasty, and included cranberries, raisins, dates, nuts and of course, rosemary.

Thyme was featured in this fabulous casserole; Creamy Mushroom Gravy Scalloped Potatoes. Thyme flavors can range from pungent to spicy, fruity and lemony. It holds well in soups, stews, vegetables, baked goods and cream and cheese sauces. Debbie considers it a multi-purpose herb that works with everything! "Salt, pepper and thyme."

Dessert featured Louisa's Cake, a lovely lemon ricotta cake and Roasted Applesauce with Sage. Sage is a dry earthy flavor, also considered savory, spicy, and perhaps astringent. It blended well with the delicious variety of apples in the applesauce.
We look forward to welcoming Debbie and her culinary talents to our team of presenters for the upcoming new year. Flat breads in March and Grain Bowls in May are a few specialty classes to look forward to when our schedule is updated! Thanks, Debbie. We enjoyed your easy style of presentation, the flavorful combination of delicious Mediterranean herbs, and the abundance of sharing hints and tips regarding using seasonal foods and culinary herbs.
 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Figs!

We recently received a beautiful bowl of ripe figs from a friend. In the background of this photo is our fig tree and if you look closely, you can see that our figs are growing, but still very green. As the temperatures continue to drop, there is no way the green figs will be ripe enough for us to enjoy, making this beautiful and tasty gift extra special.
Deciding what creative dish to utilize these beauties was next on the agenda. The internet is a wonderful thing, and a source for many different recipes. I happened upon a relatively easy recipe, and one that consisted of ingredients I had on hand. Fig Preserves: chop a pint of fresh ripe figs (approx. 15 small figs). Place in a stainless steel pan with 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. honey, and 1/2 c. water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, reduce heat and simmer 15 - 25 min. until the mixture reduces and thickens. Remove from heat, cool, and add 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice. Pour into a glass container and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

  
We have enjoyed serving the fig preserves in the tea room this week. Little miniature tartlets were filled with soft brie and topped with the fresh fig preserves as a savory alongside tea sandwiches. We have also served the fig preserves with sweet cream to be enjoyed with oven fresh English cream scones. What a lovely fall treat with special thanks to DM for this beautiful gift.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Seasonal Tea Cozies

This 'tent' style tea cozy nestles directly over top of your tea pot and will keep the tea warm while you enjoy your favorite brew. We have a wide variety of seasonal tea cozies available in the shop or by mail. This grouping of three cozies, and the mighty oak leaf with acorns below are for a smaller teapot.

It's not too early to think about your Halloween table decor. Designed for a larger teapot, these colorful cozies are sure to add a touch of whimsy to your table and delight all!

Looking for a cozy that will carry you through the fall season, this one surely fills the bill! Soft muted colors with fall flowers and leaves, it will fit over a large 4 - 6 cup teapot.

Thinking of something special for your Thanksgiving table, this large cozy is simply perfect! Or the pumpkins below might be just what you need! Contact Susanna at therosemaryhouse@aol.com or stop in the shop to pick out a favorite. 

Monday, September 7, 2020

Banana Chip Cookies

2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 c. quick oats
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 heaping Tbsp. peanut butter

Blend all ingredients together. Drop onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Yield: 24 cookies.

This is a quick and easy recipe to make. The cookies are soft and chewy. And, if you only have one banana, the recipe is very easy to cut in half!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A Tea Trio

This classic Noritake China set from Japan with its dainty cluster of assorted blossoms and blue and gold edging is considered a trio. A trio consists of the tea cup and saucer and a slightly larger sandwich/dessert plate, perfect for an Afternoon Tea treat. At the moment, there are several styles of trios available at The Rosemary House to help you enjoy your afternoon tea break in style.


Sunday, August 16, 2020

A Birthday Tea - Manchester Teas & Tarts

A recent birthday celebration was cause for a family journey to the Winters Heritage House Museum in Elizabethtown, PA to attend an Afternoon Tea catered by Manchester Teas & Tarts, where they promote 'A Little Taste of Britain'. Once we were seated, our hostess offered a variety of teas including English, Irish, Welsh, or Scottish (a range of black teas differing in strength and intensity) or several fruit flavored blends were suggested. We each selected our own flavor, and were advised that the pots were endless. Sugar cubes and cream were available on the table.




The beautiful Made in England Royal Albert 'Sweet Violets' bone china place settings matched around the table. The colorful teapots came in various shapes, sizes, and colors. Shortly after we poured our tea, individual tiers arrived for each guest. They quickly filled the table with a delicious variety of afternoon tea treats. The bottom tier held tea sandwiches, two of each variety. There was egg salad, cucumber with cream, and a cheddar chutney mix. The sandwiches were all very fresh and tasty.





English Scones, both plain and with raisins, were served with individual tubs of Devonshire cream, lemon curd, and strawberry jam. The dessert tier held a variety of British pastries from a spiced cake topped with candied orange zest to a sponge cake filled with raspberry jelly and topped with an icing swirl, Cambridge Chocolate Fingers, and a miniature Bakewell Tart.
 The owners/hostesses, Melissa and Michelle proudly presented a tiered tray of lovingly decorated jelly filled cupcakes in celebration of the birthday. What a fun and tasty surprise!
                                      (P.S. The August birthday belongs to the photographer.)