Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Cranberry Tea Punch

We served this festive punch at the Red-White-and-Blue Tea in celebration of the Fourth of July. It is a sweet, colorful punch with lots of fruit flavors. Hope you have an opportunity to make it this summer! You won't regret it.

Cranberry Tea Punch

3 cups sugar

12 oz. frozen lemonade

1 quart apple juice

2 quarts cranberry juice

2 c. orange juice

2 c. strong black tea, brewed

Boil 4 quarts of water. Add 3 cups sugar, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Chill. Yield: 2 gallons

Monday, July 4, 2022

Happy Fourth of July - Afternoon Tea!

The tea room celebrated a Red, White, and Blue Afternoon Tea on Sunday, July 3rd. Touches of red graced the table from red roses, to colorful red napkins, and old glory herself graced the centerpieces. Menus and tea lists carried out the red-white-and-blue theme, of course.
A refreshing Cranberry Tea Punch welcomed attendees as they gathered for this event. Once tea pots were poured, the tea service began. A Red, White, and Blue Berry Salad was the first course, complete with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and Feta cheese. A star shaped crouton topped the center of the salad, and an all American poppy seed dressing was drizzled over top.

The sandwich array included a Land of the Free Artichoke Chicken Salad Triangle. There was a Red, White and Blue Skewer that included blueberries, Monterey jack cheese, and a tomatoes. The in the USA! Spinach Basil Tomato Tart was served warm. There was a Home of the Brave Cucumber & Blueberry Round, a United we Stand Strawberry Honey Baguette, and The Stars and Stripes Fruit Sandwich. All decidedly red-white-and-blue.
The Independence Day English Cream Scone was served with Sweet Cream and Raspberry Preserves. The Happy Fourth of July! Blueberry Muffin and a 1776 Almond Cream filled Strawberry rounded out the plate.

To end the tea, we served Born in the USA! Almond Cookie, Give me Liberty White chocolate Berry Pie, and It's a Grand Old Flag Cherry topped White Cake.

 Wishing everyone a very Happy Fourth of July!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Fort Hunter Mansion & Park - Afternoon Tea

We are fortunate to have the Fort Hunter Mansion and Park located just north of Harrisburg and situated on along the Susquehanna River. Having a history of serving as a war fort and also an exclusive private estate, it is preserved for the public and offers a variety of exhibits, musical programs, and special events throughout the year. Recently, in May, we attended an Afternoon Tea and program coordinated by the Friends of Fort Hunter and held in the stately 1876 Centennial barn.
The barn offers a lovely wide open venue to host a gathering of tea and history buffs. Prior to the Afternoon Tea, there was a program presented by Dr. Donald Koontz on the artistic talents of Violet Oakley (1874 - 1961). This amazing woman was a painter, muralist, illustrator, portraitist, writer, civic leader and advocate for world peace. She was the first female artist commissioned to create murals for the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Dr. Koontz shared the story of these murals (over 40 of them) as they depicted the history of William Penn. His enthusiastic and informative presentation was captivating.

After the program, we found our seating. The colorful centerpieces brought the garden indoors. After the event, we were encouraged to take the bouquets to enjoy at home.

Once seated, tea service began immediately, and a hot pot of English Breakfast tea was presented to each table. Once the tea pots were served, the main plate appeared. It held a generous portion of chicken salad on a crisp romaine lettuce leaf with a few pickles and tomatoes. Sweet heart shaped scones were on the plate along with a French Madelaine, and a frosted sponge cake topped with edible flower petals. Additional scones were offered by the volunteers.
Towards the end of the tea, an ice cream sundae was served to each guest. A sweet ending to a fun afternoon tea.

If you are in the southcentral PA area, the Friends of Fort Hunter typically host an afternoon tea in May and again in early December.

We were fortunate to have Dr. Koontz join us at our table. As we introduced ourselves, he fondly remembered our mother as many years ago he coordinated with her to present adult education programs about herbs and tea at the local community college. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

Passport To Africa - Afternoon Tea

Earlier this month we welcomed guest chef Faith Cohick to coordinate the "Passport to Africa" Afternoon Tea. Faith prepared a menu that was comprised of a host of African flavors and specialties for this event. Following the event, Debbie Arthur joined us for her presentation about the adventures she experienced while visiting Africa, telling her story through her gorgeous photography. Her pictures brought the animals to life!
Susanna's husband David has a unique collection of hand carved wooden animals from Africa, and they were all put into service to adorn each table.
Keeping with the theme, in the tea room before the culinary adventure began.
The first course featured a Moroccan Chickpea Salad. This brightly colored salad was filled with chickpeas, carrots, raisins, toasted pumpkin seeds, and feta cheese all dressed with a blend of Moroccan spices and served atop a bed of fresh arugula.
The sandwich assortment included South African Mealie Bread (corn bread) with a tangy cheese spread and boasting the South African flag, East African Kachumbari (onion and cucumber) Crostini, Creamy Egg Salad on White Bread with an olive pick topper, Colorful Sweet Pepper Spread atop Crostini, Turkey Apricot Tea Sandwich with Almond Poppyseed Spread, and South African Frikkadel (spiced meatball). An amazing array of flavors and textures to sample.
A Vanilla Bean Cardamom Scone and Sour Cream Banana Bread was served accompanied with orange marmalade and Devonshire Cream alongside assorted fresh fruit.
The dessert medley featured South African Condensed Milk Cookie, West African Lime Cake, and South African Milk Tart or Melktert,  .

A special thank you to Faith Cohick for another fabulous themed tea and to Debbie Arthur for sharing her interesting experiences in the wilds of Africa.

Looking for lions and tigers and bears in the gardens?

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Buckingham Palace Tea, a favor

Sharing another view of the tea room with the tables set and ready for the guests to arrive for the Queen's tea festivities. The bunting added an air of fun to the event.

Tucked in the folds of the napkin was a favor for each guest. We gifted each guest a package of the Buckingham Palace Royal Blend Afternoon Tea. The tea is a large loose leaf tea in a biodegradable pyramid shaped teabag. It can be ordered directly from the Royal Collection Trust at Buckingham Palace in London, England. The box includes a bit of history of the palace summer garden parties that were first introduced by Queen Victoria in the 1860s. This festive tradition continues to this day where, during the summer, invited guests are welcomed to the tea parties held in the palace gardens. Guests are served tea in the company of the Royal Family.
According to the packaging, regarding the Royal Afternoon Blend:  "Delicate, light and balanced, this delightful blend of high quality large leaf teas is perfect for drinking in the afternoon. It is equally good served the traditional way with a splash of milk or served chilled for perfect iced tea."

Treat yourself like a queen everyday, and enjoy a cup of hearty black tea alongside whatever sweet treat you have on hand. This darling little cupcake was available during the week leading up to the royal festivities at a local creperie in town. It seemed the perfect way to celebrate simply!

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Queen's Tea - 2022

As celebrations occurred throughout England in honor of Queen Elizabeth's 70 year reign, we too, had a celebration in her honor. We have held the Queen's Tea annually to celebrate her birthday, but this year was extra special. The bunting was hung, the tables were set, and the festivities in the tea room were held on Sunday, June 5th.

In addition to the guests seated in the tea room, we welcomed three recent Penn State University graduates to take tea in the garden. They donned their finest tiaras and crowns and joined in the revelry, toasting not only the Queen, but each other for their accomplishments over the past four years at Happy Valley. 

The first course featured a recipe from Eating Royally, a cookbook written by Darren McGrady, former chef to the Queen and Princess Diana. It was a Pear and Pecan Salad with Parmesan Cheese and Goat Cheese atop a bed of assorted lettuce. A fresh basil and olive oil vinaigrette dressed the salad. 

The sandwiches included a Roast Beef with Parmesan Mayonnaise on a Lemon Chive Pepper Muffin, Cucumber and French Style Cheese Round, Turkey, Havarti, & Sliced Apple on Raisin Bread, Buckingham Palace Rose Petal Sandwich, the Queen's Favorite Raspberry Jam Pennies, Coronation Chicken Salad, and Herbed Cheese with Sliced Tomato Rounds.

The scone course featured a Kensington Palace Scone (heart shaped) and a triangular scone using a recipe from the Claridge Hotel. Both were served with sweet cream and strawberry preserves alongside fresh fruit.
And the dessert medley featured a Fortnum & Mason Earl Grey Cupcake garnished with assorted gold and white sprinkles, a Victorian Poppyseed cake with a lime glaze and gold candy crown and our Chocolate Toffee Torte with gold dust and chocolate shavings. The paper with the photos of the Queen over the years held the menu.
Congratulations to the graduates! and Long Live the Queen!

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Greenfield Restaurant, Lancaster, PA

We joined fellow members of The Royal Tea Club at the Greenfield Restaurant and Bar for a special Afternoon Tea coordinated by Chef John Moeller in Lancaster, PA. Normally, the restaurant serves lunch and dinner, but upon request, he prepared an afternoon tea for our group. There were 52 attendees on Friday, and since it was a sold-out group, a second tea was offered and 42 members attended. The Royal Tea Club is a very active group, offering special tea themed events throughout the year.

On display are several pieces of White House china. Owner and chef, John Moeller worked in the White House under three presidents for 13 years. 

Our place setting included off-white cloth napkins and tablecloths, and white china. The plate of sandwiches were already on the table as we arrived. Assorted tea bags and a thermos of hot water was also on each table.

The sandwiches included a large croissant filled with chicken salad that had purple grapes and pecans for a nice crunch. a petite cucumber sandwich with a sprig of arugula under the cucumber, a caprese sandwich with tomato, mozzarella, and basil pesto on the bread, salmon on brown bread with a dill garnish, and egg salad on pumpernickel and rye bread.

Once the sandwiches were consumed, a platter of miniature desserts was served to each table.
The array of desserts included a spice bar with chocolate drizzle, a small raspberry cheesecake, a berry tart filled with lemon curd, a chocolate tart with piped chocolate ganache, and miniature cannoli. It made a pretty plate of miniature desserts, and a nice variety. 

The members of the Royal Tea Club committee make sure that you are seated with your travel mates. We had an assigned table, and the three of us enjoyed this special tea (recent graduate, Angelica, blog author, Nancy, and Susanna's husband David filled in as Susanna had to work). We do look forward to returning to The Greenfield Restaurant to enjoy their culinary creativity at lunch or dinner.

Following the tea service, there was a presentation by Chef John Moeller regarding his career, his adventure living and training in Paris (without pay) and his subsequent experiences as a White House chef. He is very entertaining, and has many stories to tell. Readers of this blog might remember that we welcomed Chef Moeller to Sweet Remembrances as guest speaker at our Presidential Tea in 2020. Consider following the Greenfield Restaurant on Facebook. Also of note, John Moeller is the author of  Dining at the White House.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

International Tea Day

By a resolution adopted in 2019 by the United Nations, May 21st has been decreed to be International Tea Day. It is celebrated annually to raise awareness of the long history and deep cultural and economic significance of tea around the world. 

In celebration of International Tea Day, we set up a sampling of a variety of teas and herbal tisanes in the Rosemary House and also in the garden under the pavilion.

In the shop, Susanna was offering Eight Treasures of the Shaolin. This delightful blend of black and green teas combined with pineapple and strawberry flavors was prepared as an iced tea since temperatures in central PA on this tranquil Saturday were well into the 90s. She also offered a hearty Assam tea from India and an organic Turmeric Chai tea laden with a variety of spices including cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, black pepper, and turmeric of course. This one was a favorite!
Under the pavilion, Nancy was serving Triple Mint Tea, a naturally caffeine free herbal blend that is a refreshing combination of peppermint, spearmint and catnip. This minty  tisane is a nod to our herbal heritage as it is a blend that mom created during the early years in Rosemary House. There was a Gunpowder Green tea to taste. The unique pearl shape of the tea leaves imitates gunpowder pellets, hence the name. This was a nice mellow green tea. And an Iced Tea Punch was also served, brewed with Harney & Son's Big Red Sun as the punch base, frozen orange juice and lemon juice along with some sugar produced a refreshing thirst quencher on this steamy day. The recipe is shared from a KY tea friend.
Linda's Favorite Tea Punch
Pour 1 quart boiling water over 2 heaping tablespoons of Big Red Sun loose leaf tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Strain. (for ease of use, we recommend Tea Saks to contain the loose leaf tea).
Remove and discard the tea. Add 1-1/2 c. sugar. Mix well until dissolved. Add the following ingredients: 1 - 6 oz. can frozen orange juice (thawed) 1 - 6-oz. can frozen lemonade (thawed)
and 10 cups of water. Chill. Yield: 1 gallon

Thank you for celebrating International Tea Day with us!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Another milestone! PSU Graduation 2022

How it started

How it's going

 Congratulations, Angelica! Penn State University, Graduation Day, May 8,2022. 
Double Major: Community, Environment, & Development and Spanish

The future is yours!