Friday, July 10, 2020

Refrigerator Pickle Time!

We love to make these super easy refrigerator pickles, and conveniently, The Rosemary House has the spices and recipe available for purchase (follow this link). They are quick and easy, and keep in the fridge for weeks (if you don't munch on them all in one day). They are quite simple to prepare using whatever veggies you have on hand. With the summer gardens coming into full swing, this is a great way to use your veggies in a different manner. You just chop the veggies and add the seasoning mix and brine (recipe included for the vinegar/water/sugar brine). Let marinate in the fridge for 24 hours and it is ready to go. There is no canning necessary. Couldn't be easier! It's the perfect solution for what to bring to that next outdoor picnic (socially distanced of course and individual portions would be best)!

Add the package of spices and seasonings to a brine mixture of vinegar and water. The bread and butter pickles also have sugar added. The dill pickles are very virtuous with no sugar added. The Hot Pickles are "zippy" and do require some sugar. We like to make these pickles with a variety of veggies: cucumbers, of course, zucchini, onion, green pepper, carrot, even cauliflower.
It makes a very colorful salad that keeps well at picnics. Once made the veggies will store in the fridge for 6 to 8 weeks but they are so yummy, they never last that long! The seasoning packets (recipe included) are available at The Rosemary House in the shop or online!

Friday, June 26, 2020

National Cream Tea Day (a slightly edited repost)

Sweet Remembrances Cream Scones
 Today, Friday, June 26th is National Cream Tea Day in England as announced by The Cream Tea Society.  Established by Rodda's Cornish Clotted Cream, it's a celebration that I think we should consider making international! Cream Tea d is simply a Pot of Tea accompanied by home-made scones, jam, butter, and clotted cream.
Celebrate with family and friends,  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!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Herbal Medicine for Emotional Healing: A Book Review

I have high standards for a book to gain some space on my book shelves and this new book with a herbal look at emotional health is worthy. Full disclosure: Tina Sams is a fellow Pennsylvania herbalist who has grown into a good friend but I can assure you I took a critical eye to this book.

This text is written with first person practical experience and the recipes are unique. In this era it seems to many that herbals are a rehash of another publication that is already on my bookshelf and I am pleased to say this one is not.

It begins with a simple overview of herbal preparations and then rolls into chapters focusing on all the many issues surrounding emotional well-being. Obvious issues such as anxiety, stress and depression but also chapters on digestive issues (do you hold your stress in your gut?), skin issues, headaches, circulation, immunity, tense muscles and heartaches. Author Tina Sams took a look at all emotions such as: grief, guilt, heartbreak, moodiness, feeling overwhelmed, sleep and spirit. The final section of the book is a brief alphabetical look at 30 herbs which support emotional healing. There is a resource directory, small glossary and measurement conversions.

The wide variety of recipes and suggestions made in this title is greatly appreciated. The recipes are for both internal and external applications and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. Most of the recipes utilize only 4 to 6 ingredients which makes them very affordable to create.

For me, the lay out is a bit wonky. Personally, I don't like it when recipes continue on the next page.  While there is an index, it could be a bit more comprehensive in my opinion. The table of contents is quite extensive and that helps to make up for where the index is lacking. There are some color photos in the volume and fortunately each of the thirty herb briefs are accompanied by a color image but for the most part this is not a colorful coffee table book. Instead it is a practical, informative and comprehensive book on herbs for emotional healing. And for the list price of $16.99, it is a bargain for the depth of information shared here. The publisher is Rockridge Press.

Another disclosure:  In her acknowledgements Tina Sams wrote a lovely tribute to our mother Bertha Reppert! It was such a pleasant surprise (and brought a tear to our eye as well). Tina spoke to how she felt our mom "set the tone" for the "generous herbal scene" we have here in Pennsylvania and beyond. A herbal scene that "continues to grow, evolve and welcome new herbies".  It is so kind of Tina to both remember her and recognize her, twenty years after her passing. We are blessed.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

A Garden Party 'Afternoon Tea'

Members of the Penn Cumberland Garden Club recently gathered in the gardens of The Rosemary House to enjoy an Afternoon Tea 'Picnic'. With the county still under 'yellow' conditions, members were able to enjoy a picnic tea outside, social distancing, and with masks on when wandering about the garden. Seating was available under the pavilion, in the gazebo, and scattered about the garden. The time frame was from 10 am - 2 pm, so attendance was spread out. Many enjoyed their Afternoon Tea in the garden, while others opted to carry it home.

The menu included an assortment of tea sandwiches; Queen Adelaide, Pimiento Cheese, Southern Pecan Party Sandwich, and Almond Chive Egg Salad Sandwich. A Lavender Sage Scone was served with sweet cream and jelly alongside a small fruit cup. Dessert included a carrot cake mini muffin and a rosemary cookie. Iced beverages included a choice of Unsweetened Black Tea, Sweet Mint Tea, or a Triple Lemon Herbal Tea.
It was a casual, relaxing day offering an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the garden, good conversation among friends and a fun boxed Afternoon Tea provided by Sweet Remembrances.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Poison Ivy Blues

We were out Geo-caching (a treasure hunt based on GPS coordinates) the other evening as our socially distancing activity and it was up, still small, but growing vigorously in the woodland edge where we were hunting for our geo-cache.  Poison Ivy. Ugh. Fortunately, we recognize it in the many stages of growth so were able to avoid the dreaded rash. If you are not so fortunate, this summer, we have some help. Happy Camper Soap is excellent for rash relief from Poison Ivy or even from other gardening issues like pulling out weeds. It is an old fashioned soap with some added jewelweed and plantain, two weeds that offer comfort for the issues a poison ivy rash presents additionally it has other healing essential oils, kaolin clay and beeswax. We wash with Happy Camper Soap immediately after contact with the poison ivy to remove as much of the poison ivy oils off our skin as we can and also use it once the rash has presented itself.
Hiker's Releaf made by the Essential Herbal is a soothing spritz of jewelweed, plantain, and sage extracted in apple cider vinegar.  This is to spray directly on a poison ivy rash.

Both of these natural products are available in the shop, or online. Curbside pickup (we'll deliver to your vehicle) is also available.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Ice Cream Donut Sundae - yes, please!

So another New York City dessert stop after an off-Broadway theater was for an unbelievable Ice Cream Donut Sundae. First, select your donut and then, it is sliced in half with the ice cream placed in the middle. A few additional toppings could be added. It is like a giant piece of cake and ice cream. Our review: a fun dessert to enjoy once. This busy shop had a steady line of traffic so it is clearly a treat many enjoy.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

NYC Gelato - a sweet remembrance

As we are discussing New York City and how eerily quiet it must be during this COVID-19 pandemic, it lead to talk on some of the great things we love about our visits there. We have enjoyed numerous awesome Broadway plays, fabulous museums, unique art galleries, amazing bookstores and some yummy foods, especially some unique desserts. This gelato ice cream was creatively hand dipped into the shape of a rose and then topped with another favorite a macaron.
There was a huge assortment of flavors to pick from, including all the basic flavors but lots of unusual flavors as well; such as Tiramisu, Lime Basil, Blueberry Cheesecake, Mango, Melon, Salted Caramel and many more. You could blend as many flavors as you wanted to create your rose.  Each petal could be a different flavor.

Our still "love birds" sister and brother-in-law recently celebrated 50 years of marriage. Phil purchased Carrie a red rose (raspberry). They chose only one flavor and had a dramatic red rose.
The shop is Amorino and it is a small global franchise of boutique shops founded in 2002. They are back open, ready to present to you a beautiful rose gelato!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

It's a pleasant day to relax in the gazebo, overlook the gardens, listen to the birdsong, and forget about the troubles of the world, if just for a brief moment. A refreshing glass of Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade using local organic produce from Spiral Path Farm fills the bill for this necessary respite, and is perfect for this delicious springtime recipe.

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade
2 cups total, chopped rhubarb and strawberries
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/2 c. lemon juice (approx. 3 lemons)
2 c. ice cubes
lemon slices
In large saucepan, stir together rhubarb, strawberries, 3/4 c. water, and lemon rind. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved and rhubarb breaks up, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. Strain through cheesecloth-lined sieve, pressing out liquid. Let syrup cool. Add 5 cups water; stir in ice cubs. Garnish with lemon slices. Enjoy!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Mosquitoes attack? Get 'em!

We take our battle to coexist with the Mosquitoes seriously! As folks who like to eat at the picnic table or enjoy a good book outside, being attacked by mosquitoes is not fun. And to the bugs we simply say "Git". Get away from here. "Git Spritz" spray or the solid "Git Stick" both are very effective for keeping the pests at bay. Made locally by Lancaster County Soaps, this spritz is a great combination of essential oils that chases the bugs, smells pleasant, is safer to use and is nice and light on the skin. The solid stick is a favorite of ours tucked in the back pack as it won't spill.
The second part of our "Git" plan is to burn incense. This Lavender Citronella incense is excellent.  We have short sticks which burn for an hour. We simply poke the incense into our patio planter. This incense is great when we are sitting and reading. If we are at the picnic table we burn two sticks at a time, one above the table and one below the table.  Also available are the Yard Sticks which will burn for three hours, perfect for long quiet evenings outside. The yard sticks come in three scents Lavender Citronella, Lemon Citronella and Sandalwood Citronella. These are made in Ohio.
The final phase of our "Git" attack is the Moskito Shocker scented geranium. This lemon scented geranium with lovely small pink flowers has three times more essential oil content. We grow this in a planter on the patio. It will take sun or part sun. Water weekly. We pluck off a leaf and rub that leaf on our arms, ankles, neck to deter the pests. It is quite fragrant.

 And that is how we social distance from the Mosquitoes!

All of these are available in our gift shop, The Rosemary House or via mail order.
Follow this link:

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Happy Anniversary!

May 19, 1945. Bertha Ottylie Peplau married Byron Leibold Reppert. We celebrate this beautiful memory of this very special couple today! xoxo, Carolynn, Marjorie, Nancy, and Susanna
Mint for Joy
Lavendar for Luck
Lemon Balm for comfort
Sosuthernwood for Fun and Fragrance
A Rose for Love and Rosemary for Remembrance.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Can you count the scones?

 How many scones are on these two trays? What's your best guess? The top tray holds Traditional English Cream Scones, and the bottom tray has Lemon Pecan Scones. A very early Sunday morning was spent measuring, mixing, kneading, rolling, cutting, baking and repeat. In case you are missing scones from Sweet Remembrances, we are happy to share the recipes below. Flour seems to be a little easier to find these days, and most of the other ingredients should be readily attainable. Hope you find some time to try your hand with scone making. The frequent caution is to not overwork the dough, which includes over mixing or kneading with a heavy hand. Good Luck!
Lemon Pecan Scones
2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. pecans
1 Tbsp. lemon peel, freshly zested
1-1/4 c. heavy cream
Combine dry ingredients. Add pecans and lemon peel. Add heavy cream, and mix until blended, but don't over mix. Knead lightly 3 - 4 times. Divide dough into half, roll out dough into a 6 inch circle, cut each circle into 6 triangles. Brush top with egg white and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 13 - 15 minutes. Yield: 12 scones. Enjoy warm scones with cream and jelly.                                                     

Traditional English Cream Scones
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. cold butter
2 eggs
1/2 c. light cream
Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Lightly beat eggs, add cream to eggs. Mix egg and cream with dry ingredients; mix to form dough. Knead for 30 seconds on lightly floured surface. Roll into a circle 3/4 inch thick. Cut into rounds with 2" cutter which has been dipped into flour. Re-roll dough, and continue cutting circles. Place on baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix 1 egg white with 1 tsp. water. Brush onto top of cut scones. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 425 degrees for 13 - 15 minutes. Yield: 12 scones. Serve warm, lightly dusted with confectioner's sugar, with your favorite toppings.