Sunday, October 23, 2016

Taking Tea on the Strasburg Train!

 We live very close to the Strasburg Rail Road located in Ronks, PA. Susanna discovered that they have a Steampunk Unlimited festival held annually in October. And, in addition, they offered a High Tea, on a weekend we all had open!

We were eager to experience tea in the Dining Car of America's oldest operating railroad. With seating available for 28 passengers, it was a sold out event. When we boarded the train, the tables were set and ready for the guests.

As you enjoy your tea, you are transported through the picturesque countryside in beautiful Lancaster County. The journey covers a 9-mile round trip jaunt to Paradise, PA and lasts approx 45 minutes.

A three tiered tray laden with a wide variety of fresh open faced sandwiches that included cucumber, chicken salad, a mini BLT, and sliced egg was on each table. The top tier held scones, coconut macaroons, and several assorted pastries. Hot water was provided in a carafe on the table, and a hostess offered two varieties of teas to sample.

This was a memorable experience on a local area attraction. We were in Strasburg about nine years ago to celebrate the eagerly anticipated arrival of Thomas the Tank. It was a totally different experience, but also memorable! The 'Day Out with Thomas' continues to be one of their most popular offerings,
How they have grown!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Afternoon Tea at The Front Porch, Hallam, PA

On a crisp fall Sunday, the 'girls' headed to The Front Porch in Hallam, PA for Afternoon Tea. An easy journey south, we laughed and chatted in the car until we arrived at our destination. Cheerfully greeted at the door, we were taken to our tables where a fresh salad with their signature poppyseed dressing was plated and waiting for us.

We selected the flavor for our first pot of tea, Snowflake. It is one we are familiar with and knew that we would all enjoy. As we savored our salad, we took a few photos around the tea room

The three tiered tray was laden with an abundance of fresh fruit on the top tier, assorted sandwiches and scones were on the middle tier, and the bottom tier featured a wide variety of sweets. The sandwiches included a spinach phyllo, a cucumber sandwich, a phyllo wrapped gorgonzola, and a little tart. The scones were cinnamon apple and sea salt caramel. The assortment of desserts were varied and sweet. We enjoyed the rich chocolate truffle the best.

The garden is spacious and always in bloom according to the season. This fun larger than life papier mache teapot graces the front lawn and leaves no doubt that you are at a tea room.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Poorman's Graham Bread

This graham bread, served at our WWII Afternoon Tea was a recipe that our mother shared in a cookbook that was published many years ago by her garden club. With the recipe, she noted that "This got us through college". My parents were married shortly before the war ended, and my father later attended Lehigh University utilizing the benefits from Uncle Sam's GI Bill. No one was wealthy at that time, and homemade graham bread was a staple in the household, along with spam. This recipe has endured in our family, and as a young girl, I remember helping my mother make this bread during the holiday season (a 5 lb. bag of flour makes 5 large loaves of bread) and then running each loaf to our neighbors as a holiday gift from the family.
Graham Bread
2 c. graham (whole wheat) flour
1 c. white flour
2 c. sour milk
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
3 - 4 Tbsp. molasses
Mix all ingredients together. Bake 30 - 45 min. at 375 degrees. Can add dates, nuts, etc. Makes 1 large 9" x 5" loaf.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

World War II Afternoon Tea

Red, white and blue carnations graced the tables for our World War II themed tea held late in September. Blue teacups and blue napkins continued the theme. A festive menu was placed on each table. The Victory Cook Book, found among our mother's cook book collection, was a source for a few of the dishes served at this tea.

The first course featured 'A Good Salad" that was a pasta base that included pineapple and celery. It was served on a bed of fresh salad greens harvested from our Victory Garden and sprinkled with a bit of parsley.

The Sandwiches included Cheesy Spam Rounds on Pumpernickel bread with a small "V" cutout on top, War Time Apple Butter and Gouda on a hearty dark bread, Poor Man's Buttered Graham Bread, Victory Garden Veggie Confetti Rounds, "Doctor Carrot" Tea Sandwich, and Post War Tomato and Parmesan Sandwich with Basil Butter.

"Doctor Carrot", the children's best friend was a  promotional advertising effort, along with "Potato Pete" and was introduced in England in 1941 to get kids to eat more veggies and to help promote the consumption of surplus crops.
Our scone course included Sugar Rationed English Cream Scones with jelly and cream and fresh fruit. And the dessert course was true comfort food, Old Fashioned Apple Crisp served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a Pecan Ice Box Cookie, a recipe from the Victory Cook book.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

World War II Special Event Program

We've been hoarding our ration coupons all year. And we grew an extra large Victory Garden so that we could host a War World II tea party. "WE CAN DO IT" was our slogan.
Everyone found an outfit to wear from Susanna's Victory Rolls to Angelica representing Rosie the Riveter in blue button down denim, red handkerchief, bright red lipstick and extra duty muscles. "We Can Do It!" Rosie the Riveter symbolizes the American women who worked in factories and shipyards during the wartime era, producing munitions and war supplies.
A few decorating touches in the tea room helped to complete the scene. Photos from our members of the "Greatest Generation". Our dad was in the South Pacific and 3 of his brothers also served making our Grandmother a proud 4-Star Mother. Our Aunt Hilda began her illustrious nursing career in the military.
The Victory Cook Book was a source for several of the recipes that were served during the Afternoon Tea, including "A Good Salad" and the Pecan Ice Box Cookies.
Cedar couldn't decide which of his many outfits he wanted to wear. It was fun that everyone played along including many of the tea party ladies.
Our program, presented by Alisa Dupuy, was about the female spies of WWII including the stories of Virginia Hall, Alice Marble, Josephine Baker and how some of the other women such as Marlena Dietrick helped with the war effort.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Extreme Beauty Secrets

It's always a delight to welcome Alisa Dupuy representing The Ladies of History to Sweet Remembrances and The Rosemary House. This most recent visit featured a performance by the Evil Queen which was very interesting. As with all of Alisa's programs, she entertained the group too. She wove a tale of extreme beauty secrets through the ages spinning in parts of the story of Snow White. She covered the dangerous elements that women used on their skin, such as lead and mercury and how the looks of women have changed through different eras. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Scripture Cake

At our Plants of the Bible program earlier this month, we served a sampling of Scripture Cake. This old time recipe is based on ingredients found in Bible verses.

As a favor for the evening, our guests received a package of the spices used in the cake along with the recipe and the Bible verses listed.

A good hearty spice cake that includes raisins, figs and almonds, many of the attendees remembered it as something their grandmother used to make.

Although this recipe says to bake it in a loaf pan, there was entirely too much batter. It fit perfectly in a Bundt pan.

And if you are interested in the original Biblical references, they are listed here. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Plants of the Bible

Wendy Plowman has been a gardener all of her life. She has extensive nursery experience, is a master gardener and has studied plants of the Bible for decades. Recently she presented a very informative program for The Rosemary House. She began by explaining some of the challenges with studying the plants of the Bible in that the Hebrews weren't scientists/botanists and plants are often misnamed.  Additionally, different versions of the Bibles give us different names. She also introduced to us that today we have a clearer picture that there are over 2,500 native plants in Palestine.
Her comprehensive view of plants of the Bible included the trees, fruits, barks, gourds, foods, incense, lamp oils, cultivated plants, wild crafted plants, flowers, plants used to make tablecloths and garments, plants used for decoration such as henna, and symbolic plants. The evening was completed with some hot tea and scripture cake.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Apple Crisp - comfort food!

Apple Crisp
1 - 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1 c. old fashioned oats
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
2/3 c. butter
4 - 6 apples

Slice and peel apples and layer in a 9" x 13" baking pan. Mix the sugar, flour, oats, and spices. Cut in butter until fine to medium size crumbs form. Spread crumb mixture evenly over apples. Bake at 375 degrees, 45 min. - 1 hr. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

from tiny acorns...

...mighty oaks grow!
Well, perhaps not from these delicious little morsels! But, it's that time of year to enjoy these little acorns made using Hershey kisses and mini nutter butter cookies all 'glued' together with melted chocolate and then topped with a miniature semisweet chocolate chip. We've been serving these tasty tidbits at our afternoon tea events through fall, and whenever we have a special occasion. They add just the right amount of fun to the table!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sweet Inspirations

Teresa was very busy preparing for the Michigan adventure. In addition to the Tea and Chocolate presentation on the first evening of our trip, she prepared these colorful tea shaped inspirational notes to be shared each evening. Teapots and teacups and quotes to ponder, Teresa added her special creative touch to this trip.

"Tea purifies spirit, removes anxiety and nervousness, brings ease and comfort, an dis conducive to meditation." Author unknown.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do." Mark Twain
"Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." Anonymous

"Why do we close our eyes when we pray, cry, kiss, dream? Because the most beautiful things in life are not seen but felt only by heart."

"A true warrior, like tea, shows his strength in hot water." a Chinese proverb