Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day Tea!

Our St. Patrick's Day celebration in the tea room featured a festive shamrock laden tea. The day began with a Leafy Green Salad topped with fresh basil, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, honey balsamic vinaigrette and a crispy buttery shamrock toast.

Next up, the sandwich course that included:
Farmhouse Chicken Salad Sandwich, Fresh springtime rolled Asparagus Sandwich, Heirloom brown bread with pure Kerrygold Irish butter, Turkey & Havarti Cheese with parsley shallot mayonnaise, and a Miniature Reuben with corned beef and Swiss cheese.

The next course included a wee bit of a Shamrock Shaped Scone and Cranberry Orange Irish Soda Bread. This was served with sweet cream, lemon curd, raspberry preserves, and an assortment of fresh fruit.

Desserts, plated in the kitchen, ready to be served, included a medley of shamrocks. There was a Lucky Leprechaun Green Velvet Cake, The Luck of the Irish Mint Frosted Brownie, and a Good Luck! Good Cheer! Shamrock Sugar Cookie.

Following the tea, Karen Donnelly of Greenhalgh Tea and The Orchard Tea Room presented a program on the history of tea in Ireland. After her presentation, she gifted everyone in attendance with a recipe for Donegal Seedy Bread (from the Complete Book of Irish Country Cooking) and a sample of Irish Breakfast tea. As she noted in her program, the Irish enjoy a strong, bold, hearty black tea. This blend of CTC black tea from Assam, Kenya and Rwanda certainly fits that description.

We proudly wore our green for the day. Angelica shows off her prowess of carrying 6 teapots at a time. Note: this is at the end of the day, during clean up, when the pots are empty and have cooled down. None of us have mastered the skill of carrying this many tea pots when they are full and piping hot!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 
May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Was MYOB, Now the Fairy Corner

This ad appeared in the Mechanicsburg High School newspaper in 1969. MYOB at the time stood for "Mind your own Business" (or Beeswax) but at The Rosemary House it stood for My Own Business. Under mom's guidance, this was the little enterprise the sisters had in The Rosemary House. Tucked under a stairwell, it was the perfect amount of space for the young Reppert girls to learn the ins-and-outs of maintaining a business. We sold patches with peace signs, love beads, large colorful tissue paper flowers which Marj made and then carried to school where orders had been taken from other students, incense, posters and other fun teenager items. 

Once Susanna, Nancy and Marj were no longer teenagers, the area transformed into quality little toys, perfect stocking stuffers and goodies for moms and grandmas to select. Now it has transitioned once again and is our fairy corner. Filled with fairies, stickers, pixie dust, mermaids, fairy books and coloring books, unicorns, fairy jewelry and many more treasures and trinkets.

Originally a spot where teenagers would hover, it has become the area where the littles make a wish and ask grandma if they can pick something special.

This 1971 high school yearbook ad, placed during Nancy's senior year simply pronounces "The Rosemary House has the best gifts."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Design Your Own - Tea Tray!

The Rosemary House and Caromal Colours are coming together for an evening of tea and creativity... no skill required! Carol will help you design your own large wooden serving tray in your choice of color and decoupage design. This sturdy wooden tray is perfect for serving tea or wine, inside or out. During the evening, Susanna will offer tips on brewing and serving wonderful teas! Tea and Treats will be served and you are welcome to bring your own favorite (adult) beverage and/or treats as well. Don't miss this wonderful evening of creativity and fun! This event will be held at Caromal Colours, 13 E. Main Street in charming Mechanicsburg.

Join us on Thursday, March 22nd from 6 pm to approx. 9:30 pm. Cost for this event is $55.00, and you may register by contacting Susanna at The Rosemary House.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Rosemary House - Then and Now

The Rosemary House opened its doors in 1968 with some sparse inventory, handmade crafts, and items from the garden all lovingly placed on metal shelving units ordered from the Sears and Roebuck Catalog and assembled by dear old dad. When the shop first opened, it was the front room only. This early photo is from 1971 where the shelves are full and the shop is beginning to overflow into the second room.


Hand crafted pine cone wreaths and herbal wreaths were made by mom. Local artists handiwork lined the shelves as well such as hand carved springerle cookie molds by local artist D.D.Dillon. Craft kits were put together to make Do-It-Yourself Pot Pourri or Pomander Balls. Baggies and Bows. Everything was packaged in a baggie and gaily tied with bows! You'll find that our herbs are still packaged with baggies and bows 50 years later!

Over the years we have worked to replace all of the metal shelving with vintage antique display units and all of the original peg board is now the more display friendly slat wall. 

Our wooden shelving pieces have a varied history - this piece was originally in a hat shop and the shelves are all felt lined. Our front piece was in a pharmacy/soda shop and has zinc lined cabinets once used to keep the ice cream cool. We have an old one horse open sleigh we use as a display piece and another multi-drawer unit that was once used to store patterns but has been re-purposed to hold herbs.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine's Day Tea - 2018

Our first Valentine's Day Tea was this past Sunday. Roses and hearts graced the table, from fresh florist roses to tightly twisted rosebud napkins and paper hearts galore, it was a theme to be repeated throughout the day.

Once the pots of tea were brewed, the first course was served. It was flavorful Mixed Berry Salad with spring greens, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, dressed with a sweet poppyseed dressing and topped with pecans and feta cheese.
The sandwich assortment included a heart shaped pinwheel with red pepper and black olives. Ham Salad Sandwich with a heart cutout showed the pink color of the spread. A round strawberry cream sandwich was topped with a fresh strawberry piece cut in the shape of a heart. A warm Swiss cheese melt on pumpernickel bread offered a contrasting color to the array of red and pink sandwiches. The Apple Chicken Salad Sandwich was sprinkled with a dusting of paprika and topped with a miniature heart cutout. And in the center was a mini phyllo cup filled with mozzarella cheese and sun dried tomatoes. Lots of variety in that array of sandwiches.
What's Valentine's Day with out chocolate? We served our traditional English Cream Scones in the shape of a heart and they were served alongside a glazed Double Chocolate Chip Scones. Sweet Cream and raspberry preserves were offered as toppings and fresh fruit rounded out the plate.

A medley of desserts included a chocolate frosted chocolate cake, a shortbread heart with chocolate drizzles, both white and milk, and a buttery frosted cookie with sprinkles. Yummy, and fun! This was our first Valentine's Day celebration with another one scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Hope your week is filled with love!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Table Settings

During our visit to Camellia's Sin Tea Parlor, I snapped some pictures of the beautiful table settings in the tea room. Each table is decorated with a different theme or color or style, and each table is simply more beautiful than the previous one. It is a real study in design!

With coordinating chargers to match a round or square place setting, and then beautiful china dishes, one stacked upon the other to create an elegant layout of dishes and a promise of bountiful courses to be served, it was a feast for the eyes. This cheerful red place setting was our table for afternoon tea.
Matching napkin rings complete the service, and coordinated tea pots act as the centerpiece.

 Do you see a table setting where you would prefer to be seated? They are all so festive!

In the entryway, there is an assortment of hats in all shapes, sizes, and colors to entice you to wear a hat while taking tea. Always fun!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Football Widow's Tea - Camellia's Sin Tea Room

We journeyed to Carlisle, PA on a snowy Super Bowl Sunday for the featured Football Widow's Tea at Camellia's Sin Tea Parlor. The snow was pretty but slippery, traffic was light, the adventure enjoyable. 

If you so desire, you may choose a coordinating hat from the wide variety on the wall as you enter, 

All the tables are amazingly coordinated from chargers, to plates, napkins, and tea cups and pots. We were ushered to the glittery silver and red table. Quite festive!

For starters, we were offered a choice of soups. There was a butternut squash apple (shown here), a ham and bean soup, or a borscht type beet soup. Very thick, very hot, and deliciously flavorful, we enjoyed having soup on such a cold day.

 A lightly dressed salad was next that included spring greens, grapes, and topped with feta cheese.

Another decision was required with the scone course. There were three flavors offered, and since there were three of us, we took one of each and cut them into thirds to sample them all. No decision here! Served with soft cream, lemon curd, and a herbed butter, the flavors included savory cheddar rosemary, almond joy with chocolate drizzle, and white chocolate cranberry. Each one as tasty as the previous scone.

A tiered tray was next that included the sandwiches and desserts. On the bottom tier there was a yummy grilled cheese with a pesto filling on one side and sun dried tomato on the other side. A mini broccoli spinach quiche was served warm, and the cucumber radish sandwich with herbed cream cheese was heart shaped. A petite meat loaf sandwich filled out the variety of sandwiches. All very fun.

Desserts included  a sugar cookie, a miniature raspberry cheesecake, and a very moist chocolate cupcake.

We enjoyed a variety of hot tea with each course, but alas, after tea it was time to head back into the wintry scene, and head home, just in time to nestle in and nap during all the pregame hype.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Sign for the Time

Established in 1968, The Rosemary House is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year! As part of our big 5-0 celebration we are taking a look back though the past five decades. Our first shingle, painted and hung by dear old dad was one part of his contribution to the new venture.

Fragrances, Flavors, and Remembrances  - significant since Rosemary is the symbol of Remembrance. 

Our next sign was very similar but we added the Herb and Spice Merchant sign on the side of the building easily seen when traveling on Market Street.
Still promoting fragrances, flavors and remembrances, we now added Garden to the name, and the year the business became incorporated.
The most recent update lays it on the line, Herbs, Teas and Spices.  New style sign, new tag line, and parking in the rear. The transition of the signage offers a study in design and change, and all of the signs feature an artistic interpretation of Rosemary.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Cha Cha Chocolate!

The Downtown Mechanicsburg Partnership is sponsoring this festive extravaganza to be held the first weekend of February. A wide variety of local businesses are participating, and attendees will be delighted with the amazing assortment of yummy chocolate treats that are being offered at each business. Held Friday, February 2nd and Saturday, February 3rd, tickets ($10.00/person) may be purchased at participating businesses. The Rosemary House and Sweet Remembrances are proud to participate in this inaugural event. The ticket is your tour map, so be sure to pick one up before the event begins. And don't worry, if you are concerned you won't be able to enjoy all the chocolate delights in one or two days, a 'to go' box will be available at a few locations. (One box per participant, please.)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Don QuixoTEA

And the tea, you ask? Settle in for a full bodied spicy black tea blended with generous pieces of cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger root to create an invigorating Chai tea that any knight errant would enjoy after fighting windmills and aiding damsels in distress. The bold flavors of this spice laden tea accommodates the addition of milk and sugar if you so desire, adding a depth of sweetness and creaminess to an already tasty blend.