Sunday, October 20, 2019

Japanese Tea Ceremony - 2019 PA Tea Festival

We are so fortunate that Sachiko prepares individually hand whisked bowls of Matcha, Japanese Green Tea.

Understanding the Japanese Tea Ceremony is a lifelong learning process. The ceremony incorporates four principals; harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility with the understanding that this is a once in a lifetime moment, never to be repeated, all the while creating a moving meditation for the guest and the host. The process is documented in this series of photographs as the pictures tell the tale of this ancient tea ceremony.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

PA Tea Festival - 2019 - Rosemary Alley

Rosemary Alley is the location for a wide variety of vendors at the festival. There is a long row of tents with various merchants and an abundance of tea themed treasures. Many returning vendors were set up in this area alongside a few new comers.
Several Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association members are represented in this area. One Steep at a Thyme, Tea-by-Two, Tea-for-All, Tea & Whimsey, Greenhalgh Tea, are all MATBA members.

The Literary Corner was also located in Rosemary Alley. The tent was set up and a variety of authors joined us for book chats and book signings. Special thanks to Kensington Publishing for assisting in organizing this area. And thanks to Deb Beamer of Mechanicsburg Mystery Books for coordinating the book sales.Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling
Also in Rosemary Alley is the colorful supersized chair with a basket full of tea themed props for the perfect photo op!

Friday, October 18, 2019

PA Tea Festival 2019 - In the Garden

The 2019 PA Tea Festival was held last month in the gardens and way back of The Rosemary House and Sweet Remembrances. Susanna hosted gardens tours twice daily. She featured "A Weed for Every Need" and also "Herbs for the Tea Pot and the Cooking Pot". As she led attendees around the herb garden, they sniffed, touched, listened, learned and even sampled a Darjeeling tea brewed with fresh scented rose geranium leaves for a unique twist.

Our tea leaf reader and intuitive guide, Rhonda (L) of Dancing Moonbeam was tucked in the gazebo. For a small fee, Rhonda would read your tea leaves and answer questions.
David Brill, herbalist at The Rosemary House offered samples of home brewed Kombucha. This fermented, lightly effervescent, black or green tea drink is said to offer numerous health benefits. David shared tastings in the morning and again in the afternoon. He also discussed the preparation for kombucha, an ancient and fascinating beverage.
Set up in the garden, Sachiko shared individual whisked bowls of Matcha. Representing the Urasenke school in Philadelphia, she presented a wonderful introduction into the world of Japanese tea and the cultural aspects related to the tea ceremony.

Several vendors were set up in the garden including Tea You There from Baltimore, MD with tea, sugar scrubs, and bath bombs and Craft Tea Guy out of Philadelphia with his unique blends of herbal teas.
The garden was a buzz of activity between vendors, garden tours, several tea tastings, and outdoor seating for Sweet Remembrances Tea Room. The tea room offered cream teas and a one-plate Afternoon Tea along with a pot of tea. Table side service was either inside or outside.
Several vendors were under the pavilion including Dollies Tea Room (tea gifts and fascinator hats), K & K Kreations (tea themed garden art), and Tea Time Magazine (publications, books). Harrowgate Fine Foods offered samplings of their curds and introduced a new product line featuring preserves.

We were blessed with beautiful weather for both days of the festival.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Chunky Gazpacho - a summer harvest

We recently held an evening tea where we featured herbs and the vegetable harvest of the season. For this reason, we served a chunky Gazpacho, a chilled vegetable soup reminiscent of the flavors of southern Spain. The Gazpacho included local fresh organic veggies, rounding out the end of the summer harvest. It's a great way to use an abundance of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. The recipe was requested by several attendees, and we're happy to share it here. 

Chunky Gazpacho
2 cucumbers, peeled, halved, and seeded
3 red or green bell peppers, cored and seeded
8 plum tomatoes
2 red onions
6 garlic cloves, minced
46 ounces tomato juice (V-8)
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
1/4 c. dark balsamic vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil (may decrease this amount)
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. pepper
1 c. minced parsley (or basil)
1 Tbsp. sugar (optional)

Prepare all the veggies. Roughly chop the cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and onions into 1-inch cubes.  Process each vegetable separately in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped.  Do not over process! Combine all chopped veggies in a one-gallon jar or large bowl.  Add the minced garlic, tomato juices, vinegar, oil, and seasoning.  Mix well.  Chill before serving. It is recommended you prepare the gazpacho several days before you plan to serve it so the flavors develop and blend together. Serve topped with croutons, if desired.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Triple Lemon Tea Bread

The Triple Lemon Tea Bread was popular at the Downton Abbey Tea this past weekend. We are happy to share the recipe so that you may enjoy it at home!

Triple Lemon Tea Bread
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest (reserve lemon for glaze)
1 Tbsp. finely cut lemon verbena, fresh (optional)
2 eggs
1-1/2 c. flour
1/8th tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. milk

Lemon Glaze:
1/4 c. sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour an 8" x 4" loaf pan. Beat butter and sugar under creamy and light.  Add lemon zest and lemon verbena (of using). Add eggs and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and combine. Beat for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour. While bread is baking, blend sugar and lemon juice. Pour glaze over bread as soon as it it removed from oven. Cool, then remove from pan. Refrigerate. Serve bread chilled.

Note: This bread freezes well for up to one month. The recipe also doubles very easily.

For a variation, add 3 Tbsp. fresh lavender blossoms, finely ground.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea - A Reprise

The starched aprons, polished silver teapots, and vintage cut glass were pulled out of storage and put back into service this weekend as we celebrated the Downton Abbey movie in style with an elegant Afternoon Tea. Quotes from the previous seasons of Downton Abbey were interspersed throughout the menu and will be included below.

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, drink and indoor
Upon arrival, guests were served an effervescing Peach Shrub in the aperitif glasses. We were excited to introduce the Republic of Tea limited edition blends that are now available at The Rosemary House! In response to Lord Grantham's query, "Shall we have some tea?", we served the Grantham's English Breakfast Tea, Downton Christmas Tea (a herbal tisane), Lord and Lady Grantham's Tea (spicy black tea), and The Bate's Tea (think plum pudding!).

Appetizers, which included warm Spinach Artichoke Crostini and Petite Cordon Bleu were served individually to each attendee.

Lady Edith Crawley states, "It feels so wild. To be out with a man, drinking and dining in a smart London restaurant."

A seasonal salad featured Mixed Salad Greens, Parmesan cheese, goat cheese crumbles, fresh sliced nectarines, honey roasted pecans all dressed with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette with fresh basil.

All the while, Lady Mary mused, "People grow up and move away and things change."

Following the salad, a trio of sandwiches was presented. It included Rosemary Chicken Salad in Pastry Boat, Cheddar and Carrot Relish Rounds, and Cucumber, Tomato, & Radish with Chante Cheese Spread on Puff Pastry.

The next course included Traditional English Cream Scone, Triple Lemon Tea Bread, Sweet Cream and Lemon Curd and fresh Orange Slices and Cubed Pineapple. Lady Edith pondered,  "I sometimes wonder if I should learn to cook. You never know when it might come in handy."
"I'm a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.", Lady Grantham, the Dowager Countess. And don't we all love the Dowager?

A trio of desserts included an Earl Grey Teapot Cookie, a Caramel Cream Sandwich Cookie, and Poppyseed Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Cream Frosting.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Thank you to all our customers that joined in the festivities this weekend. We love the extra effort you put into your outfits!
"We should always be polite to people who are kind. There's not enough of it about.", Mrs. Patmore

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Tea Time at the Fairy Festival

This over sized teacup is a permanent fixture in the garden. It is the perfect spot for photo ops and elicits a lot of memories for many of our local customers. We purchased it at auction when Williams Grove Amusement Park closed down. It's fun to have this piece of local history in the garden. The original color is the orange you see around the saucer and on the inside of the tea cup. An artistic friend painted it for us, and we let him use his imagination and creativity to paint it as he visioned it. He decided to highlight the fairy festival. The pair of gnomes were placed there for the arrival of the fairies at our Fairy Festival. Once the festival is over, they are tucked away until next year.
Thyme for Tea! 
Adorable Fairy Tea Set Centerpiece
Miniature Asparagus Tea set!
Many imaginary tea parties in the garden