Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Years ago (20 to be exact), my mother handcrafted this beautiful golden herbal wreath and lovingly presented it to me for my then new home. Alas, the wreath, now faded and showing its age, has been relegated to the garage, silently working its magic over the years. It even survived the moment when an older sister decided to clean up my garage and throw away the terribly faded and forlorn wreath. Fortunately, I discovered its disappearance before the garbage truck arrived and quickly retrieved it. Scorned for her attempt to toss the wreath and having learned her lesson, said sister has never again touched the wreath, although, fortunately for me, she still cleans the garage when her special craft events are held there. Secretly tucked in the back of this wreath is a handwritten note in my mother's inimitable penmanship:
Trefoil, Johnswort, Vervain, Dill,
Hinders Witches of their will!
You are covered!
Good thing!
We seem to have an abundance of willful witches among us.
Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Witchy Woman

Our customers are so much fun! They are a large part of why we love what we do! These photos were taken at our recent annual Garlic Dinner which this year featured a special witchy woman guest, thus inspiring many to come dressed as a witch.

Our special guest was Eliza Blackheart of the Breckenvale Coven. She presented a lively program on the history of witchcraft, witches and witch hunts as well as the history of Halloween, Jack o'Lanterns, trick or treating and more.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ghostly Lemon Tartlets

Another fun little Halloween treat that worked its way to the tea tray this week included these lemon tartlets topped with ghostly forms. Simply prepare a tiny tart, any filling will work, top with a large piping of Cool Whip loosely shaped into a ghost and ending with a peak. Using miniature chocolate chips, add two spooky eyes. Boo!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spidery Deviled Eggs

Celebrate this Halloween season by serving a creepy plate of deviled eggs with black olive spiders crawling around the top. Simply prepare deviled eggs using your favorite recipe. Add a touch of Tabasco if you want a little extra zip. Then, take a black olive, slice it in half to form the body, and slice the other half into very thin legs. Gently place body and legs on the deviled egg. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Festive Black Cat Sandwiches

These little fellows graced our tea tray this Halloween week!
Pimento Cheese Black Cat Sandwiches
3 c. grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese
1-1/2 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 - 4 oz. jar pimento peppers, drained
pumpernickel bread

In a food processor, combine shredded cheeses, mayonnaise, mustard and peppers and process until smooth. Spread pimento cheese on to pumpernickel bread. Top with another slice of bread. Using a cookie cutter, cut sandwiches into desired festive shapes. Black cats as shown here; or witches hats or scary bats would be appropriate also.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Afternoon Tea at Hillwood Estate

Our most recent Traveling Herb Seminar took us to the Hillwood Estate and Museum, the home of Post cereal heiress, Marjorie Merriweather Post. This lovely home, beautiful art museum and luscious formal gardens also provided us an opportunity to have afternoon tea.
Our lovely individual single plate of tea party fare included four classic tea sandwiches: egg salad, salmon, chicken salad and cucumber salad. Our scone was served with butter and jelly and the four sweets included a fruit tart, mini chocolate eclair and two filled cookies. We were also served either hot Earl Grey or Iced tea. Our group was served in a private function room next to the restaurant.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Garlic Dinner - 18th Annual

Garlic! Garlic! Garlic!
This past Thursday we enjoyed our annual Garlic dinner where it is estimated that our guests each consumed three entire heads of garlic (yes, heads!).
The Menu:
Jalapeno Garlic Stuffed Olives
Garlic Spiced Mixed Nuts
Garlic Goat Cheese Spread & Baguette
Basil Pesto Crostini
Leafy Green Salad with Roquefort Cheese, Onions and Pickled Hot Pepper Rings and Creamy Garlic French Dressing

Baked Garlic & Herb Chicken
Garlicky Green Beans & Herbs
Oven Roasted Garlic, Potatoes, and Yummy Peppers,
Parmesan 'n Herb Garlic Bread

Carrot Cake with Roasted Garlic Cream Frosting

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Folger Shakespeare Library

Our most recent Rosemary House Traveling Herb Seminar took us to Washington DC for a visit to the Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials in addition to major collections of other Renaissance books and manuscripts.
Our interest in the Library was the small Elizabethan Garden located in the side court yard. We had a fabulous docent who gave us an enthusiastic tour outlining the plants featured and their uses during that time period.
The main feature was this knot garden of thyme, rosemary, germander and boxwood.
Many thanks to our friend JP for sharing her photos of the trip!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Higinbotham's Tea Room

We recently enjoyed an afternoon tea at Higinbotham's Tea Room in New Oxford, PA. This elegant and stately mansion is also a bed and breakfast, but warmly welcomed our Rosemary House bus group for a late evening tea. Seated throughout the tea room, in the parlor, the library, and the sunroom, we all nestled in for an evening of culinary delights. A warm cinnamon praline scone was served along with a variety of hot teas. We enjoyed soup and a Waldorf salad, followed by a tiered tray full of warm savories. The dessert plates held tempting morsels as well. It was an enjoyable and relaxing evening with much chatter among friends.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pam Montgomery

We were honored to welcome Pam Montgomery of Plant Spirit Healing and Partner Earth Education for our 2010 workshop on medicinal herbs. Pam taught an experiential class using the gardens of The Rosemary House as the classroom. We went beyond the chemical constituents of the plant to creating a bond with the plants and thereby reaching the very source of a plants healing abilities.
Pam Montgomery is the author of Plant Spirit Healing: A guide to Working with Plant Consciousness. Her approach to this is very systematic and scientific as well as deeply spiritual.
Pam received training from the Empire State College in Alternative Health Education. She is the originator of Green Terrestrial Herbal Products of Vermont ans was one of the founding members of the Northeast Herbal Association. Active in United Plant Savers and a major organizer of Green Nations Gathering. Our thanks to Pam Montgomery for bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to our shop. Beautiful weather, wonderful knowledge, delicious lunch by Nancy equals a perfect day!
One of the seminar attendees, Tina Sams of The Essential Herbal shares her experience on her blog.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oh to be Eleven again!

Carefree, exuberant, energetic, happy, full of life, awesome, growing up too fast, sweet, innocent, joyful, sincere, beautiful,delightful, precious, smart, happy-go-lucky, and the list goes on and on.
Angelica, decorating cupcakes to share with her classmates on the occasion of her eleventh birthday. What fun!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blooming Tea

These two hand rolled and hand tied green tea 'blossoms' were a gift from my sister Marj, treasures she found while traveling in Germany. Long green tea leaves are rolled and tied into this pyramidal shape, and then a blossom slowly emerges when steeped in not-quite boiling water.Notice the leaves starting to unfurl.
After completely steeping, this sweet little blossom opens up to reveal three petite rosebuds in the center. There are many different types of blossoming teas, also referred to as blooming teas or flowering teas. Some include different colored flowers such as globe amaranth that are unveiled after the leaves open. It must require such patience to craft these delicate little blossoms, but what a fun way to enjoy a cup of green tea.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Teacup Thursday

Tucked around the tearoom are a wide variety of teacups. Can you spot them?

This precious little teacup frame holds a delightfully vintage photo from the very early '60s. Alas, the youngest, Susanna, isn't even around yet. The cute curly headed kid on the right is Nancy.
This is one of my favorites featuring a young Cedar at one of his earliest tea parties. His head just barely cleared the table.
And this teacup frame holds a picture of Mom at the Rose Bowl that featured Penn State and another team. Although she much preferred seeing the floats being constructed for the parade, she got in the spirit on game day!
Visit Miss Spenser's Special Teas for additional Teacup Thursday participants.

Friday, October 1, 2010

SereniTea Wednesday

Every Wednesday we offer SereniTea in Sweet Remembrances. Reservations for any size party will be accepted. Groups of 2 or 3 or 5, will receive a beautiful tea tray full of tempting morsels.
On this particular Wednesday, the bottom tier featured Afternoon Tea sandwiches. We served Almond Chicken Salad Triangles, Pineapple & Kiwi Sandwiches, Olive and Garlic Tapenade on whole wheat with Gorgonzola cheese and shredded carrots, and a Roast Beef, Cheddar Cheese, and Tomato spiral. The middle tier featured oven fresh scones. Once you are seated at your table, and your tea is brewing, these scones are put in the oven to bake. The fragrance of freshly baked scones fills the tea room! We always serve a Traditional English Cream Scone, and a flavored scone, Cinnamon Chip for the fall. A touch of fresh fruit accompanies the scones along with mock clotted cream and jelly.The dessert featured a moist Banana Bread that had maraschino cherries, coconut, and pecans, decorated Italian Cream Cupcakes, and Currant Cookies.All complimented with your own personal pot of properly brewed tea, chosen from a selection of over 40 teas. Serenity indeed.