Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

A wizardly scare crow wishes you a
Happy Halloween
from the pumpkin patch!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ghostly Lemon Tartlets

Our annual Halloween Tea was held yesterday, and for dessert, in addition to the Candy Corn Cookies, we served Ghostly Lemon Tartlets.  These are very easy to do!  Make small pie shells, or purchase the filo shells in the freezer section, fill with lemon curd (microwave recipe here).  The day of your party, fill the pie shells with the chilled lemon curd.  Pipe a large dollop of Cool Whip on top of the lemon curd, and gingerly add two eyes using miniature chocolate chips.  Once assembled, they will keep for several hours, refrigerated.  Serve them for a very special Halloween treat!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Oxford Hall Tea Shop and Grocery

Oxford Hall Celtic Shop has been located in nearby New Cumberland, PA for years selling fine imports from Ireland: wool sweaters, Belleek, gifts and teas.   Recently, they have opened an Irish Style Tea Shop in their newly renovated building. They still carry all their fine Irish imports but now you can pop in for afternoon tea or soup and a tart.  

Cedar enjoyed playing the ring game, typical in Irish pubs (safer to toss rings then darts while drinking Guinness).  

This casual style tearoom was another outing as part of Angelica's October birthday month celebrations. She chose to have chicken salad with grapes and walnuts.  

Nancy and I split a Tomato Basil Tart, Cranberry scone and a peach turnover accompanied by a hearty mug of Chai. All very fresh and very tasty.
We had fun exploring the grocery shelves full of jellies, curd, cream, sodas, crackers and more.

Shown here is owner Cindy and her chef Sam near the Oxford Hall tea selections. Below is their open style kitchen and case.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Candy Corn Cookies

This adorable Halloween Cookie idea was discovered on Pinterest, a bulletin board for categorizing ideas, recipes, dreams, and thoughts. When I 'found' this one, it was immediately stored on my Halloween board, to be found again when the time was right. Well, the time is right now! We made and served these at our Halloween tea last Sunday, and will make a new batch for this Sundays tea.

Pretty easy to make, the recipe yields a large amount (about 5 dozen) of bite size cookies.  You simply make a sugar cookie recipe, divide it into three clusters, tinting one cluster orange, the other yellow, and leaving one cluster the original color of the cookie dough.  That gets layered in a small loaf pan and then placed in the fridge until firm.  Then, slice the loaf into 1/4 inch slices, and then slice each piece into triangle.  Simply bake and enjoy!  The recipe and additional instructions were shared on Fake Ginger.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Going Batty!

More tea room decorations for the Halloween season.  These cling on bats are on the front door, the main entrance to the tea room.  And this lace collection of bats, shown below, hangs in the doorway between two rooms.  Love those bats!  (as long as they are lace or flat cling ons!).

Monday, October 22, 2012

And the winner is....

Mary Jane of Amherstrose is the winning entrant for the Tea-inspired Recipe booklet giveaway.  Contact Nancy with your mailing address, and we'll drop the cookbook in the mail. Congratulations, Mary Jane!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Spiders, and Pumpkins, oh my!

The tea room is decorated for the Halloween season... spiders, lots of spiders, eerily crawling up the lace curtains in the dining room.   And vintage 1931 Beistle paper jack 'o lanterns are tucked here and there among the tea room nick knacks. The Beistle company is located in Shippensburg, PA. These die cut paper decorations that feature bats, cats, and witches were salvaged from the neighbor's garbage pile almost two decades ago.  Just recently, a similar pair was spotted in a local antique mall marked 'rare' and sported a price tag of $180.00 for two. Must remember to handle these with care!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Whispering Leaves Herb & Sip Shop

Before heading out of Philadelphia, we stopped at the Whispering Leaves Herb & Sip Shop for a quick lunch.  Owner Lisa was so very warm and welcoming, shown here with Barb Will (left) and Susanna Reppert (right).
This tea cafe offers a nice assortment of teas, sold by the ounce or cup.  This display board provides the opportunity to see the different teas that are available.  In addition, herbs and spices may be purchased by the ounce.
We opted to sit in the casual dining area in the front of the cafe.  In the rear of the cafe are comfy sofa for reclining, sipping tea, and chatting with friends.  We had some iced tea, some hot, sampling two types of chai, one spicier than the other.

Our lunch selections included a veggie wrap served alongside a warm bowl of creamy broccoli soup and a lentil bean soup with an artistically arranged salad.  Soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps can all be enjoyed at this casual tea cafe.

It was a fun stop, very casual, but delicious food, and tasty tea.
P.S. Don't forget to enter our Tea Time Giveaway, details here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tea Time Giveaway!

Remember the series of blog posts featuring tea infused recipes that were served at the July meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association?  This covered dish tea luncheon featured such items as ginger and green tea bread and chocolate mint mousse.   We are happy to be able to offer a free copy of this recipe booklet as a blog giveaway.  Please leave a comment on this post between now and Sunday at midnight. Let us know if you've ever prepared anything using tea leaves or brewed tea, or what might be your favorite recipe steeped in tea.  Be certain we have a means of contacting you if you are selected as the winner. We'll announce the winner on Monday, October 22nd.

This booklet is also available for purchase at The Rosemary House.  If you are interested in a copy, please contact Nancy for purchase and mailing details.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Honey's Sit 'n Eat

Down the street from the Random Tea Room in Philadelphia was Honey's Sit and Eat.  Honey's is a casual establishment where we were advised to go early because it gets crowded.   They tout high quality home cooking using local fresh ingredients. The menu was quite varied with Vegetable latkes and Omelette's with hummus, spinach and vegetables. 

Our friend Barb Will of Sugar Grove Herbs in Somerset, PA played it safe with grilled cheese, bacon and tomato sandwich with Honey's homemade coleslaw.

The decor was a hodge podge of vintage items.   

The prices were quite reasonable and the service was prompt and pleasant.

Casual, fresh and fun,

with daily special scrawled on a chalkboard and  a counter that featured a variety of homemade cakes begging to be sampled, Honey's Sit and Eat was a fun find tucked away from center city Philadelphia.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ajiri Tea - Kenyan Black Tea

While attending the World Tea East Expo, we found new products to carry in The Rosemary House, one of which is this Ajiri Tea, a Kenyan Black Tea. Grown by small-scale farmers in western Kenya, the packaging is handmade using dried bark from banana trees and designed and crafted by the women in the region.  'Ajiri' means 'to employ' in Swahili, and that fits right in with their mission and goal to create employment for women in western Kenya and to educate orphans in their communities.  100% of the Ajiri Tea Company's net profits are returned to the Kisii community through the Ajiri Foundation to provide educational assistance to orphans of western Kenya.


Saturday, October 13, 2012


One of the benefits of attending a tea related expo are the numerous tea samples you get to enjoy.  As you walk from booth to booth, you are offered a small cup to taste their specialty tea.  In addition, there are small sample packets that you may take home with you to taste test at a later time.  From CTC (crush-tear-curl processed tea leaves) to liquid matcha, the range of samples is wide. 

The Excellent Tea company offered a folder detailing their quality teas from Africa.  Inside the folder, there was a sample of three tea bags made from tea that is pesticide-free, single-estate, and Fair Trade Certified.  Ajiri Tea is also an African black tea from Kenya.  We'll share more about that company tomorrow.  Aiya tea offered premium Japanese green tea and generously shared three different packets of greens teas: gyokuro, premium sencha, and matcha infused genmaicha. Qtrade Teas & Herbs offered a relaxing herbal blend appropriately named "Post-Tradeshow Calm".

Hmmm, it must be time to brew a mug of tea!

Friday, October 12, 2012

World Tea East - Philadelphia

Our trip to Philadelphia was for the express purpose of attending the World Tea East expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center the first week in October.  This is a 'must-do' experience for any future and or established tea related business.  In addition to attending, Susanna was one of the seminar speakers, expounding upon Geo-Location Target Marketing.

Tea Display by East Indies Company
A few of the seminars that we attended included Branding, Messaging & Marketing a Tea Business presented by Peter Martino of Capital Teas, and also Steep Social Media Without Getting Bitter by Verna L. Hamilton.  There was a Focused Tea Tasting of Oolong Teas of China and Taiwan that was both interesting and informative.  The subtle nuances of the various Oolong teas could be noted in the samplings provided.  Overall, it was a very interesting conference.  In addition to the seminars, there was a trade show where we were able to connect with various tea vendors, sample tea infused ice creams, try a wide variety of teas, and hob-knob with tea professionals.
Lorna Reeves, editor Tea Time magazine
Elizabeth Knight, John Harney, and Nancy Reppert
Evenings were free to savor the taste of Philadelphia where we opted to try a mozzarella basil pizza.  Delicious!  Barb Will of Sugar Grove Herbs in Somerset, PA joined us on this adventure, as did Janet Young of Over The Teacup.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cups and Chairs

Our drive around Philadelphia took us to Cups and Chairs, a tea cafe located at 701-03 S. 5th Street.  They are a contemporary tea lounge offering over 55 varieties of teas and tisanes, and a place to relax with casual dining inside or out. In addition, they offer salads, paninis, soups, sandwiches, and pastries.  There are several seating areas, and people were nestled into all of them, studying, surfing the Internet, or just enjoying some quiet time, all with their preferred beverage.

This wide selection of teas offers a chance to read the various blends making your decision a bit easier, or not.  With over 55 choices, it was difficult!  People were popping in and out, stopping to sip and chat, or taking their tea 'to go', it is definitely a popular place!
A Little Hideaway
Tea Wares for Sale

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Recycle - Reuse- Repurpose

We stumbled across this festive schoolyard art while strolling the streets of Philadelphia.  These large decorative pieces are cut out from plywood, and then assorted colorful bottle caps are screwed into the wood to add color and design to create the art form.  Fun!


Saturday, October 6, 2012