Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stepping back in time - 1965

Even though the card is signed 'from', there was a lot of love expressed with every pencil drawing and every written word. Happy Birthday, Mommy! With love!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Plan the Work, Work the Plan

 The plan is to prepare a large pot of TEA and HOPE for blogging inspiration for both myself and my sister. Wish us luck!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Byron's Potato Filling

 As the days quickly approach Thanksgiving, it's time to think about the menu. Not much thought needed around here! Our Thanksgiving menu, and Christmas menu for that matter, are always the same. It's all about tradition in our household, which really makes the holiday menu preparation easy. The grocery list is the same, the preparation is the same and there is no stress deciding what to prepare and no attempt to outdo the menu from the previous year. The only consideration is determining the final number of family members in attendance. In keeping with tradition, Byron's Potato Filling will be on the dinner table this year. Our mother always referred to this recipe as the 'recipe that won the election'. When dear old dad decided to run for mayor, the menu was printed on a card and distributed as his political promotion. He ran during the bicentennial year, which is why he is proudly sporting a red, white, and blue top hat and equally patriotic vest (both handmade by daughter Nancy). If you are unable to read the recipe as shared in the photo, it was posted here a few years ago. Or, if you would like one of dad's campaign cards, send a stamped self addressed envelop to Sweet Remembrances, 118 S. Market St., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, and we'll mail you your own personal copy, or stop in The Rosemary House and ask for a copy of the recipe that won the election!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Elderberry Syrup - DIY

It's time to make your Elderberry Syrup and stock your herbal medicine cabinet for the long winter. Fortunately, we have do it yourself kits available online or in the shop so you can make your own. Be prepared for the cold and flu season using nature's bounty. Our friend, Nancy, aka Lemon Verbena Lady shares her syrup making adventure on her blog post here.
With cold and flu season around the corner - it's important to become familiar with Elderberry.
Elderberries have been a folk remedy for a variety of ailments for centuries in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa.  Elder keeps viruses away by blocking the virus from entering the cell itself because it's stabilizing the cells.  All flu viruses have trouble with Elderberry's blockades.  Elderberries contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, Vitamins A, B, and a large amount of C.  Flavonoids, including quercetin and anthocyanin are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Taking Tea

 How do you enjoy your tea? Steeped loose in a teapot to savor and sip all day with your delicate teacup complete with serving tray. Or do you grab a large mug to have your tea at the ready? Loose or teabags? or both? On the go or leisurly in the breakfast nook? watching tv, chatting with friends or while reading a book? So many ways to enjoy this simple yet complex beverage.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bok Choy Stir Fry

Dinner... easy... once everything has been prepped! We recently received some Bok Choy in our CSA veggie box. It's the first time we've ever had Bok Choy - and we enjoyed it. With a few adaptations to a stir fry recipe in Vegetarian Times, we had dinner on the table quickly.
Prepare the sauce and set aside:
1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. Chile sauce (optional)
Prepare the veggies:
Wash, cut, slice, chop whatever veggies you have on hand. We used yellow yummy peppers, red onions, minced garlic, and Bok Choy (leaves and stems, separated). Lots of all of them!

Line a frying pan with a thin layer of water, steam/sauté the onions, peppers, and garlic until tender but still with a slight crunch. Add the Bok Choy stems and sauté until tender. Note: Add more water if it has evaporated away. Add the leaves and sauté until wilted. Add sauce, and stir-fry an additional minute.  If desired, sprinkle with green onions or raw cashews. Serve over rice, or not.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Shearer Elegance Bed & Breakfast

This stately Victorian mansion was our lodging for our Girl's Weekend Getaway.  While the boys were doing their thing at Boy Scout Camp, we journeyed to eastern PA for a little adventure of our own.

Shearer Elegance Bed & Breakfast, built in 1897 and located in Linfield, PA,was our home away from home.

From gorgeous woodwork to even more impressive stained glass windows, to luxury accommodations, we roamed the 22 rooms and oohed and aahed with the elegance of it all.

After a breakfast of fresh fruit compote, orange juice, bacon and pancakes, we had to leave the land of make believe and return home.

It was fun while it lasted!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Coffee and Tea Festival, Oaks, PA

Our weekend adventure included an excursion to the Coffee and Tea Festival in Oaks, PA.  Typically held in NYC, this was the inaugural event for the Philadelphia area.  With over 40 exhibitors gathered in the Convention Center for this two day expo, the opportunity to sample a wide variety of coffee and tea, honey, donuts, tea infused wine, and liquor flavored cakes was abundant. 

Tea Time Magazine was represented here as well as Tea, A Magazine.  We would highly recommend both of these magazines for advancing your tea education.  They both feature information about the world of tea from two very different angles.

The bright yellow goodie bags were distributed upon arrival.  Assorted tea and coffee samples were already in the bag, and more samples were added to it as you passed from booth to booth.

In addition to the display floor, there were specialty tea tastings and tea related seminars that you could attend during the day.  The next festival will be in the NYC area for the 9th Annual Coffee and Tea Festival to be held March 22 - 23, 2014.  They boast well over 60 exhibitors at this event.  If you plan on attending, don't delay in reserving your tickets as it sells out quickly!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tea at The Hershey Pantry

We had a fun getaway weekend recently, and our first stop on this adventure included Afternoon Tea at the Hershey Pantry in Hershey, PA.  Not your typical tea room, they also offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea.  No reservations needed, they serve daily (except Sunday) between 2:00 and 5:00 pm.  The place was a bustle with people coming and going, but we were in our own little world as we enjoyed this casual after school tea party. 
The colorful, funky, heavy tea pot is filled with hot water and a variety of tea bags are offered at the table.

The first course was a choice of two soups, shown here the pumpkin cheese bisque.  Angelica opted for the chicken noodle.  Both very tasty and filling.

The three tiered tray held a beautiful assortment of hearty tea time treats.  The top tier included a generous cranberry scone with an even more generous portion of sweet cream drizzled with a raspberry glaze.  Oh yum!

Chef's choice of hearty sandwiches included a grilled cheese, a hearty veggie wrap and a ham and cheese sandwich.  Very generous sandwiches, nice variety in color and flavors.

And dessert was an assortment of fall themed treats, an apple crumb pie, petite chocolate truffle cupcake, shoefly pie triangle, and a miniature pumpkin pie.  All very good!

We were happy to be able to visit this destination as part of our weekend getaway! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day!

"As we express our gratitude,
 we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them."
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Friday, November 8, 2013

Garlic Frosted Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake:
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 c. oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. carrots, peeled and grated
1 c. crushed pineapple, with juices
1 c. walnuts
2 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  Set aside.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices together in a large bowl.  Add the oil, eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Fold in the carrots, pineapple, walnuts and fresh garlic.  Stir well.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake 45 min. - 1 hour.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Invert onto plate and cool completely.  Prepare frosting.

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. margarine
1-1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon rind
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 lb. confectioner's sugar

Blend frosting ingredients until creamy. Frost cake.  If desired, sprinkle additional walnuts on top of cake.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Garlic Dinner 2013

We recently hosted our 21st Annual Garlic Dinner in Sweet Remembrances.  The appetizer course included a Roasted Almond & Garlic Spread with Triangle Toasts and Crackers, Garlic Hummus with Carrots and Celery, Garlicky Pickles, and Shrimp Marinated in a Garlic Lemon Vinaigrette.

A Leafy Green Salad with Assorted Toppings and Garlic Sourdough Croutons was topped with a Rustic Garlic Dressing.

The main entrée featured Lemon Dijon and Garlic Chicken with Whole Roasted Garlic, Potatoes & Yummy Peppers, Roasted Asparagus with a Garlic Sauce, and the Ultimate Garlic Herb Bread.

And dessert included a Garlicky Carrot Cake and Chocolate Covered Garlic Cloves.

As is customary, by the end of the evening, each guest had consumed the equivalent of three entire heads of garlic!  We're not referring to individual cloves of garlic, but the complete garlic bulb! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Warmth on a Winter Day

  Mulling Spice Elixir
2   Cinnamon sticks 
2 T  Allspice    
1  Nutmeg nut 
1 T  Ginger, dried 
1  Vanilla bean
6 c. Apple juice
½ c   Raw Sugar
½ c  Brandy

Make a decoction of the spices by simmering them in the apple juice for one hour. Then add the raw sugar to sweeten while it is warm. Mix well. To every quart add ½ c Brandy. The Mulling Spices simmering on the stove can also serve to invoke the senses and warm the spirit.  These warming circulatory, stimulating spices keep the blood pumping even while enjoying the great outdoors  during winter. Have a wee bit of Mulling Spice before your next winter walk or sledding expedition and experience the tingling in your toes as something other than frost bite. 

Recipe from our friend and fabulous herbalist Teresa Boardwine of Green Comfort Herbal Education

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Throat Lozenges

There are many lozenge recipes available and they are all very good.   I just find this sore throat lozenge candy so easy to make.  The herbs we chose were Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm Bark.  Both are very mucilaginous (slimy) and soothing for the throat.   Simmer the roots in water for 30 minutes.  Since these are roots you want to decoct them in the water, which means the water needs to be moving or simmering.  Steeping is not strong enough to extract all the medicinal properties.   Strain out the herb and put 2 C of that herbal tea back in the pot.  Add 2 C of sugar and boil the two together until it reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Use a deep pan as it really expands when boiling.  It takes quite a bit of time for it to reach about 280 degrees but then it shoots up to 300 very quickly.    When at 300 degrees pour onto a greased and confectioner covered cookie tray.  Cut into pieces as soon as you can lift it up.   The color is all natural from the tea.  You can add flavoring to it if you desire - we used natural orange flavor.   You can play around with this recipe, changing the herbs that are used as the base tea.  Horehound is a favorite for sore throats.  Rose Hips offers a reddish tint to your lozenges and Wild Cherry Bark is fabulous for sore throats so that is a winning combination as well.  When you suck on these slowly you can feel a smooth coating on your throat. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ginger Honey Syrup

This is so fun and so easy to do.  Peel and slice the whole ginger root (say about 1 C) and add it to your wide mouth jar.  Add in 2 C  honey, making sure the ginger is covered, and let rest for a week or so.  The honey immediately begins pulling the juices out of the ginger to create a syrup.  It doesn't take long at all until the honey is the viscosity of a syrup.  At this point it is time to pour off the syrup and reserve the ginger for stir fries.   Honey is a great preservative but since it has been altered,  I add some smooth brandy to it as an additional preservative.   One cup of Brandy per quart of the elixir is a good proportion.   Use this honey to sweeten your tea or add to your Fire Cider or add to any other formula to sweeten it.    This same recipe will also work with lemons in place of the ginger.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fire Cider

Fire Cider is based on the Vinegar of the Four Thieves, which we covered a few years ago in this blog.   This is a pared down version but still just as healthy for winter time ills.   (And according to my children - much more palatable!)  It is very easy to make with Apple Cider vinegar, onion, horseradish, garlic, ginger and a pinch of cayenne.  Simply peel and chunk the horseradish, garlic, and ginger and add them to a wide mouth jar with a pinch of cayenne.  It needs to be full but not packed tight.  Pour in the cider vinegar and let rest for a month.  Strain and add honey to taste.  To this size jar we added about a generous 1/4 C of honey.  Take 1 teaspoon every 1/2 hour during your fight with illness.