Friday, May 30, 2014

The Everyday Soiree

 A friend recently gifted me with a copy of The Everyday Soiree, Afternoon Tea by Kristen Harfman. Published in 2009, this cookbook features an abundant collection of recipes perfectly suitable for afternoon tea. With recipes such as Sparkling Rosewater Lemonade, or Cauliflower Corn Chowder, sandwich selections like Tomato and Pesto Mayonnaise or Egg Salad Tea Sandwich with Tarragon and Red Onion, I can see there will be some new menu options gracing the tea table at Sweet Remembrances!

And what better place to tuck my new 'crafted by me' book mark. Angela at Tea With Friends provided all the supplies, from the ribbon to the tiny little trinkets to the grommets that were needed to complete this simple craft and the instructions to make them during our recent Traveling Tea Friends visit to Berea, KY. It was a pretty easy craft, and everyone in the group enjoyed making them - and no two alike!

A special thank you to long distance friends for such fun tea related treasures!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Devon Horse Show, Devon, PA

This past weekend we went to the Devon Horse Show which takes place in Devon, PA (near Philadelphia) from May 21st through June 1st this year. Established in 1896, it has become the largest horse show in the country. It is a Horse Show and Country Fair combination. The Country Fair is staffed by volunteers, and the Bryn Mawr Hospital benefits from the proceeds of this event.
There are a wide variety of specialty booths offering upscale clothing, hats, and riding gear. There is a small amusement park section with games of chance and a Ferris wheel. And, there is a Tea Cart among other eateries.

The assortment of tea sandwiches are very typical, all prepared on fresh white bread and cut into triangles. We ordered the 'Sampler' plate which included one each of the sandwiches, a small fresh fruit cup, and two petite chocolate brownies. It also included a large iced tea. The cost for the Sampler was $13.00.

There is a wide variety of special events during the 10-day show. We were there for "Junior Weekend" and enjoyed watching the young ladies run the jumping course.
 It was all very impressive - the horses,
 the challenge of the course,
the enthusiasm and skill of the youthful riders.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

 Remembering all the brave men and women of our country that have fought in many different wars over the years so that we may be free. With a grateful heart.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tea Drops

 A friend recently shared an assortment of Tea Drops with me. It's a clever concept - where they've combined finely ground tea leaves, spices and sugar into an individual shaped serving size for a personal mug of tea.

You simply toss one of the tea drops into your mug and add hot water - it instantly dissolves into a flavorful sweetened mug of tea. No fancy equipment, tea strainers, or timers required! The information does note that some sediment will remain on the bottom of your cup - the sugar will dissolve, but the tea and spices will settle to the bottom.

The packaging proudly states that these are made in a home kitchen, based out of California. The sample that I had featured a  Flower shaped tea drop which is Earl Grey with rose petals and vanilla extract, the Star is Black Tea with cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon and the Round one is White tea with vanilla extract. They all contain natural sugar.

Personally, I prefer my tea unsweetened, so when I tasted these, all I could taste was the sugar. The tea was also quite cloudy in appearance. When my sister tasted it, her response was 'oh that's good - tastes like candy'. So, one yes, one no. Looks like you have to decide for yourself! If you're in western PA, you can find these for purchase at Sugar Grove Herbs in Somerset.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Savory Cheesecake

For National Herb Week celebrated in early May, we served a savory cheesecake as one of the herbal treats for the evening. Accompanied with some crackers, this is a fun way to serve an appetizer. Shown here, the cheesecake was garnished with lovage (the green leaves) and sweet violets from the garden. Lovage mimics the flavor of celery, is a great garnish, and perfect addition to a hearty soup.

Baked Herbed Cheesecake
1 - 2 Tbsp. finely ground bread crumbs
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, chives, rosemary)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. coarse pepper
Prepare a 10-inch spring form pan by placing a cardboard circle in the bottom of the pan. Top with foil, allowing foil to extend outside of the pan. Grease the foil on the bottom of the pan and lightly dust with finely ground bread crumbs. Set aside. Prepare cheesecake: beat cream cheese and eggs until smooth. Add sour cream and mustard. Blend in herbs, garlic, and pepper. Spread into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool. Cut cheesecake into thin slivers and serve with assorted crackers.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Thank you, Emil!

Follow this link: "Meet the Neighbors" to a blog post written by our friend and neighbor, Emil Rodriguez Powell of Slice of Lime Photography. Emil shares her thoughts in words and photos about, well, her neighbors. Thank you, Emil, for capturing the essence of the gardens in such fun and clever photography, and for sharing your kind words.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

We Believe!

 In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy. ~Robert Brault

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tea Leaf Lore

According to lore, should you find a tea leaf floating in the cup it signifies that a stranger is coming into your life. If it's a long leaf it will be a tall person, conversely if it's a short leaf it will be a short person.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tea Bubbles - Tiny Bubbles

When pouring a cup of tea, did you know that if bubbles appear on the outside edge of the cup it signifies that you will be blessed with kisses and romance in your life. On the other hand, if the bubbles concentrate in the center of the cup, you will receive an abundance of riches and wealth.
Whether an old wives tale or a gypsy's story, it is further said that if you try and scoop up the bubbles and count them, it signifies how many kisses or how much money you will receive.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Our Mother's Day celebrations this past weekend featured Afternoon Tea on Saturday and Sunday. It was a festive and joyous celebration for mothers and daughters alike. The kitchen was a flurry of activity with countless pots of tea brewed, scones baked fresh, sandwiches plated and many desserts packed 'to go'. The sandwich selection featured Mango Chicken Salad Triangles, Curried Egg Salad on Rye Bread, Petite Pear and Blue Cheese Tartlets, Rolled Asparagus Sandwich, Garden Vegetable Sandwich on Puff Pastry, and warm Rosemary Apple Bundle.
Happy Mother's Day! It was a day full of sweet remembrances for us.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Apple Cooler

Care for a refreshing drink? Try this easy-to-make
Apple Cooler.
1 c. water
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. mulling spices
3 sprigs fresh mint
1 qt. apple juice
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 liter ginger ale
In a medium saucepan, bring water, sugar, spices and mint to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Strain and chill. Combine apple juice, lemon juice and herbed syrup. Chill. Just before serving, add ginger ale. Garnish with fresh mint.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Edible Violets

We love this time of the year - when the springtime violets are in full bloom. They offer such a magical touch of whimsy and color to a plate of sandwiches. We served these Puff Pastry Cucumber & Radish Sandwiches with a Goat Cheese filling at our First Saturday in May Tea. A bit of the goat cheese, seasoned with horseradish and green onion, was also spread on the top of the puff pastry so the violets would stay in place.
A sprinkling of freshly snipped parsley completed the sandwich.
Such fun, and so colorful. We love bringing the garden indoors!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farms

Susanna and Marj are the herb plant venders at the Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farms this weekend. Beginning today through Sunday, you are encouraged to frolic among the fairies and trolls and other creative and imaginative creatures that might be found on the farm, sing and dance, savor tasty foods, purchase new wings or horns, and pick up a great variety of herb plants.

This marks the 23rd annual Fairie Festival. In 1991, Mom and Dad were the first to be crowned King and Queen of the May. Lamenting that I don't have a photo of that! They even brought home the May Pole that year so we could dance around it in our gardens. Also, no photo... simply a sweet memory!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy May Day!

May Day celebrations are held all around the world. One enchanting little tradition involves secretly putting a pretty bouquet of fresh spring flowers on your neighbor's doorknob. If they discover you doing this, they must give you a kiss! What a sweet little tradition! This fun little nosegay includes a harvest of golden blossoms from the garden, including daffodils, dandelions, tulips and lovage leaves.
Wishing you a Happy May Day today!