Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wild Plum Tea Room Coookbook

Typically, a souvenir I will purchase while on vacation is a cookbook. It's always fun to add a new cookbook to the ever-growing collection, and it's a great way to remember the family vacation. When I visited the Wild Plum Tea Room website, they noted that their cookbook is currently only available in the tea room, and not on-line. I knew in advance that this would become my souvenir when we made our visit to the Wild Plum.

Recipes We Use is a variety of recipes featuring soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts, and specialties.  The recipe for the Sherried Tomato Bisque that Susanna enjoyed is included in the collection. And, I've already tried the Chocolate Chip Pie which we served at our Volunteer Gardener Night shortly after we returned from vacation. My notes, which I always scribble in the margin beside the recipe, state 'good - gooey - rich'. And it was.

This is a fun addition to the collection! The smaller cookbook also from the Wild Plum, features a variety of their Christmas recipes.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Wild Plum Tea Room, TN

Nestled among the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN is The Wild Plum Tea Room. This unique dining location is featured as a luncheon restaurant tea room. The rustic atmosphere and unique garden art grab your attention as you arrive.

There is indoor seating, plus a screened in porch area where we sat, or tables with umbrellas outside on the deck. There are plenty of options available, with a large private dining room upstairs.
We ordered the Wild Plum Iced Tea which is one of their specialties. Refreshing and sweet!

Petite wild plum muffins were served before our main course arrived. Tasty and moist, it was a fun treat to start our meal.
The menu was extensive with many Chef's specials to select from, and a wide variety of other menu options to keep everyone in the group happy.

Sun Dried Tomato & Spinach Strata - Specialty of the Day

Sherried Tomato Bisque and Pimiento Cheese Sandwich

Dessert is always a favorite with our family, and we were happy to sample several of the specialty desserts including a rich flourless chocolate torte. Oh yum! We loved the simple outfits that the waitresses wore with their gingham dresses and sweet lacey aprons.

If our travels take us to Tennessee again, we would be happy to schedule another stop at The Wild Plum Tea Room.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 Traveling from North Carolina to Tennessee, we drove thru the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which straddles both states. According to their website, this happens to be America's most visited national park.

 Come along and enjoy the scenery!

Our visit to the National park included rock climbing (Cedar), hiking (David), and horseback riding at the Smokemont Riding Stables (Angelica, Cedar, Susanna, and Nancy).
Visit their Facebook page for even more beautiful photographs!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mountain Farm Museum, Cherokee, NC

We visited the Mountain Farm Museum located about 2 miles from Cherokee, NC at the Oconaluftee Visitor's Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These 19th century log buildings were relocated here from the surrounding mountains and coves to replicate a working farm of the era.

Purple Martin gourd bird houses.
Loved the hen house!

It was a beautiful day to visit the Farm Museum and a great spot to stretch our legs and enjoy the vistas.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Balancing Tea Trays!

Our Afternoon Tea visit to the Inn on Biltmore was the first time young Arielle and Gracie have attended a 'real' tea. They have had tea parties at their home, and of course, here in Mechanicsburg when they visit at the holidays. But this was extra special. Every time the waitress would enter the Library Lounge, Arielle's eyes would get bigger, and she would announce that something else was coming to our table.
When I turned around and saw the waitress carrying three heavily laden three-tiered tea trays plus the stand, I couldn't believe it! In one fell swoop, she opened up the stand, and gracefully placed the tray full of tea trays on the stand. Oh my!

This is not something that will take place in Sweet Remembrances! I can barely carry one tea tray out let alone balance three above my shoulder. Oh, no!  
 Kudos to our waitress! and Kudos to the Pastry Chef for a delightful Afternoon Tea!
And Love and Hugs to Arielle and Gracie, thank you for joining us for tea!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Afternoon Tea - Inn at Biltmore, NC

With seating in the Library Lounge, elegant Afternoon Tea is served daily from 2:30 - 4:30 at the Inn at Biltmore, Asheville, NC.

Cream, Sugar, and Honey
 The first course, the Amuse Bouche, is comprised of one or two bites and is intended to tickle the senses and start the tea experience. A petite pie crust filled with an apple butter cream filling, it served the purpose.
The Family at Tea Time

Look at the joy on Arielle's face as she is presented her special children's afternoon tea plate consisting of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cheese sandwiches topped with a beautiful assortment of fresh fruit. Younger sister Gracie announced, 'these are the best peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I have ever had'.

Individual plates featured the Delicate & Savory Bites: Deviled Quail Egg with Radish, Lemon Goat Cheese with Caper & Dill, Duck Confit, Blueberry Jam, & Truffled Shallot Spread, Malt Candied Pork Belly Strawberry, Mint, & Yuzu, Smoked Salmon Rillettes, Cucumber with Crab & Scallion, and Caramelized Brie, Poached Apricot, & Candied Thyme.

Vegetarian Option of Delicate & Savory Bites
Cedar with his special ham & cheese sandwich.

The Chef's daily selection of seasonal cheeses with honey, fruit, and crackers were served next.
The three tiered tea tray featured orange scones on the bottom tier, sweet pound cake in the middle, and pastries of the day on the top tier.

Scones, with Devonshire cream, jam, and lemon curd.

Truffle, Lemon Curd Tart, Chestnut Macaron, Coconut Cake

Finger Licking Good! (Apologies to Emily Post and Miss Manners.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Selecting Tea - Sniffing Tea

We enjoyed Afternoon Tea at the Inn at Biltmore in Asheville, NC. We were seated in the library where they serve tea daily from 2:30 - 4:30. Once seated, this beautiful chest of loose leaf teas is awaiting your decision. They provide a small portion of each  tea in clear containers with a complete description on the lid.

Mighty Leaf teas are served at the Inn at Biltmore. The nice selection includes 4 herbal infusions, a white tea, a green tea, and three black teas. We all sniffed our way thru the varieties until we were satisfied with our choices.

Once the tea arrived, the process of filling each tea cup began. Individual pots, and individual silver plated strainers to catch the tea leaves, required complete concentration.

May I pour you some cream?

 Everyone was happy with their tea flavors!

Although these young ladies have enjoyed afternoon tea with their mother, their grandmother, and their aunts on many occasions, this was their first 'real' grownup tea as a family outing. We'll share the menu tomorrow.