Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fermenting Foods

All hands on deck during a recent workshop on fermenting foods.  Our guest speaker was Maureen Diaz of Mamasfollies.  Maureen is a talented writer and speaker on homesteading and whole foods cooking. We were delighted to have her at The Rosemary House.  First, she discussed the health benefits of fermented foods from detoxification to increasing nutrient content to decreasing anti-nutrients (foods that block nutrient absorption).   Of course the #1 health benefit is the probiotics found in fermented foods.  Probiotics build up the beneficial microbes which are often destroyed by pharmaceuticals (antibiotics and others), stress, and toxins in the environment.   Probiotics also increase assimilation of nutrients and can annihilate pathogens.

The basics of fermentation include veggies, fruits, salt and whey.  She encourages a quality unrefined sea salt such as Himalayan or Celtic.  Whey is used as an activator and is easy to acquire from whole milk yogurt.    To give you an idea of a basic Sauerkraut recipe: 2 heads of cabbage, 1 T salt, 1/4 C whey and water only if needed (most fresh cabbage is juicy enough).   Certainly you can add others such as carrots, granny smith apples, garlic, onions, or caraway seeds.  Slice and knead the cabbage until the juice is released.  Add the salt and whey,  pack tightly into a glass jar, loosely tighten to allow the gases to escape.  Allow to ferment for 7 days or until it tastes perfect to you. Then refrigerate to end the fermenting process. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Amelia's Teas and Holly

Amelia's Teas and Holly, a combination tea room and Christmas shop is located on Main Street in Mullica Hill, NJ. Since we arrived before our scheduled reservation, we spent some time browsing several antique malls in the area before tea.

Lately it seems we've been traveling on a Sunday which makes it a challenge to locate a tea room that is open. It's always exciting when we accomplish that task. We each placed our orders for tea, and the tables quickly filled with assorted teapots, all shapes and sizes.
Tomato Bisque Soup - First Course
We each had our own personal three tiered tea tray laden with all sorts of yumminess. Sandwiches, on the bottom tier, included a cucumber sandwich with a creamy spread, egg salad on a pita triangle, and a pimiento cheese sandwich. The middle tier held a warm savory quiche, fresh fruit garnish, a raspberry crumb scone, and a slice of orange tea bread dusted with confectioner's sugar. The top tier featured a petit four, an almond square, chocolate brownie, and lemon cream filled puff.

Cedar, the eleven year old that proudly proclaims 'I don't like tea' was pleased to be able to receive ham and cheese squares on his personal tiered tray. Truth be told, I think he enjoys going to tea rooms more than he wants to admit!

 Angelica, Susanna, and Nancy, on the other hand, love tea! Cheers!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Latz's By The Bay

We recently visited Latz's By The Bay in Somers Point, NJ. This specialty restaurant features Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch including a Creperie, Private Parties, and Afternoon Tea (Tea at the Top) served on the second floor. A dynamic husband and wife duo, Andrew and Adrienne, are fourth generation restaurateurs that operate this family business. Adrienne is the inspiration behind adding the tea room to the well established 5-star restaurant.

A classy elegance is captured with the beige linen tablecloths and window dressings. The same muted beige tones are repeated in the china. Dragonflies and ladybugs, featured on the china are repeated on the tablecloths.

 An  abundant colorful summer salad with fresh fruits, berries, onions,
and raspberry balsamic vinaigrette was offered first.

The three tiered tea tray followed the salad course. Scones, sandwiches and desserts completed the variety of afternoon tea treats.

The scones, a Scottish recipe, were cranberry (left) and coconut (right) served with a Devon cream and Orange Curd.

The sandwiches were all quite yummy and included a cucumber sandwich, a miniature quiche, sliced turkey with strawberry and balsamic drizzle, their famous crab cake sandwich, and roast beef with horseradish.

Vegetarian Option
The desserts were plentiful and monogramed! The miniature cream brulee with blueberries was delicious. Chocolate is always popular in our family. Miniature cakes, cheesecake, and cookies completed the assortment. They have a pastry chef that is quite busy putting together this assortment of sweet treats!
What a fun afternoon! This might have been Cedar's favorite tea room.... since there is a restaurant on the first floor, he was able to order off the lunch menu and was quite tickled to be able to request a hamburger and French fries! With a hint of disbelief in her voice, Adrienne, the tea room owner, commented that this was the first time ever that a hamburger and fries were served in her tea room!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

National Afternoon Tea Week, August 11–17

Great Britain is celebrating National Afternoon Tea Week with specials and tributes to the joy of Afternoon Tea. How are you celebrating? Perhaps it needs to become International Afternoon Tea Week!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wildwood, NJ

A long weekend getaway... end-of-the-summer family fun... birthday love...

Watch the Tram Car Please
View from the top of the Ferris Wheel

Do you have a favorite East Coast Beach?

Birthday Gifts!

This English tea pot is the newest addition to the tea pot collection - a birthday gift to myself! Marked 'Gibsons England' on the bottom, it's always a treat to find an English tea pot. It will be put into service in the tea room this weekend! When I purchased it, the clerk asked how many tea pots I own to which I replied, 'I don't know!' She confirmed I was a true collector of tea pots with that statement!

The colorful floral bouquet was a surprise waiting for us when we returned from a weekend getaway. Crafted using herbs and flowers from her garden, a very special thank you to Linda F. for the lovely arrangement. She gave one to Nancy and another one to Susanna. Such a cheerful greeting upon our return home!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Enjoy a cup or two!

Today I'd like to sit and sip,
Forget about the world a bit,
Ignore the things I have to do,
And just enjoy a cup or two.

~Author Unknown

Friday, August 8, 2014

Frost Bite Cupcakery

Oh dear, we have a new cupcake place in town, Frost Bite Cupcakery and it's located less than a block away from our home, at 30 S. Market Street. Temptation, with a capital T.
Sometimes it's just fun to have something sweet that someone else prepared!
We wish them the best of luck with their new endeavor.
Update: Sadly, we must report that this business has closed.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bountiful Delight!

We were at a gathering recently where this glorious abundance of fresh fruit was offered. So artfully displayed, and such a colorful mixture of flavors and textures. It was a delight to capture this before the crowds dug into the offering. Although, the hostess was constantly adding more fruit, and rearranging what was there so that it always maintained an elegant presentation. Simply lovely.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fairy Days

It's exactly one month until the fairies begin singing and dancing about the gardens of The Rosemary House and Sweet Remembrances during the Fairy Festival. This annual event attracts young and old, fairies and elves, and all those that believe. Held during the first weekend after Labor Day in September, this year it falls on the 6th and 7th of Sept.
When you feel a little breeze
or notice a tickle or need to sneeze
or find your things rearranged
or something seems a little strange
Look very closely and you might see
sparkly dust or a buzzing bee
Behold! a fairy with gossamer wings
has come to show you
                    wondrous things                     
-- William Allingham

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Teas and Tails

This décor from the Coach & Horses Tea Room pretty much sums up our summer vacation - teas and tails. We always try to include a tea room stop when on vacation - and this trip was no different, except we were able to include four different tea room stops (much to Cedar's chagrin)! The Blue Willow Tea Room, the Inn at Biltmore, the Wild Plum Tea Room, and the Coach & Horses Tea Room have all added to our memory banks.
In addition to tea rooms, we always include a trail ride for Angelica's pleasure. This trip featured two different trail rides, one that traipsed around the grounds of the Biltmore estate and the other that took us across streams and into the Great Smoky mountains.
Teas and Tails. Fun!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Coach & Horses Colonial Tea Room

A recent visit to The Coach & Horses Colonial Tea Room in Winchester VA provided a delightful afternoon stop for the last leg of our journey home. Located in a National Historic building (circa 1790), the tea room is a work of love. From the stenciled walls to the themed décor to the fabulous Afternoon Tea, it was delightful and memorable.

Table settings in blue willow, with cozy wrapped tea pots greeted us. We had advance reservations for tea (required), although you may drop-in and order off the menu if you prefer lunch. Once we each selected our tea flavors, the culinary feast began.

The first course featured a very tasty tomato bisque soup garnished with croutons.
 Cranberry Scones, with cream and preserves were presented next.

The three tiered tea tray held an abundance of savories, sweets, and desserts including Zucchini Muffins with cream cheese and chive garnish, Cucumber Sandwiches, Thinly sliced open faced green apple sandwich, Cheese and Chutney on a petite roll, and Fresh Fruit. The desserts included a Glazed Fruit Tart, a petite cheesecake,  chocolate dipped vanilla cookie, a chocolate cherry muffin, and a layered Jello parfait. Needless to say, many of the desserts were packed 'to-go' and enjoyed later in the evening.

Delicious and Delightful!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Double the Family Fun!

During our excursion to TN, we connected with another family from KY. Here, the kids are anticipating the beginning of the Dixie Stampede which was a dinner and show full of colorful costumes, horses, buffalo and comedy.

Austin, Cedar, Angelica, Kaitlyn, Peyton
The next day took us to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. TN where the weather was just perfect to walk around the park, ride the rides, and enjoy the day.

 Everyone hopped aboard the steam engine ride for a relaxing trip through the mountains.

One of Dolly Parton's tour buses was available to tour. Amazing what they can fit into a bus. And Dolly even enjoys tea!

The second day included:
Go Cart Races


The Titanic Museum
and more catching up between friends.

The fun and games continued on the long ride home. A special thank you to Linda and her family for joining us in Tennessee for this extra special summer vacation.