Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

And they presented unto him gifts: gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Meet Ed...

Ed, the Elf on the Shelf has arrived in the tea room along with the great nieces Arielle and Gracie, almost 10 and 8. Ed usually appears the day after Thanksgiving. According to the girls, he is mischievous and has been known to eat their leftover Halloween candy! He rolls paper towels on the couch, and sometimes hides in the paper towel roll! He watches the girls... and is known to tattle if there is any naughtiness happening. And last night he tucked himself in a tea cup - watching the girls before Santa arrives! No one can touch Ed until Christmas day and the days leading to his return to the North Pole around January 2nd, after Arielle's birthday.

Friday, December 23, 2016


Pumpkin pies are baking, cookies are made, presents are wrapped. Out of state family arrives later today and the holiday festivities begin in our little neck of the woods.

May you have a joyful holiday with loved ones, those present and those held close in your heart. Blessings to you this holiday season. With love, the Reppert and Brill families of Sweet Remembrances and The Rosemary House.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Treat Yourself!

Be sure to find some extra time for yourself this busy holiday season! Sit down, relax, contemplate, and enjoy a pot of properly brewed tea, and perhaps a sandwich or two - just for you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Twelve Cups of Christmas

Just a peek at part of the collection of Christmas tea cups that are put into service during the holiday season. Red and green, holly leaves and poinsettia, and an occasional Christmas tree seem to be the popular motif for these English bone china tea cups.

The newest tea cup to be added to the collection is shown below. A souvenir from our summer vacation to Victoria, BC, this pretty 'December' tea cup is adorned with poinsettia and Christmas greens. Discovered in the gift shop of The Butchart Gardens, the tea cup is fine bone china, designed in England.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Dear old dad, made one final appearance as Santa Claus at a tea with Santa.
The year: 1999,
The place: Sweet Remembrances Tea Room,
The babe cradled in his arms: two month old Angelica.
Love, love, love, love!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Playing Santa, again!

Still playing the role of Santa Claus, this time it's 1975, seated at the PNC Bank on the square of downtown Mechanicsburg, Santa (dear old dad, Byron Reppert) is shown here with his grandchildren, Jessica and baby Jacob, along with their dad, Phil Sears and mom (below) Carrie Sears. It was a special day for everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Greetings from Mr. Claus!

This Christmas greeting card was one that our mother sent out several years ago! Taken on a cold winter day in December, alongside the PNC bank on the square in downtown Mechanicsburg when Santa would arrive by fire engine to a long line of energetic young kids, each with a list of wants and wishes to share with Santa.

And Santa, patient and jolly, listened to each little girl or boy, discovering whether they had been naughty or nice, listening attentively to their requests, didn't notice that the long line wrapped around the block. Santa, dear old dad, Byron L. Reppert, was the town mayor and the town Santa, two roles he played with boundless enthusiasm.  
One year, Susanna and her friend Susie lined up to visit Santa. That was the year friend Susie whispered to Susanna, 'I think that's your dad'. Susanna did not, could not, would not believe her.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Santa Claus is coming to town!

The Santa collection is once again on display in the hallway of Sweet Remembrances. Each year the collection grows. Adding another jolly old elf to the grouping can be a challenge, but there does seem to be room to fit in 'just one more'.

At the far left, standing atop the radiator, is the collection of culinary Santas. They have cake decorating bags, plates of cookies, and gingerbread houses. Who knew Santa was such a culinary artist? On top of the oak side by side you'll find the smaller Santa assortment. Some are German 'smokers', one that I brought back from Germany and the other a gift from a friend.

Of course my favorite grouping is the tea themed collection.  The little roly poly one on the right is a tea-for-one teapot. The little stitchery, also from a friend, reads Santa's Pot of Tea. I can see Santa relaxing with tea and cookies before he loads up the sleigh, and of course once he returns from his busy night.
This Byers' Choice Caroler (a Pennsylvania based company) is the newest addition to the collection thanks to a thoughtful older sister. With his basket of gingerbread and candy canes, he obviously fits right in! Thanks, Marj.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Brie & Apple Crostini - a recipe by request

This popular sandwich is one we like to serve around the holiday season. It is quite easy to prepare, and equally as tasty to eat. Many guests have compared it to eating a slice of warm creamy apple pie! 
Brie & Apple Crostini
Baguette, sliced on the angle into 1/2" portions
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. pecans or walnuts
2 - 3 Granny Smith apples,cored and sliced into 16 thin slices
soft spreadable Brie ( I use Alouette Creme de Brie)

Toast baguette slices. Spread a layer of Brie on the toasted baguette. Top with a thin slice of green apple. Mix butter, brown sugar, and walnuts together. Spread this mixture over the green apple. Place in preheated 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes, until the Brie has melted. Serve warm. These may be prepped about an hour ahead of time, covered and held until you pop them in the oven. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday Christmas Tea

This past Sunday was another holiday celebration in Sweet Remembrances. The tea began with a Pear and Walnut Salad with Parmesan Balsamic Vinaigrette seasoned with green onion and freshly snipped basil topped with goat cheese, walnuts, Parmesan cheese and fresh pears, all a nod to a Partridge in a Pear Tree. The sandwich plate was served next and that included our popular Queen Adelaide Triangles alongside a Petite Poppyseed and Radish Tea Sandwich topped with a sprig of green parsley and a petite tree. There was an Olive Cheese Spread on whole wheat and a Petite Phyllo Cup filled with a Carrot Radish Relish. The warm savories included Melted Brie & Apple Crostini and Sage Sausage Rolls. For the scone course, we served a Traditional English Cream Scone along with a slice of Olde English Seed Cake. Topping included sweet cream, raspberry preserves and lemon curd and fresh fruit. The little dessert plate held Peppermint Meltaways, a White Cake with a Spirited Fruit Topping and Visions of Sugar Plums or rather, Bourbon Balls. Lots of festive holiday delights for this special tea.

We welcomed Janeal Jaroh of Time Traveler Trunks to present a program on Evergreens and Dreidels. She shared the ways in which Roman customs were interpreted and converted in Europe and eventually adapted and blended by American religious and ethnic groups. It was a program that both entertained and educated, one which our guests seemed to particularly enjoy as it was history based.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Oh Tannenbaum, oh tannenbaum!

Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas tree! Our little tabletop tree placed in the 'fireplace room' comes out early in the season. One of the first holiday decorations to grace the tea room, and one of the last to be put away, it brings lots of joy to those that realize it's all decorated with tea cups, tea pots, and other tea themed ornaments. It's such fun to discover the hidden surprises tucked among the branches.

A variety of miniature ornaments capture the memories of holidays past, vacation souvenirs, and remembrances of tea time adventures all tucked among the branches of this sweet little tree. Little jewelry pieces make perfect additions to the branches.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

December = Holiday Teas!

A wide variety of holiday teas are happening in Sweet Remembrances this month. From our annual Holiday Tea after Thanksgiving to our Holiday Workshop & Festivi-Tea combination, we've been brewing and pouring tea, plating and serving sandwiches, and sharing visions of sugarplums to all in attendance. This Apple Cranberry Salad topped with fresh apples, toasted pecans, thinly sliced red onion, feta cheese has been popular this holiday season.

A variety of festive sandwiches included Southern Pecan Party Sandwich, Benedictine Cucumber Sandwich, Basil Pesto Chicken Salad, Cranberry Orange Bread with Mascarpone Cheese, Turkey, Cranberry and provolone melt, and a Swiss Cheese Tart with Super Sassy Pepperelly, a locally made pepper glaze. 

Scones, of course. This holiday event featured our Traditional English Cream Scones and heart shaped Lemon Pecan Scones (because we love the holiday season). Sweet Cream, jelly, and fresh fruit always accompany our oven fresh scones.

And dessert included a Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie, a miniature Chocolate Brownie, and a sinfully rich thin slice of Chocolate Almond Cheesecake. Yes, please.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Traditional English Cream Scones

Always served fresh from the oven at Sweet Remembrances! Our scones don't go into the oven until our guests are in the tea room and seated. Once they are served their tea, the scones are popped in the oven to bake while our guests enjoy their assorted tea sandwiches. Then, if it is a special occasion event in the tea room, the scones are plated with cream, jelly, sometimes lemon curd, and some seasonal fresh fruit.

Traditional English Cream Scones
2 c. flour
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. cold butter (1/2 stick)
2 eggs
1/2 c. light cream
Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until fine crumbs form. Whisk eggs and light cream together. Add to flour and butter mixture until blended together. Place onto floured pastry cloth and knead dough about 20 times. Roll out dough until about 3/4 inch thick, cut out circles with 2 inch round cutter. Place on baking tray. Brush each scone with an egg white/water wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Serve warm!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tree Up?

Cucumber Sandwiches served in the tea room today. Dill seasoned cream cheese spread on round slices of bread, topped with a thin slice of cucumber and sprinkled with fresh parsley. A petite tree topper added a festive touch to the sandwich. Pretty!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Decorating

The tea room has been decorated for the holiday season. Pretty silk poinsettias have been tucked here and there among the tea related 'stuff'. This hand painted Lefton china tea cup and saucer featuring a poinsettia and holly greens has been added to the decor. 
                                                        Deck the Halls! Tis the Season!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Dip Tree Ornament

These clever 'Dip Tree' ornaments are a perfect easy to 'make ahead' gift. They can be used as favors at a party, stocking stuffers, gift tie-ons, or thoughtful gifts for the neighbors. Supplies needed include clear cone shaped cake decorating bags, herbs and seasonings, a cinnamon stick for the tree trunk, some thin colorful glitzy ribbon and of course star anise for the top of the tree.

First, holding the bag upside down, fill it with the dried herbs. We started with one teaspoon of celery seed in the tip of the bag, one teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder for the middle layer with a little bit of dried red tomato for added color and one teaspoon each of Basil, Thyme and Parsley leaf for the largest bottom layer of the tree.

Next we poked the cinnamon stick tree trunk into the bottom layer of herbs, and secured it tightly with ribbon. Note; depending upon the size cake decorating bags you are working with you might need to cut it shorter.

Finally, we hot-glued the Star anise to the top of the ornament. If you are using these as ornaments, loop a thin piece of glitzy gold ribbon and attach it underneath the star anise with glue. Tie a perky bow at the base along with a label listing ingredients and the instructions to prepare the dip.

Attach an instruction card: 
Combine 1 C Mayonnaise and 1 C Sour cream. Add the contents of the dip tree.
Stir and chill overnight. Serve with veggies or chips.

These were easy to make, and are certainly festive and fun!

(This blog post is a reprise of a post from December 2007, edited slightly.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Small Business Saturday is right around the corner and a lot of our local downtown merchants are celebrating with special offers. We will be featuring all things rosemary, the herb symbolic for Christmas. The shop is well stocked, crammed full from floor to ceiling with all your favorites. Every nook and cranny has a treasure that someone will love! From Roastmary to Snowflake tea, from Artemesia to Zebrovka, we have all your herbal needs. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sausage Soup - a family tradition!

Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays in our homestead both feature the same delicious menu. The menu is written in stone, and may not be changed! It is okay to add to the menu, but don't attempt to omit any of the favorites! For as long as I can remember, the meal was prepared by my father Byron Reppert. Dad was a WW II Marine, member of Mechanicsburg’s Boro Council for 16 years and mayor of the town for 4 years. He was always one of our biggest supporters in any endeavor we attempted. Eventually, when he felt the big family meal might be too much for him to prepare by himself, his daughters apprenticed Thanksgiving Dinner. Our festivities begin with the family gathering on the eve of the holiday to savor our traditional Sausage Soup.This easy to make meal can be simmering on the stove top until all members of the family have arrived. To make this hearty soup, place sliced Smoked Sausage in a large sauce pan with water over medium heat and cook thoroughly. Add minced onion, diced celery and cubed potatoes to the pot. Toss in some parsley, too. Reduce the heat and simmer on the stove until the potatoes are tender. Just before serving add some milk, which gives the soup a creamy color and helps to cool the fat. We have always found the flavor of the smoked sausage offers enough seasoning to this soup. The senior members of our family would muse that they used to call this “poor man’s soup but with the price of sausage these days you can’t call it that anymore”. The annual tale continues with “and when we were really poor we made the soup with pretzels instead”. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

"Something Old, Something New" Tea & Program

Our afternoon adventure at the Fashion Archives & Museum in Shippensburg included a casual Afternoon Tea and program. The newly remodeled Davis House has a nice area for the Fashion Museum, a cozy little gift shop, and an educational area for programs where tables were set up to accommodate tea. We had name tags placed at our seats, and our group of 3 joined a group of 5 women that gathered from southern PA and northern MD. Once everyone was seated, several pots of tea were brought to each table.

A festive array of finger sandwiches were placed on each table. There was a plate of open faced chicken salad colorfully garnished with baby tomatoes, radishes and parsley. In addition, there were cucumber sandwiches sprinkled with pepper and pimento cheese on whole wheat bread. All the sandwiches were fresh and flavorful.

Such a pretty plate of sandwiches.
When our reservations for this wedding themed event were confirmed, we were encouraged to bring a sentimental cake topper or a wedding portrait. We were happy to bring the 1907 wedding portrait of our mother's parents. The sharing of the pictures helped guests intermingle at their tables.

Yummy golden raisin scones were served on a silver platter accompanied by tea cups full of cream and jelly. The jelly was 'High Dumpsie Dearie' a traditional English jelly made from apples, plums, and pears. What a fun name and such a fun presentation. Slices of pumpkin raisin bread were also offered.

The program, 'Something Old, Something New' was presented by Judy Larkin, The Tea Lady, representing The Larkin Tea Company. Traditions, superstitions, and symbolism associated with weddings were shared. In England, it's good luck to see a chimney sweep on your wedding day. And it's good luck to see black cats, not only on your wedding day, but any day. With regards to the height of a wedding cake, the higher the cake, the wealthier you are. And the wedding party was dressed similarly to confuse any evil spirits that might be around. Fun tidbits to learn! Guests in attendance were invited to share their wedding experiences and memories in this interactive program.