Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Tea - 2016

The Halloween Teas that are offered on several Sundays in October are always some of our most popular teas. The gardens have been haunted for the season, and we encourage our guests to stroll the gardens before and after the tea. Guests are also invited to come in costume, and many play along.
We had fun again this year serving these cute little chocolate acorns. Everyone enjoys them, and they are so easy to pop in your mouth!

The menu for the Halloween Tea included the following:
A Witches Brew of Caraway & Tomato Soup was the first course served at our teas. That was accompanied by a warm and Toasty Ghosty sandwich. Unlimited pots of tea are served throughout the event.

The nights are getting pretty chilly around here, and the last of the fresh herb bouquets are on the tables before the first frost shuts down the gardens for the season. Miniature pumpkins and gourds add to the flavor of the season. Tiny paper bats flutter about the forks.
Hauntingly delightful tea sandwiches included:
RIP - Almond Chicken Salad Caskets

Black Spider Ham Salad Rounds

Don't be a Scaredy Cat Pimento Sandwich

Cyclops' Eye, if you dare

Pineapple & Pecan Acorn 

The scone course featured Traditional English Cream Ghost of a Scone and Pumpkin Pecan Scone, both served with Sweet Cream and Lemon Curd. Alongside the scones, we served Poison Apples and Spiced Caramel Dip.

and finally, Desserts to DIE for:
Gingerbread Ghosts
Pumpkin Patch Cake
Ghoulish White Chocolate Pretzel
And what a special treat to welcome several of the women that were on the Michigan Tea Tour! They journeyed all the way from Michigan to attend an Afternoon Tea at Sweet Remembrances. Linda, Lori, Joanie, (Nancy), and Phyllis joined in the fun for our Halloween Tea!
Following tea, our guests are invited to visit Rosemary House and to stroll around the haunted herb gardens.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Teas and Such, Chambersburg, PA

A recent road trip included a journey to Teas and Such located on Main Street in Chambersburg, PA for their Halloween special event. The tea room decor was decidedly set for Halloween with burnt orange table clothes and black spider runners. Pumpkins, crows, and skulls were tucked around the tea room. 

With several large tables in the room, our group of three, seated at a table set for eight, was grouped with two other parties. After quick introductions, conversation bounced around the table throughout the night.
The tea option for the evening was Harney & Sons Paris Blend. If you preferred a decaffeinated tea, Vanilla Caramel was offered. The owners frequently refilled our teacups. Sugar, lemon slices and honey graced the tables.

The first course presented featured a Cauldron of Chicken Corn Soup.

The second course included Roasted Corn Salad with Witches Warts (dried apple pieces, crunchy salad toppers and a balsamic vinaigrette).

A tiered tray laden with Insect-Nella on Raisin Bread and Bone Marrow Pimiento Cheese on Pumpernickel was placed on one end of the table to be passed around to each guest. The tray had black spiders and glittery bats along with gummy worms and candy corn tucked around the sandwiches.

A tiered tray with Trick or Treat Scones and Frankenstein Tea Bread was offered after the tea sandwiches were eaten. Plates that held the toppers for the scones were placed at each end of the table and they included Strawberry Rhubarb Preserves, Lemon Curd, and Fig Jam. Additional gummy worms and Halloween candy sprinkles were extra touches on this tray.

Dessert was a large slice of Creepy Crawly Dessert that included a non-edible eyeball. Creepy, indeed!

Following the tea, we enjoyed a program presented by  local Gettysburg author Mark Nesbit. He discussed the use of spirit energy (ghosts) and 'spectral evidence' obtained by a Paranormal Crime Scene Investigator. He shared his experiences with Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) where, using a special recording device, although you don't hear the 'other side' answering your questions, when you play back the recording, you are able to hear the answer. He shared a few recordings that he has obtained. 
Sadly, this tea room closed its doors December 2016. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Taking Tea on the Strasburg Train!

 We live very close to the Strasburg Rail Road located in Ronks, PA. Susanna discovered that they have a Steampunk Unlimited festival held annually in October. And, in addition, they offered a High Tea, on a weekend we all had open!

We were eager to experience tea in the Dining Car of America's oldest operating railroad. With seating available for 28 passengers, it was a sold out event. When we boarded the train, the tables were set and ready for the guests.

As you enjoy your tea, you are transported through the picturesque countryside in beautiful Lancaster County. The journey covers a 9-mile round trip jaunt to Paradise, PA and lasts approx 45 minutes.

A three tiered tray laden with a wide variety of fresh open faced sandwiches that included cucumber, chicken salad, a mini BLT, and sliced egg was on each table. The top tier held scones, coconut macaroons, and several assorted pastries. Hot water was provided in a carafe on the table, and a hostess offered two varieties of teas to sample.

This was a memorable experience on a local area attraction. We were in Strasburg about nine years ago to celebrate the eagerly anticipated arrival of Thomas the Tank. It was a totally different experience, but also memorable! The 'Day Out with Thomas' continues to be one of their most popular offerings,
How they have grown!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Afternoon Tea at The Front Porch, Hallam, PA

On a crisp fall Sunday, the 'girls' headed to The Front Porch in Hallam, PA for Afternoon Tea. An easy journey south, we laughed and chatted in the car until we arrived at our destination. Cheerfully greeted at the door, we were taken to our tables where a fresh salad with their signature poppyseed dressing was plated and waiting for us.

We selected the flavor for our first pot of tea, Snowflake. It is one we are familiar with and knew that we would all enjoy. As we savored our salad, we took a few photos around the tea room

The three tiered tray was laden with an abundance of fresh fruit on the top tier, assorted sandwiches and scones were on the middle tier, and the bottom tier featured a wide variety of sweets. The sandwiches included a spinach phyllo, a cucumber sandwich, a phyllo wrapped gorgonzola, and a little tart. The scones were cinnamon apple and sea salt caramel. The assortment of desserts were varied and sweet. We enjoyed the rich chocolate truffle the best.

The garden is spacious and always in bloom according to the season. This fun larger than life papier mache teapot graces the front lawn and leaves no doubt that you are at a tea room.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Poorman's Graham Bread

This graham bread, served at our WWII Afternoon Tea was a recipe that our mother shared in a cookbook that was published many years ago by her garden club. With the recipe, she noted that "This got us through college". My parents were married shortly before the war ended, and my father later attended Lehigh University utilizing the benefits from Uncle Sam's GI Bill. No one was wealthy at that time, and homemade graham bread was a staple in the household, along with spam. This recipe has endured in our family, and as a young girl, I remember helping my mother make this bread during the holiday season (a 5 lb. bag of flour makes 5 large loaves of bread) and then running each loaf to our neighbors as a holiday gift from the family.
Graham Bread
2 c. graham (whole wheat) flour
1 c. white flour
2 c. sour milk
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
3 - 4 Tbsp. molasses
Mix all ingredients together. Bake 30 - 45 min. at 375 degrees. Can add dates, nuts, etc. Makes 1 large 9" x 5" loaf.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

World War II Afternoon Tea

Red, white and blue carnations graced the tables for our World War II themed tea held late in September. Blue teacups and blue napkins continued the theme. A festive menu was placed on each table. The Victory Cook Book, found among our mother's cook book collection, was a source for a few of the dishes served at this tea.

The first course featured 'A Good Salad" that was a pasta base that included pineapple and celery. It was served on a bed of fresh salad greens harvested from our Victory Garden and sprinkled with a bit of parsley.

The Sandwiches included Cheesy Spam Rounds on Pumpernickel bread with a small "V" cutout on top, War Time Apple Butter and Gouda on a hearty dark bread, Poor Man's Buttered Graham Bread, Victory Garden Veggie Confetti Rounds, "Doctor Carrot" Tea Sandwich, and Post War Tomato and Parmesan Sandwich with Basil Butter.

"Doctor Carrot", the children's best friend was a  promotional advertising effort, along with "Potato Pete" and was introduced in England in 1941 to get kids to eat more veggies and to help promote the consumption of surplus crops.
Our scone course included Sugar Rationed English Cream Scones with jelly and cream and fresh fruit. And the dessert course was true comfort food, Old Fashioned Apple Crisp served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a Pecan Ice Box Cookie, a recipe from the Victory Cook book.