Friday, March 31, 2017

Herbs in the Cookie Jar (Part 2)

In the 1995 article that mom penned, which now appears online in Mother Earth Living here, the story continues that, as a young girl, Nancy always lamented the fact that the cookie jar was filled with compost and not cookies. Well, mom's words describe it best: When she was growing up, my third daughter, Nancy, was the one who bounced home from school shouting, “Let’s make cookies, Mom!” I think I frustrated her often by using the cookie jar for kitchen composting; maybe that’s why, even today as a busy businesswoman herself, she’d still rather bake cookies than just about any other activity I can think of. She began developing cookie recipes at a fairly young age. In her tearoom, she is known for her rich sweets.
Follow these links to find the recipes for: 
Although Nancy is frequently baking cookies for the tearoom (going on 27 years now!), she can imagine her mother might chuckle over the fact that more often than not, there is a compost bowl filled with food scraps instead of a cookie jar on the kitchen counter. 

A special thank you to Mother Earth Living, Natural Home, Healthy Life,
for granting permission to share the article on our blog.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Herbs in the Cookie Jar (Part 1)

Years ago, we're talking in the mid '90s, dear old mom wrote an article titled Herbs in the Cookie Jar for a herbal themed magazine. Over the years, the magazine changed hands, and the article has been resurrected on the Internet by the Mother Earth Living magazine. It was a thrill to find mom's words in this magazine alongside recipes that Nancy has served in the tea room. After contacting the magazine, we have graciously received authorization from Jessica Kellner, the Editor-in-Chief to share the article. Follow the links to find each recipe (clockwise from the left) Lavender Cookies (recipe below), Black Pepper Chocolate Balls, Coriander Date Cookies, and Saffron Cookies
Lavender Cookies 
Makes about 3 dozen 
At an open house, we served gallons of Lavender Lemonade made by steeping 
1/2 cup dried lavender flowers in 1 quart boiling water for a few minutes, straining, and 
using the the strained liquid to make up part of the water for 1 gallon reconstituted frozen 
lemonade. The unexpected fragrance and flavor led us to try these Lavender Cookies at 
next party. The cookies have become equally as popular.

• 1 cup butter
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups flour
• Lavender Sugar (below)
Cream the butter and sugar. Gradually add the salt and flour. Mix thoroughly. 
Chill the dough for 1 hour, or until it is firm enough to handle.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Form the dough into 
1-inch balls and roll them in Lavender Sugar. Press each ball with your thumb. Place 
them on ungreased baking sheets and bake 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on racks.

Lavender Sugar 

• 1 cup dried lavender blossoms
• 1 cup sugar (coarse, if available)
Mix thoroughly. Keep mixing this as you use it;
it tends to separate.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pink! Words... Teacups... Actions...

Almost all words do have color and nothing is more pleasant than to utter a pink word and see someone's eyes light up and know it is a pink word for him or her too. ~Gladys Taber

Saturday, March 25, 2017


“Daffodils, that come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty

(Shakespeare's Winter’s Tale, act 4, sc. 4)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Lychee Tea - Chinese Black Tea

This Lychee Black Tea packaged in a decorative tin was hand carried from China by the beau of our North Carolina niece and gifted to Nancy at Christmas. An informative paper provided by the tea purveyor he visited included information about a variety of teas that are available for purchase. Lychee, native to Asia, is a small, round, and sweet juicy fruit grown in the tropical area of China. The translucent white pulp of the fruit yields a delicate floral and fruity flavor combination in both fragrance and taste. The tea may be flavored with the lychee peels and/or blossoms, or with a lychee powder.
The sweet fragrance, often described as grape-like, is noted immediately upon opening the tin and permeates the air. This side by side comparison of the wet (R) and dry (L) leaf shows the tea leaves after a 4 minute steeping. Tea leaves typically triple in size when steeping, which is one of the reasons it's best to steep the leaves loose in the pot to allow for maximum expansion, thus releasing the full flavor intensity and benefits of the tea.

The tea yields a beautiful fragrant copper colored brew (L) as compared with the darker shade of an Assam shown on the right. The sweet floral flavor is definitely pronounced in the cup, with a slight lingering taste after drinking the tea. According to the paper, lychee tea is supposed to be beneficial for the skin.

Many thanks to Dan and Jessica for the thoughtful gift!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Spring! A St. Patrick's Day Tea!

 As we celebrate the first day of Spring, we are reminiscing about the St. Patrick's Day Tea held this past Friday. Guests dressed in various shades of green navigated the snowy sidewalks to attend this special event. The first course included a Mixed Green Salad tossed with a Fresh Basil Salad Dressing, Parmesan Cheese and a Four Leaf Clover Crouton, for good luck of course!

 The sandwich plate featured Ranch Chicken Salad on Whole Wheat Bread, Savory Parsley and Olive Cheese Spread on Clover Shaped Pumpernickel Bread, Sliced Apple Sandwich with Orange Honey Butter, a Miniature Toasted Reuben on Rye, Rolled Asparagus Sandwich, and an Open faced Carrot and Cheddar Shamrock.

The scone course included a Shamrock shaped Traditional Cream Scone alongside Cranberry and Orange Irish Soda Bread with Sweet Cream and Lemon Curd toppings. The St. Paddy's Day Fruit Medley was topped with Honey Lime Dressing.

Dessert featured an Almond Flavored White Cupcake decorated with a Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow. Thanks to JP for sharing this clever idea! There were also gold wrapped chocolate coins and shamrock favors on the table for each guest to enjoy.

We were pleased to welcome Sasanach for his entertaining musical contribution with his Irish tunes played on a fiddle. There is a short video link on Sweet Remembrance's Facebook page that captured the spirit of the tunes he played.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wishing you . . .
A green, growing garden,
A good cup of tea,
A day touched by sunshine,
And warm memories.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Tea Pot Totem in the Snow

The Winter of 2016/2017 in Pennsylvania has been kind to us. Although there have been some bouts of very cold weather, the majority of snow storms missed us this year. Here we are, marching into spring, and an overnight storm has descended upon the area with threats of another storm next week. A one-two punch after a relatively snow-free winter. 
This storm isn't really a punch though, the big fluffy flakes are coating the trees, bushes, and the tea pot totem, but sidewalks and roads are simply wet. No shoveling. No school delays. It's really a win-win with beautiful snow to look at and no hassle involved. The location of our retired (meaning chipped or handle-less) tea pots has transitioned over the years. Originally, they were supported on a pussy willow tree that sadly succumbed to a summer storm. We retrieved all the tea pots, and moved them to the wooden arbor that joins the Rosemary House gardens and Sweet Remembrances gardens. It was a process that included the voluntary help of some of the neighborhood kids. 
Late this summer, a situation arose (Susanna will happily tell you about it if you ask) that opened up a new location for the tea pots. Over several weeks, we moved the tea pots from the arbor to our newly found totem. The teapots make a much better statement on the Tea Pot Totem then they ever did on the trellis. We still miss the pussy willow tree, though. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Winter Health - the natural way

Susanna has been working with talented intern Natalie Westling. Natalie is currently a student in three schools: Goddard College in Vermont, The Institute of Integrated Nutrition in NY and a student of Rosemary Gladstar's course the Science and Art of Medicinal Herbalism. This is one of Natalie's homework assignments for the Rosemary Gladstar course.

Ginger Honey:

I loved watching the honey liquefy due to the ginger changing the consistency! I do not like ginger, but this made it so that the ginger slices were almost candied and they were so yummy!   Note: Simply peel and slice the fresh ginger and add honey over it. The honey draws the moisture from the ginger and gives the honey a great ginger flavor. Make a small batch as it doesn't store long. Use the ginger honey pieces when you make scones.

 Fire Cider:

My fire cider is still infusing, so I have not tried it yet, but the process of making it was very fun! It felt good to finally make this famous recipe and learn about the legend behind it! I also added a little fresh rosemary to mine because I love the smell, flavor and characteristics of rosemary and I am excited to see how it turns out

Tahini Miso Paste:

This is the best thing I have ever tasted in my entire life! This is the new hummus for me! I added ginger, horseradish, garlic, cayenne and nutritional yeast. So yummy!!

Note:  The Basic Recipe is 1 part Tahini and 1 part Miso. Then you can add Spirulina, Cayenne, Nutritional Yeast, Garlic,  Horseradish, and/or Ginger. This is an basic "do as you please" recipe. It's delicious to spread on toast or add to rice or mix with hot water for soup. Store in the fridge for months.

Cold Care Capsules/Tablets:

I made capsules and tablets because I wanted to try both methods. The tablets are for myself because I cannot swallow capsules and I haven't had the opportunity to use them yet, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how it turned out! I used a lobelia tincture to wet the powdered mixture. The capsules I tried on my boyfriend when he had a cold and they seemed to work very well! He didn’t mention anything specific, but the cold seemed to mellow itself out very shortly after he started taking them.

Vitamin C/Immunity Tea

Vitamin C/Immunity Tea:

I made a tea for the winter that was astragalus, crushed rose hips, hibiscus, slippery elm, elderberry, and licorice. I haven’t tried it yet but since the weather is getting colder, I may have to soon!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Edible Flowers Chart

The Edible flowers chart is one of our favorite in the postcard series designed by Lorraine Cameron in 1996. This series of three large over-sized postcards (herb chart, spices chart and edible flowers chart) is available for purchase (the set of 3/$5.00) in the shop or by mail. Contact Susanna at the shop by phone (717 697 5111) or by email to order a set.