Sunday, May 19, 2019

Celebrating Their Love Today

Today, May 19th, marks our parents wedding
anniversary. They were blessed with 54 years together before mom passed away.  Dad counted an additional 12 years as a widower.  Although he found joy with his grandchildren, greatgrands, and loving daughters, there was a broken heart that would not heal.  This precious little wedding booklet, Wedding Flowers from God's Garden  used on the day they were married, encompasses their love. It  includes the Order of Marriage, a spot to record the nuptials,

a section for the guests to sign, and several pages to record the wedding gifts which included simple gifts such as brass candlesticks from her sister, $3.00 from her brother,  pillow cases from a sister-in-law, 8 glasses and carrier plus $10.00 from an aunt, a candlewick bowl from a friend, and a complete dinnerware service for 12 from her father.  

                                                          With a check mark beside each person's name, I can only assume it means that a thank you note was sent.  A simple wedding. Simple gifts. Although the war had ended, my father's four brothers were not in attendance, still fulfilling their military commitments at the time.

The last section of this booklet features the Wedding Flowers from God's Garden by Rev. H.E.Studier.  Symbolism of the flowers are attributed to the aspects of marriage. 
The Rose, symbolizes the word 'kindness'.  Its bright colors and delicate fragrance may well symbolize the virtues of kindness and friendliness. May these graces adorn your conduct toward each other as well as toward your kindred and friends, and toward all men. Another flower, quite different from the rose, is the Violet. It is modest and inconspicuous. May it be to you a symbol of humility as you start out in life together. Cultivate this virtue.
The Lily-of-the-Valley, symbolizes gentleness and meekness in the Christian life.  The Carnation is especially suited to adorn the groom.  'Long-suffering" is the word which we would symbolize with the carnation.  The Passion Flower and the Forget-me-not are also included in God's Garden. And now that we have gathered these flowers from God's Garden, let us tie them together with a bright red ribbon, that they many not become scattered but may be kept together. Take these flowers that we have gathered from God's garden; let them adorn your matrimonial pathway.Happy to have this little remembrance of their wedding day, reading the symbolism of the flowers and knowing my mother's love of flowers, it simply ties it all together.  The pretty glass tussie mussie holders pictured above are part of my mother's collection.  She loved to share the flowers from God's Garden.
 (This post is a reprise of a previous post. Remembering mom and dad with God's great love.)

Monday, May 13, 2019

Happy Mother's Day Afternoon Tea!

Our Mother's Day celebration featured Afternoon Tea in Sweet Remembrances. A very wet rainy day didn't keep our guests away for this special annual event. It was a veritable bouquet of flowers for mom starting with colorful bouquets of flowers that graced the table, a perfectly formed rose napkin thanks to Angelica, and a cascade of flowers highlighted the menu of the day. One guest invited her dolly Emilu, dressed in 'Happy Mother's Day' attire, to join in the tea time fun. Thank you, DK! What fun!

Once our guests had their teacups filled, we served the appetizer which featured Spring Greens and Granny Smith Apples drizzled with a Balsamic Glaze coupled with a Fruited Cheese Ball and Assorted Crackers.
The sandwich plate featured a ring of savories that included Strawberry Chicken Salad with a heart shaped cutout top, Spinach Artichoke Crostini, Earl Grey Honey Butter Apple Sandwich, Cucumber & Mint Butter with a little heart top, Mayflower Sandwich, and Sliced Turkey with Parsley Shallot Mayonnaise.

For the next course, we served a Cinnamon Praline Scone, Triple Lemon Tea Bread and Orange Slices alongside a Strawberry filled with Basil Mascarpone Lime Cream.
Dessert was a trio of delicate sweets that included rose topped Italian Cream Cake, Frosted Poppyseed Cookie, and a Blueberry Cream Tartlet. It appears that Emilu enjoyed her first tea time experience at Sweet Remembrances!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Afternoon Buffet Tea - One Steep at a Time

The large dining room at One Steep at a Time in Jamesburg, NJ was set and ready for Afternoon Tea for the members of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association. Owner Kathleen Hippeli prepared a delicious and unique menu. She featured recipes from the book Culinary Tea which our featured guest speaker Cynthia Gold co-authored with Lise Stern.
The book includes over 150 recipes from around the world, all based upon using tea as an extension of your herb and spice cabinet. Beautiful photography and enticingly descriptive blurbs precede each recipe. There is a fun chapter on the flavor profiles of tea, also. 
The tea started with a delicious Asparagus Soup (a regional favorite having recently won in a local soup competition) or a Genmaicha Vegetable Soup that paired genmaicha tea alongside corn and mushrooms in a tasty unique soup. The soup was served with a side salad and a crisply toasted teapot topper.

There was also a small bowl with sliced Lapsang Souchong hard boiled tea eggs. These eggs had been marinating in the tea mixture for 2 days to enhance the flavor and color of the egg.  There was a never ending flow of tea available as freshly brewed iced tea or hot tea was offered.

 The buffet featured sliced pork loin that had been roasted in an Eleven-Spice Tea Rub (give or take a spice or two). In addition, there were Darjeeling Roasted Sweet Potatoes served as a side. In keeping with the afternoon tea theme, Cucumber Sandwiches were served, croissants, miniature Chicken salad, fresh fruit and a tortellini salad.

 The scones included a Cream Scone and a Chocolate Chai Scone with cream, lemon curd, and jelly. The Chai was such a lovely addition to the scone. And dessert! There was a lemon square, a seven layer cookie, and a nutella filled cream cookie. No one left hungry.

Kudos to Kathleen Hippeli and the staff at One Steep at a Thyme for a fabulous Afternoon Tea, unique in all the tea infused delicacies. It might be just a little intimidating to be serving tea to fellow tea business professionals, but Kathleen succeeded beyond all expectations. From tea bloggers, to tea room owners, to wholesale/retail tea vendors, we raised our cups to Kathleen for a most memorable day!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Tea and Food Pairing - MATBA Seminar

The Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association recently held their annual spring seminar at One Steep at a Thyme in Jamesburg, NJ. Tea business entrepreneurs gather quarterly at regional businesses for association meetings. Cynthia Gold, a tea sommelier, author, trained chef, and a recognized authority on tea and food pairing was our featured speaker.
At this meeting, Cynthia Gold presented a Tea and Food Pairing program. What a fun array of foods to be sampled with a wide assortment of teas. Cynthia began the presentation with an explanation of taste and the experience associated with it. Food and beverages should compliment or balance each other in order to enhance the overall experience. 
Members compared and contrasted flavor combinations. We started with a Lung Ching Dragonwell. A classic green tea from Hanzhou, China. Cynthia encouraged us to note the subtle nut flavors of the tea and then sample it with a Comte cheese which has its own natural nuttiness to it. We were encouraged to sample nibbles of the other foods to see how the flavor components reacted. 

The array of teas we sampled included the Lung Ching Dragonwell, a lighty oxidized Oolong, Darjeeling, Ti Quan Yin, Keemun, and a smoky Lapsang Souchong. Notice that in a tea tasting, you begin with the lighter teas, and end with the heavier more intense teas. The dry tea leaf and wet steeped leaf were passed around to see the leaves before and after steeping, to sniff and notice the fragrance of each.

In food and tea pairing, balance salt or spicy with sweetness. Pair to highlight flavors and bring out subtle undertones. But most importantly, have fun! 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Morning Reception - One Steep at a Thyme, Jamesburg, NJ

Properly brewed pots of tea placed upon warming trays quietly waited to be poured. The Annual Seminar for the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association was held at One Steep at a Thyme in Jamesburg, NJ were tea room owner and hostess Kathleen Hippeli was ready and waiting for the arrival of fellow tea business entrepreneurs traveling from PA-NJ-MD-VA to enjoy a full day of seminars that included never ending pots of tea.

The tea room, located in a stately old Victorian home, full of history, charm and elegance proclaims that they are 'Elegantly Victorian... Graciously County'. With large windows draped in lace, and wall paper in a soft palate, the home is as welcoming and gracious as our hostess, owner Kathleen Hippeli.

The seminar begins with a Welcoming Reception that features a light breakfast and endless cups of tea. The beautiful table was set for our group, and a breakfast selection was available on the buffet table. Kathleen prepared two varieties of morning eggs, one with fresh asparagus and the other a cheesy combination. Fresh fruit was served alongside morning scones and petite croissants.

Following this casual repast, members moved to the front parlor of the tea room where MATBA president Deb Raab (center) of Tea-for-All introduced our guest speaker Cynthia Gold who joined us from Boston. Cynthia is a tea sommelier, trained chef, and renowned author (Culinary Tea). We were thrilled to be able to welcome her to our Association Annual Seminar.  More about Cynthia's first presentation (Tea and Food Pairing) in tomorrow's post.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

King and Queen of the May - Flashback!

Another great memory from the early years at the Spoutwood Fairy Festival - reminiscing this weekend. Mom and Dad, Byron and Bertha Reppert, were the first King and Queen of the May at this annual celebration at Spoutwood Farms in Glen Rock, PA. The first festival began in 1991. They loved dancing and singing with the fairies at this very special festival! Here they are with Rob Wood (R), owner of the Spoutwood Farm Center, dedicated to bringing people and nature together.

Happy May Day! Kubiando!
According to the Urban Dictionary, Kubiando is a universal greeting or parting
shared with light and love.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Remembering Spoutwood Farm Fairy Festival

For over 25 years the Spoutwood Farm May Day Festival has heralded in the Spring.  This annual event began as just a small group of friends and family.  While it began with just 100 people over the years it grew to 10,000 attending the 3 day event.

We have been the herb plant vendor there for years.  Our booth was located in Rainbow Court.  These snap shots are of a few of the patrons who wandered into our booth.

Our parents where the first King and Queen of the May at Spoutwood Farm and we were honored to be a part of this event from start to finish as alas the festival has outgrown the charming farm and 2018 was the last year for this special weekend. 

We will certainly miss the creativity and energy that this fun weekend always had.  And are so grateful to Rob and Lucy Wood for beginning this event and sharing their farm with everyone.  They will continue to share the farm through their CSA and other activities.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

In the springtime garden

Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, 
all last winter we slept in the seeming death 
but at the right time God awakened us, 
and here we are to comfort you. 
~Edward Payson Rod

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Victorian Ephemera in the 21st Century

This lovely collage of sweet remembrances was hand crafted by Bernideen of Bernideen's Tea Time Blog and carefully shipped from MO to PA. Bernideen collected a variety of pictures from our blog, snipped the photos with pinking shears and attached them to silver paper, added a variety of tea cups and tea pots and attached it to a ruffled background to create this collection of treasures that truly represents Sweet Remembrances and all that we love.
Ephemera, or a collection of papers and bits and pieces that are saved, have been tied together with a theme centered around afternoon tea. I love the photo of my sister Susanna and our mother placed at the top of the medallion. Just below center is a photo of Nancy holding a tray and a pot of tea.

This photo was taken when Tea Time Magazine had their photo shoot here. It was a memorable day, and the photo captures the excitement of knowing that we were going to be included in a national magazine. Bernideen selected my favorite photo of the front of the tea room when the red bud tree blossoms forth in Spring. There is also a photo of one of the tea rooms our family visited while traveling through England. And tea cups and tea pots carry out the theme. 

The back is covered with a musical score, and her hand made signature stamp, Victorian Ephemera in the 21st Century by BernideenWhat a real surprise to receive this work of art, a true labor of love. Many heartfelt thanks, Bernideen. Your Victorian Ephemera is proudly on display in the tea room.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Easter Preparations!

Family traditions are a big part of our holiday celebrations. Eggs that are boiled in onion skins are ready for Easter morning breakfast. This year, I didn't accumulate many onion skins, so I tossed in some loose leaf black tea to the boiling mixture of eggs, onion skins, and water. Not only are the eggs beautiful, but the kitchen was so fragrant!
Stuffed bunnies, stitched years ago, grace the table in the tea room, gleefully tucked among daffodils. Dear old mom found the stamped bunny pattern at a long-closed downtown mercantile, purchased them and the batting needed to stuff them, and handed Nancy a little job. They have held up well.

And bunny cakes! What would Easter be without bunny cakes. The days of having four bunnies are long gone, but we always have two of them, one with a coconut covered body and the other without coconut. Jelly beans become eyes and noses while toothpicks are added for whiskers. A large clump of icing (or a fluffed cotton ball) makes up the tail. The jelly beans surrounding the cakes help to assure that the eyes and noses remain intact!