Wednesday, November 27, 2019

We Give Thanks!

As we enter the season of thanks giving, we are reminded of the many blessings we have among family and friends. We are grateful for the joy and happiness each one of you brings to the table.                                                                Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Spicy Souvenir from Martinique

Our sister Carrie, and her husband Phil, have been traveling the globe on their quest for adventure. One of their destinations included a quick trip to Martinique, touted as "a little bit of France in the French Caribbean Sea". As a souvenir, instead of the traditional t-shirt associated with travel gift-giving, we were the lucky recipients of this fragrant little basket laden with seasonings. Tucked in the cloth lined basket, an assortment of spices and seasonings with the ingredients and suggested uses listed in French. There was a small bottle of Vanilla - oh so fragrant! A paper tube of sugar, and curry spices, paella rice spices and other fragrant and colorful seasonings that will be added to a stew pot for delicious unique flavor. Thanks! We love being remembered!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Granite Rose Tea Parlour, Granite, MD

In September, members of The Royal Tea Club gathered in Granite, MD  to enjoy an Afternoon Tea at the Granite Rose Tea Parlour. This beautiful 1890's Victorian home offers the perfect location to enjoy tea.

Individual pots of tea were offered to each guest. Once the little pot was on your table, warm scones were served. We each enjoyed a Pineapple Sage scone served with cream, lemon curd, and jelly. The tiniest fresh fruit garnish completed this course.
A two tiered tray held an assortment of five sandwiches that included two cucumber sandwiches each with a radish garnish on white bread, a tomato pesto sandwich on a half croissant, homemade zucchini bread with orange cream cheese, and an apple and cheese chutney sandwich. Such a pretty and tasty assortment of sandwiches. Little touches of fresh fruit garnishes were on the plate and atop the sandwiches.

The dessert medley included a raspberry oatmeal bar, a buttery cookie, and chocolate mousse.

We enjoyed our get-away to this tea room. As members of the Royal Tea Club, we try to attend at least one or two of their events during the year. Many of their activities conflict with our business schedule, but the date for this tea fell shortly after the Fairy Festival but before the Tea Festival. We were thankful for the interlude.
Their refrain is:

'Sit long ~ Talk Much ~ Laugh Often'. And we did.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Fresh Rose Geranium Apple Cake

This Apple Cake (L) with hints of Rose Geranium added for extra flavor was served at a herbal harvest tea we presented earlier this month. The recipe was requested by several attendees, and I am happy to share it with our readers. It was a recipe that was given to my mother by an Amish woman that sold squares of this extra moist apple cake during the Pennsylvania Dutch Days held at Hershey in the mid to late 1960's and early 1970's. We were fellow vendors, and she was happy to share. We have enjoyed this cake ever since. It has stood the test of time! 
Fresh Apple Cake
2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. oil
2 eggs
4 c. apples, peeled and diced
1 c. nuts
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. freshly snipped scented rose geranium (optional)
4 Tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
1/2 c. butter (do not substitute margarine)
1/2 c. Crisco
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" cake pan, set aside. Mix sugar, salt, soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add oil and blend. Beat eggs, add into mixture. Stir in prepared apples by hand so as not to crush them. Blend in nuts and vanilla. Add flour, gently mixing until blended. Add snipped scented rose geranium, if using. Pour into prepared pan and bake 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Meanwhile, prepare icing. Mix flour and milk in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick (takes 4 - 6 minutes). Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to cool. In large mixing bowl, cream butter and Crisco. Add granulated sugar and vanilla. Cream again. Gradually add cooled flour mixture, a few spoonfuls at a time. Beat until smooth (up to 5 minutes). Frost cooled cake. Keep refrigerated.