Friday, June 26, 2020

National Cream Tea Day (a slightly edited repost)

Sweet Remembrances Cream Scones
 Today, Friday, June 26th is National Cream Tea Day in England as announced by The Cream Tea Society.  Established by Rodda's Cornish Clotted Cream, it's a celebration that I think we should consider making international! Cream Tea d is simply a Pot of Tea accompanied by home-made scones, jam, butter, and clotted cream.
Celebrate with family and friends,  fellow coworkers during break, or simply with a good book, a pot of tea and a scone with cream and jam. Just do it!
The Tea Lady, Judy Larkin, and her English Scones
Kathy's Kove, NJ
 Cream Tea is a much simpler form of Afternoon Tea. It is just the basics! Cream (lots of it), jelly (preferably strawberry), scones fresh from the oven is best, and tea. Endless pots of tea!
Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Roadside Pub, England

 Is it pronounced Scone (like cone) or Scone (like gone)? It's a regional thing, either (long e) or either (long i) is correct. While in England, a young lady (maybe 7 or 8 y/o) listened as we ordered scones (like cone). We overheard her ask her mother, 'mummy is it scone (long o) or scone (soft o)? Her mother replied, it's scone (like gone), they are American and pronounce it differently.

The Empress, Victoria, BC
 And then there is the controversy, which do you slather on first? Cream, and then jam? or Jam, and then cream? It is an ongoing debate, all about personal preference or which region of England you hail from. Devon vs. Cornish. Devon is cream first, jam on top. Cornish is the other way around. It makes no difference in how it tastes!
My preference, cream first, then jam!
Cream Tea? Yes, please!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Herbal Medicine for Emotional Healing: A Book Review

I have high standards for a book to gain some space on my book shelves and this new book with a herbal look at emotional health is worthy. Full disclosure: Tina Sams is a fellow Pennsylvania herbalist who has grown into a good friend but I can assure you I took a critical eye to this book.

This text is written with first person practical experience and the recipes are unique. In this era it seems to many that herbals are a rehash of another publication that is already on my bookshelf and I am pleased to say this one is not.

It begins with a simple overview of herbal preparations and then rolls into chapters focusing on all the many issues surrounding emotional well-being. Obvious issues such as anxiety, stress and depression but also chapters on digestive issues (do you hold your stress in your gut?), skin issues, headaches, circulation, immunity, tense muscles and heartaches. Author Tina Sams took a look at all emotions such as: grief, guilt, heartbreak, moodiness, feeling overwhelmed, sleep and spirit. The final section of the book is a brief alphabetical look at 30 herbs which support emotional healing. There is a resource directory, small glossary and measurement conversions.

The wide variety of recipes and suggestions made in this title is greatly appreciated. The recipes are for both internal and external applications and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. Most of the recipes utilize only 4 to 6 ingredients which makes them very affordable to create.

For me, the lay out is a bit wonky. Personally, I don't like it when recipes continue on the next page.  While there is an index, it could be a bit more comprehensive in my opinion. The table of contents is quite extensive and that helps to make up for where the index is lacking. There are some color photos in the volume and fortunately each of the thirty herb briefs are accompanied by a color image but for the most part this is not a colorful coffee table book. Instead it is a practical, informative and comprehensive book on herbs for emotional healing. And for the list price of $16.99, it is a bargain for the depth of information shared here. The publisher is Rockridge Press.

Another disclosure:  In her acknowledgements Tina Sams wrote a lovely tribute to our mother Bertha Reppert! It was such a pleasant surprise (and brought a tear to our eye as well). Tina spoke to how she felt our mom "set the tone" for the "generous herbal scene" we have here in Pennsylvania and beyond. A herbal scene that "continues to grow, evolve and welcome new herbies".  It is so kind of Tina to both remember her and recognize her, twenty years after her passing. We are blessed.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

A Garden Party 'Afternoon Tea'

Members of the Penn Cumberland Garden Club recently gathered in the gardens of The Rosemary House to enjoy an Afternoon Tea 'Picnic'. With the county still under 'yellow' conditions, members were able to enjoy a picnic tea outside, social distancing, and with masks on when wandering about the garden. Seating was available under the pavilion, in the gazebo, and scattered about the garden. The time frame was from 10 am - 2 pm, so attendance was spread out. Many enjoyed their Afternoon Tea in the garden, while others opted to carry it home.

The menu included an assortment of tea sandwiches; Queen Adelaide, Pimiento Cheese, Southern Pecan Party Sandwich, and Almond Chive Egg Salad Sandwich. A Lavender Sage Scone was served with sweet cream and jelly alongside a small fruit cup. Dessert included a carrot cake mini muffin and a rosemary cookie. Iced beverages included a choice of Unsweetened Black Tea, Sweet Mint Tea, or a Triple Lemon Herbal Tea.
It was a casual, relaxing day offering an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the garden, good conversation among friends and a fun boxed Afternoon Tea provided by Sweet Remembrances.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Poison Ivy Blues

We were out Geo-caching (a treasure hunt based on GPS coordinates) the other evening as our socially distancing activity and it was up, still small, but growing vigorously in the woodland edge where we were hunting for our geo-cache.  Poison Ivy. Ugh. Fortunately, we recognize it in the many stages of growth so were able to avoid the dreaded rash. If you are not so fortunate, this summer, we have some help. Happy Camper Soap is excellent for rash relief from Poison Ivy or even from other gardening issues like pulling out weeds. It is an old fashioned soap with some added jewelweed and plantain, two weeds that offer comfort for the issues a poison ivy rash presents additionally it has other healing essential oils, kaolin clay and beeswax. We wash with Happy Camper Soap immediately after contact with the poison ivy to remove as much of the poison ivy oils off our skin as we can and also use it once the rash has presented itself.
Hiker's Releaf made by the Essential Herbal is a soothing spritz of jewelweed, plantain, and sage extracted in apple cider vinegar.  This is to spray directly on a poison ivy rash.

Both of these natural products are available in the shop, or online. Curbside pickup (we'll deliver to your vehicle) is also available.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Ice Cream Donut Sundae - yes, please!

So another New York City dessert stop after an off-Broadway theater was for an unbelievable Ice Cream Donut Sundae. First, select your donut and then, it is sliced in half with the ice cream placed in the middle. A few additional toppings could be added. It is like a giant piece of cake and ice cream. Our review: a fun dessert to enjoy once. This busy shop had a steady line of traffic so it is clearly a treat many enjoy.