Thursday, October 29, 2020

Masks of Mechanicsburg - highlighting The Rosemary House

The Downtown Mechanicsburg Partnership is sponsoring a social medial spotlight on downtown businesses and how they have adapted to the Covid 19 pandemic. Area businesses large and small have struggled during this time, trying to maintain normalcy in unique times while safely operating their business and offering a safe haven for customers. Below is the story that Susanna shared about The Rosemary House, including a recipe for a do-it-yourself disinfecting spray. 

The health and well-being of customers has always been a primary concern at The Rosemary House.  Whether it is suppling herbs and seasonings to enhance your daily meals or whether it is providing relaxing and fragrant essential oils to elevate or calm the mood of your personal space. For over 50 years The Rosemary House has always been there for the well-being of their customers. Currently, staff are happy to have “masked” discussions with customers about which herbs will best suit their needs. Looking to spice up your cooking or seeking herbs to help you sleep or support your immune system or simply want a tasty cup of tea? The Rosemary House is your local source for herbs, spices, teas and gifts.

Want to make your own disinfecting spray to wipe down those high touch areas? Here is a quick and effective recipe that The Rosemary House uses to keep their doors and counters clean:

  • 1 cup alcohol (either rubbing alcohol or vodka)
  • Add 30+ drops of your choice of essential oil (orange is uplifting, tea tree is anti-viral, lavender is relaxing, or eucalyptus to open sinuses, all are available at The Rosemary House!)
  • Add ¼ cup distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
  • Mix all together, bottle, and spray and spritz as necessary

The Rosemary House, your one stop herb and spice shop, was established in 1968! Herbs, Tea, and Gift items. Established in 1968, this family business is owned and operated by Susanna Reppert Brill. Parking in the rear or on the street. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

For more about the Downtown Mechanicsburg Partnership, follow them on Facebook!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Halloween Tea - 2020

 Our annual Halloween Teas, held twice during October, feature special touches throughout the menu. Creepy Crawly Coleslaw was the first course served after our guests received their pots of tea. If you look closely at the photo, you'll see tiny edible bats adorned the salad plate. They complement the black paper bats that are flying above the centerpiece.

A variety of sandwiches were served after the salad. Here you'll find The Great Pumpkin Cheese Sandwich with a touch of parsley garnish, the ever popular Toasty Ghosty with parmesan cheese, the Sweet and Savory Spooktacular Bat has a cheddar cheese filling with strawberry jam on the pumpernickel bread, Queen Adelaide's Coffin with a ham and chicken salad filling, and in the center, a Witches Eye made with our popular French Style Cheese Spread, radishes, and an olive eyeball.

The next course includes A Ghost of an English Cream Scone alongside a Pumpkin Pecan Scone. Sweet Cream and Cranberry Orange Curd plus fresh orange slices and a jellied candy pumpkin complete the plate.

For the Dessert course; 
Be prepared for a Zombie invasion (or chocolate cupcake, chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles, with a Zombie hand), Witches Finger (if you dare) (a green chocolate covered pretzel with an almond fingernail), and Never look directly into the Ogre's Eye (a matcha flavored cookie with chocolate ganache and candy eyeball). 
                               May your Halloween be creepy and super spooktacular!                                                                                    

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

American Fruit Bread with Rosemary

Debbie Hartman, of Thyme with Debbie has graciously shared the recipe for American Fruit Bread with Rosemary that she served at the Cooking with Mediterranean Herbs Class. Chockfull of yummy fruits and nuts plus the added boost of the fresh rosemary made this bread (served as mini muffins) a real treat. The muffin is very moist, but the addition of the orange marmalade with infused rosemary took it up a notch.

American Fruit Bread with Rosemary
2 c. flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 baking powder
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
fine zest of one orange
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. water
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 c. craisins, cut in half (or dried cherries or dried apricots)
1/2 c. raisins, cut in half
1/2 c. chopped dates
1/2 c. nuts
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced (or more to taste)

In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder together. Add melted butter and freshly zested orange to the flour mixture. Add orange juice, water, and beaten egg. Stir to blend. Fold in remaining fruits, nuts, and rosemary. Bake in a greased and floured bread pan at 350 degrees for 70 minutes, or until loaf tests done. Enjoy with your favorite brewed tea!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Cooking with Herbs of the Mediterranean Region

 We recently hosted a special cooking demonstration and tasting session that featured the herbs of the Mediterranean region. We were pleased to welcome Debbie Hartman of Thyme with Debbie as the instructor and culinary wizard for this program. With Debbie out front in the tea room, and her husband George coordinating things in the kitchen, it was a working team that provided an enjoyable evening for our guests.

The first course featured Greek Oregano, with flavor descriptors such as peppery and spicy. Oregano can be added to summer veggies, pasta, pizza, cheese and cream sauces, chili and Mexican foods for example. Debbie shared this beautiful appetizer plate that featured Mediterranean Herbed Olives (notice the rosemary skewered olive!), along side a potato appetizer, and a herbal goat cheese spread served with crackers and cucumber slices. The goat cheese was garnished with freshly zested lemon and a few oregano leaves to nibble.
The discussion continued onto Rosemary, which grows with abundance into a showy bush in the Mediterranean region. Described as piney, pungent, and spicy, Rosemary adds well to meats, poultry, veggies such as eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and beans, along with fresh fruits and baked goods. Here Debbie prepared a lovely Orange Marmalade with Rosemary served alongside American Fruit Bread. The fruit bread was moist and tasty, and included cranberries, raisins, dates, nuts and of course, rosemary.

Thyme was featured in this fabulous casserole; Creamy Mushroom Gravy Scalloped Potatoes. Thyme flavors can range from pungent to spicy, fruity and lemony. It holds well in soups, stews, vegetables, baked goods and cream and cheese sauces. Debbie considers it a multi-purpose herb that works with everything! "Salt, pepper and thyme."

Dessert featured Louisa's Cake, a lovely lemon ricotta cake and Roasted Applesauce with Sage. Sage is a dry earthy flavor, also considered savory, spicy, and perhaps astringent. It blended well with the delicious variety of apples in the applesauce.
We look forward to welcoming Debbie and her culinary talents to our team of presenters for the upcoming new year. Flat breads in March and Grain Bowls in May are a few specialty classes to look forward to when our schedule is updated! Thanks, Debbie. We enjoyed your easy style of presentation, the flavorful combination of delicious Mediterranean herbs, and the abundance of sharing hints and tips regarding using seasonal foods and culinary herbs.

Friday, October 9, 2020


We recently received a beautiful bowl of ripe figs from a friend. In the background of this photo is our fig tree and if you look closely, you can see that our figs are growing, but still very green. As the temperatures continue to drop, there is no way the green figs will be ripe enough for us to enjoy, making this beautiful and tasty gift extra special.
Deciding what creative dish to utilize these beauties was next on the agenda. The internet is a wonderful thing, and a source for many different recipes. I happened upon a relatively easy recipe, and one that consisted of ingredients I had on hand. Fig Preserves: chop a pint of fresh ripe figs (approx. 15 small figs). Place in a stainless steel pan with 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. honey, and 1/2 c. water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, reduce heat and simmer 15 - 25 min. until the mixture reduces and thickens. Remove from heat, cool, and add 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice. Pour into a glass container and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

We have enjoyed serving the fig preserves in the tea room this week. Little miniature tartlets were filled with soft brie and topped with the fresh fig preserves as a savory alongside tea sandwiches. We have also served the fig preserves with sweet cream to be enjoyed with oven fresh English cream scones. What a lovely fall treat with special thanks to DM for this beautiful gift.