Thursday, June 29, 2023

An Afternoon Tea to Celebrate Summer

We welcomed the arrival of summer with a celebratory tea prepared by guest chef Faith Cohick. We are so pleased that Faith is working with the tea room to create her unique and colorful tea menus. We love all the special touches she introduces with her menu, and all the festive flavors she incorporates into her menu. The floral notecard included a hand written menu that announced the deliciousness yet to come. 
The first course began with a Berry Broccoli Salad with Poppyseed Dressing. Guests were able to select their own flavors of tea from the extensive tea list offered by the tea room. Strawberry Cream Green was popular, as was Harney & Sons' Peaches and Ginger blend.

The sandwich plate included a colorful umbrella atop a Ham and Cheese Sandwich on a miniature potato roll, Asiago Bacon & Tomato Crostini, Cucumber and Chive Butter Flower, Mini Caprese Cup, Veggie Patch Crescent Bar, Strawberry Chicken Salad, and a Mascarpone Tart with strawberry Jalapeno Jam. What a fun variety! Colorful, flavorful, and summery!

The next course included a slice of Lemon Blueberry Bread and a warm Lime Poppyseed White Chocolate Scone. These were accompanied with Cherry Jam and Sweetened Whipped Cream alongside fresh seasonal fruit.
And the dessert trio included an Almond Cherry Shortbread Bar, Lemon White Chocolate Macaroon, and a Piña Colada Cookie Cup.
Special thanks to Faith for her Celebrate Summer menu. And additional thanks to her behind the scenes helpers, Robin and Sharon. Their help in the kitchen and tea room is appreciated.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

"Peter Rabbit & Mr. McGregor Have a Tea"

Members of the Penn Cumberland Garden Club coordinate and host an annual herb tea. This was the 58th Annual Bertha P. Reppert Herb Tea, an event inspired by Bertha Reppert in an effort to bring herbs to the forefront. It takes a committee of dedicated women, plus the many members of the club that volunteer to prepare the tea party menu. On the day of the event, it's all hands on deck. The theme this year was 'Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor Have a Tea'. It is true that 'herbs make the difference', and combined with fresh veggies and unique twists on favorite recipes, a delicious afternoon tea was enjoyed by all.
Kudos to the Chairman of the Tea, Terri Maclay. A long standing member of the club, and a very talented floral designer, Terri's touches could be found in the beautiful displays executed to elicit thoughts of farmer McGregor's garden.

  • The Herb Tea Party Menu 
Orzo Salad 
Carrots & Raisin Pineapple & Mint Salad
Peas and Mint Crostini
Beet Rubens
Asparagus Roll ups
Celery-Protein Peanut Butter Bites
Radish Butter with Pita chips
Brown Bread Scones with currants
Zucchini Spice Cake
Rosemary Pound Cake Trifles
Easy Oreo Mint Truffles
Chamomile Shortbread Cookies
Thumbprint Cookies with Elderberry Jam
The Orzo Salad was individually cupped and served in a gardener's wooden carryall.

Brown Bread Scones with Currants were served with Marmalade. And Thumbprint Cookies featured Elderberry Jam centers.

Once everyone was through the buffet line, the Afternoon Tea plate looked something like this. Such a beautiful array of colors and quite a variety of veggies were represented. Each member receives a recipe booklet that includes all the recipes along with hints and tips about herbs. This particular booklet included 'Mr. McGregor's Garden Tips', and occasional quotes from the story book; "First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes."
The guest speaker for this event was Erica Shaffer, the Wildly Crafted Woman. Erica presented a program about herbs found in the garden entitled "the Rabbit Whispers Herb Secrets to Mr. McGregor".  As Erica talked about each herb, it was passed around the room for members to see and sniff each fragrant plant.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Mechanicsburg Memorabilia Benefit Sale

On Thursday, June 15, 2023, (Jubilee Day) we hosted a sale of our parent's collection of Mechanicsburg memorabilia in Sweet Remembrances Tea Room. All proceeds of the sale will go into the Bertha and Byron L. Reppert Scholarship fund which has benefited two (or more) MASH students annually since 2002. The fund is found within the This sale included a variety of vintage authentic collectibles, plus a collection of Eva M. Williams watercolor prints, some framed and ready to hang. 

Representing the local fire companies, we have a Rescue Hook & Ladder shadow box, 1900s framed Rescue Hook & Ladder #1, a 1907 Mechanicsburg Centennial shadow box, and assorted postcards.
Irving Female College: 1900s postcard sets of the college, loose and single 1900s postcards, 1927 Brochure and some miscellany
Mechanicsburg School District treasures include yearbooks from 1964, 1970, and 2015. A few maroon 'M' sports letters from 1971, framed 1900s Simpson Street High School, 1960s Junior High award ribbons, and 1960s Junior High handbooks, plus more!

From the business district, there is a 1st Bank and Trust money bag, a box from The Ryan Store, Diehl's Drug store labels on bottle, a 1976 Tapestry of Mechanicsburg, and a 2013 artistic map of town. Booklets from Rotary and the VFW, and fans from Myers funeral home. plus a variety of postcards. 




Jubilee Day (the largest, longest running one day street fair on the East coast) is represented with 16 original artful postcards of this unique downtown event, some hand cancelled from 1991, 1994, and 1995. Includes original photos, and a 1970s 2nd place ribbon.

Town churches are included in the collection with original 1900s postcards of the 1st Evangelical United Brethren, 1st United Methodist Church, St. Mark's Lutheran Church, and St. Luke's Episcopal Church. There is a shadow box representing the 1907 Mechanicsburg Centennial, and a cookbook from Trinity Lutheran Church, plus more!
This sale has ended. We raised $700, and the entirety will be put into the Bertha & Byron L. Reppert Scholarship Fund to further support seniors at Mechanicsburg Area High School. Thank you to everyone that joined us this past Jubilee Day. We appreciate the response to our Mechanicsburg Memorabilia Benefit Sale.

Wendy's Pantry and the Country Mouse Tea House

Our second opportunity to take tea while on vacation was at the Country Mouse Tea House in Mount Morris, NY while heading back to home base. This casual tea house is on the main drag where there are many antique shops to check out, too. Wendy's Pantry is on one side, and the Tea House is on the other side, and they are connected so you can easily pass from one to the other. The combination of country store and casual tea house is perfect for this little community. The country store offers candies, jellies, mustards, assorted beans, and chocolates. We managed to find a few goodies to bring home.

Assorted tea time trinkets filled curio cabinets, and a variety of tables and chairs composed the tea room.
We each had our own color coordinated place setting; pinks, blues, yellows, or greens.

A varied selection of teas were offered (some loose, some teabags), and we each had our own little pot that was covered with colorful knitted cozies. Susanna's college roommate and life long best friend, Betsy (from Rochester, NY), met us there to enjoy her first afternoon tea experience.

The tiered tray held a nice variety of tea time treats. Chocolate chip scones and scones laden with craisins were on the top tier, served with cream, lemon curd and two varieties of jelly. The middle tier featured the sandwiches which included a Caprese sandwich with mozzarella, tomato, and fresh basil on a tasty round bun (a favorite). The petite bun held multiple slices of cucumber, And a warm frittata rounded out the sandwich selection. Dessert featured assorted flavors of macarons, a jam tartlet, and a miniature petit four.

The perfect ending to our weekend getaway! 

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Afternoon Tea - Prince of Wales Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara-on-the-Lake is a unique community approximately half an hour from Niagara Falls. This town has a wide variety of shops to visit, bakeries to sample local treats, and window shopping galore. Crowded during a holiday weekend, but still fun to visit, it is a popular travel destination. Our agenda included a visit to the Niagara Apothecary on Queen Street (an authentic museum restoration of an 1869 apothecary), and to savor Afternoon Tea in The Drawing Room at the Prince of Wales Hotel, a historic Victorian hotel built in 1864. 
There are several dining options available at the Prince of Wales Hotel, but it was the Afternoon Tea that interested our small family group. This view is looking into The Drawing Room where the Afternoon Tea is held, from a small vestibule in the hotel. Fresh flowers adorned the hotel.

Ornately framed pictures of royalty grace the halls throughout the hotel, shown below, Queen Victoria.
There are several options for their tea service, the traditional Afternoon Tea, The Prince of Wales Tea, The Royal Tea, the Monarch Tea, and the Princess/Prince Tea for the young folk and the High Royal Highness Tea which includes a charcuterie tray and scotch. We mixed and matched a few of the tea options. One of the options included a fruit and cheese plate featuring Canadian cheeses. We selected two of those to share, and opted to enjoy them as an appetizer. It was a very nice variety of fresh fruit and four different selections of flavorful cheeses. 
 We also selected the tea option that included a choice of Kir Royale or a Mimosa. Since this was a special destination tea for us, we added the Kir Royale to our Afternoon Tea. Individual pots of tea were included, and we each selected our favorites. Shortly after we finished the fruit, cheese and crackers, the tiered trays arrived, laden with a nice variety of hearty sandwiches, scones, and dessert.

The bottom tray, laden with tea sandwiches, included two cucumber sandwiches on white bread, an avocado and tomato on a flat bread, two petite salmon triangles, chicken salad on a croissant, and egg salad. A large scone with jasmine tea infused sultanas and served with cream fraiche, butter, and strawberry preserves was on the middle tray alongside a bourbon cream puff. 

The top tier of the tray held assorted flavors of macarons, a shortbread cookie, and a miniature crumb cake along with additional fresh fruit garnish. It was a very nice Afternoon Tea, and we left with a small box of leftover desserts to enjoy later. The décor in the Drawing Room fit the theme for afternoon tea with assorted silver tea pots in the corner cupboard, and a variety of tea pots and cups on a vintage oriental cupboard. 

And since we had some extra time before our reservations for tea, we walked around the gift shops, and we enjoyed a horse drawn carriage ride around the quaint town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Niagara Falls - Canada and USA

This past weekend we journeyed to Niagara Falls. The majority of the time we spent on the Canadian side of the falls; enjoying the rushing sounds of the never ending cascading waters, the mist in the air, the crowds of visitors, and the overall beauty of this wondrous and majestic natural site. It is listed as one of the seven natural wonders of North America.

Our exploration of the falls took us underground as we traversed several tunnels as we explored the 'Journey Behind the Falls'.

This was on the White Water Walk, on the Canadian side glancing over to the United States. An easy fifteen minute walk along the rapids was calming and relaxing.

After the White Water Walk, we found our way to the Whirlpool Aero Car that shuttled us out over the falls for a glimpse of the whirlpool. We explored the falls every way imaginable! And on our last day, we headed to the America side to see the beauty from a different angle.
It was our unanimous decision that we preferred the American side for several reasons. We loved the abundant natural green space to explore. The lands were maintained in their natural form rather than being overdeveloped. Although there were a lot of tourists, they were spread out so it didn't feel so crowded. The touristy aspect of the falls was not 'in your face' on the American side. In addition, although the panoramic views are spectacular on the Canadian side, the American side offers the opportunity to be up close and personal beside the waters, and offers a 'rush' that you don't feel when standing in Ontario.