Saturday, February 13, 2016

WWII German Hospital Recreation

This German Army Hospital was one of the first of the educational displays that we entered.  While the American's had better use of antibiotics such as penicillin, the Germans had a better grasp of anti-bacterial and used honey liberally to pack wounds. The metal display on the top left was surgical equipment that was engineered to collapse down into that box on the floor.  The metal trays were all colanders so that they could dip trays, tools and all in alcohol for sterilization.

Samples of German medical supplies. Many of which were plant based.
The pharmacist demonstrated how pills were made. The herbs such as chamomile were finely ground in a mortar and pestle and pounded into a paste. He showed the pill roller and measurements as well.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 16, 1944 - Jan. 25, 1945)

Recently, we went to a WWII Battle of the Bulge Reenactment. In the morning we watched the troops and equipment head off into the "Ardennes of Pennsylvania".  
While the troops were out in the battlefield, digging in, we walked around the barracks.   
The barracks of Fort Indiantown Gap Military Institution are pre-1940 and serve as a perfect backdrop for the re-enactors.  Re-enactors were there from up and down the east coast.  Paratroopers, Canadian troops, Scottish Units, and of course, German and American Divisions. Some would be practicing marching or being held for inspection. Others were in the barracks cleaning weapons, cooking meals. All were available for answering questions about this key winter time engagement. We appreciated all the attention to detail and authenticity and we learned a lot about WWII.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Scotch Eggs - Guest Blog Post

We are pleased to welcome Judy Larkin of The Larkin Tea Company, LLC as our guest blogger today. Judy prepared the Scotch Eggs for the pot luck luncheon held earlier this week. She has graciously offered to share her recipe and a bit of the history of Scotch Eggs. These are perfect for High Tea or a quick snack!

Fortnum & Masons, the famous London department store, claims to have invented Scotch eggs. In the 1730s, Fortnum’s had to create foods to suit its wealthy customers, whose far-flung country estates could only be reached by long-distance coach rides. Portable snacks were in demand, so Fortnum’s came up with a number of ideas, including wrapping a hard-boiled egg – which in those days was probably a pullet’s egg – in sausage meat and coating it in fried breadcrumbs. Substantial, tasty and full of protein, it was an excellent way to stave off hunger pangs. They claim that the name has nothing to do with Scotland; ‘scotched’ was merely another word for ‘processed’.

Another explanation is that the recipe originated in the Lowlands of Scotland, and was made by poor farmers who would have kept chickens and pigs. It was a poor man’s lunch produced from leftovers that were easy to carry.
Scotch eggs can be served hot with gravy at high tea, or cold as a snack. It is perhaps as a snack that they are known best, since Scotch eggs are often featured as pub grub being served with a green salad, piccalilli or pickled walnuts. Also makes great picnic food.

My version is perfect for those of us who are wheat and gluten intolerant. Unlike many gluten-free recipes, it actually tastes good.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes   Cooking Time: 10 minutes
8 large eggs (obviously using medium eggs would make more scotch eggs.)
1 lb. ground pork sausage meat
½ tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or parsley or
½ teaspoon rubbed dried sage
¼ teaspoon dried sweet marjoram
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
½ cup dried breadcrumbs* or panko breadcrumbs (might take more breadcrumbs)
Cooking Spray

Boil the eggs for 10-12 minutes, and then cool under cold running water. Carefully peel off the shells and put whole eggs on one side to cool.  Can prepare ahead of time.

Put sausage meat into a large bowl. Add next seven ingredients and work into the sausage meat with hands. Divide into eight equal amounts.

Make a coating for each egg. Flatten and then make a patty with the sausage meat. Work it around the egg with wet hands to completely cover with an even layer.
Lightly dust the sausage coating with flour.

Roll the sausage coated eggs in the beaten egg, and then in dried breadcrumbs to evenly cover.
Two methods to cook:
1)     Preheat oven to 450° F.  Mist each egg with cooking spray and arrange on baking sheet.  Can also place on cookie sheet within baking sheet so the eggs do not sit in grease.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and the sausage is cooked through. 

2)       Heat the oil to 350-375°F. Carefully put in 2-3 eggs at a time and deep fry for 4-5 minutes until they turn a deep golden color. Turn as they cook so eggs brown evenly. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on crumpled kitchen towel and repeat with the remaining eggs.

Eat cold, halved lengthwise. Beware: Do not try to freeze.
* Can use Hol Grain Coating Mix, a Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free and MSG Free Product

Judy Larkin, Certified Tea Specialist
The Larkin Tea Co. LLC
545 Warm Springs Avenue
Martinsburg, WV 25404
Tel: 304-707-0142

Follow Judy on Twitter.
Find Larkin Tea on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association Winter Meeting

Recently, members of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association gathered at Sweet Remembrances for a winter meeting. This meeting was coordinated as a 'pot luck' luncheon in the off chance the meeting would have to be cancelled because of snow. Fortunately, the weather cooperated, and tea business professionals from PA, NJ, MD, and WV enjoyed an interesting afternoon. Susanna representing The Rosemary House and Nancy from Sweet Remembrances hosted the welcoming reception that featured oven fresh scones including Traditional English Cream and Lemon Pecan. Assorted toppings and Fresh Fruit completed the morning fare.

Once all the members gathered, Lora Andrews of Cup Tea Bar and Cafe in Westminster, MD presented an interesting program on Tea Latte Preparations. She demonstrated the preparation of tea lattes including a variety of different flavors such as Vanilla Mint, Russian Caravan with a lapsang souchong tea base, and London Fog that featured Earl Grey de la Creme. We were able to sample each tea latte, proclaiming them all very tasty.

The pot-luck luncheon included an amazing assortment of delicious treats. Mike & Deborah Raab from Tea for All shared Matcha Shots and Black Bean Sliders with Matcha basil aioli. Lin Henry of Tickle Your Fancy Tea brought Savory Palmiers with a basil pesto sauce. We sampled a flavorful Tortellini Salad that Barb Will of Sugar Grove Antiques provided. 
Judy & Bill Larkin from The Larkin Tea Company offered Scotch Eggs and Jam Tarts. Lora Andrews from Cup, and her mother Jo Fleck from Gypsy's Tea Room made Rosemary Chicken Salad Sandwiches, a Sweet Beet Salad, and Shortbread Cookies. Amy Myers from Dollies Tea Room shared a Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Feta Cheese and her assistant Terri Firestein brought a Chocolate Brownie Truffle Dessert. Kathleen Hippeli from One Steep at a Thyme celebrated Chinese New Year with Lo Mein Noodles and Pot Stickers. Heart shaped pineapple pecan sandwiches were prepared by Janet Young from Over the Teacup .
What a delicious feast we had! 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Downton Abbey Teas - Sweet Remembrances

The silver is polished and the aprons are starched! Preparations are under way for the Downton Abbey 'farewell tea' to be celebrated at Nancy Reppert's Sweet Remembrances Tea Room, Mechanicsburg, PA. Reservations are now being accepted, and you don't want to wait any longer to reserve your seat!

All the elegance associated with the upper class awaits you at this very special event.

Our featured speaker for this event, Jennifer Nesbitt of Penn State (York campus) will discuss where we leave the Crawley family and their assorted staff. We'll travel back in time when the series began with the sinking of the Titanic, include the transformations wrought by the Great War, and we'll consider the wisdom of ending the series with New Year's Day, 1926, Drawing on literature and history, Dr. Nesbitt will show how the opulent tapestry of events are woven into a larger social, political and cultural pattern of the early twentieth-century.

Won't you join us for this farewell event?
Thursday April 7th from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm or, 
Sunday April 10th from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. 
Fee, including the elegant Afternoon Tea, Program, Taxes and Gratuity is $45.00/person. 
Contact Susanna (717.697.5111) to pre-register.

"We should always be polite to people who are kind. There's not enough of it about." - Mrs. Patmore

"People grow up and move away and things change." - Lady Mary

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Downton Abbey Tea - Stegmaier Mansion

Table settings in the various dining rooms at the Frederick Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre, PA were dripping in regal elegance. A Downton Abbey themed tea to a sold out crowd was hosted in this opulent mansion on a Sunday afternoon in January. Held mid-afternoon, there was plenty of time to return home to settle in with another pot of tea and watch an episode of the final season of this popular show.

We were seated in the Library (photo, left). The little boxes located at each end of the table held an eclectic assortment of tea bags including an abundance of herbal blends. Pots of hot water were brought to each table to pour your own tea. More hot water was added to the pot upon request.
We were seated with several women that were from the Jim Thorpe/Frackville area of PA. They were familiar with Rosemary Remembrances II, our sister's gift shop and guest lodging located in Jim Thorpe. As they also enjoy visiting various tea rooms, we were happy to discuss tea room adventures with them.

The first course included florette shaped Lemon Poppyseed Scones served with a dollop of Devon cream, lemon curd, and a large cup of whipped cream. In addition a petite cranberry muffin rounded out the plate.

Fresh green salad topped with olives, tomatoes, feta cheese and a house vinaigrette was served next.

The hearty entree included an egg salad sandwich on a croissant, cucumber with watercress on pumpernickel bread, turkey and gherkin sandwich, and a beef sirloin shepard's pie.

The vegetarian option included a butternut squash and carrot bisque, egg salad on the croissant and two cucumber sandwiches on pumpernickel.

The final course featured a raspberry, peach, and ice cream compote, chocolate eclair, miniature Madeleine and a Lemon cake topped with a Daisy or Rose embellishment.
And special kudos to our apprentice driver for getting us safely to our destination and back home again. Four hours of expressway driving under her belt in one day.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Frederick Stegmaier Mansion, Wilkes Barre, PA

A recent Sunday afternoon adventure took us to The Frederick Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre, PA. A two-hour journey north, it was a perfect day for a drive. This stately mansion is a Bed & Breakfast, a wedding venue, and a destination for special events. We were excited to be attending their sold-out Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea. We were originally on the 'wait-list' but fortunately for us, a large group dropped out!

Many guests dressed for the event in their most elegant attire. It was fun to turn the corner just as these lovely ladies were arriving. They were most happy to pose for a photo.

It truly is a step back in time as you enter the master foyer. The tea was scheduled to begin at 2:00, but the doors opened at 1:30 allowing some extra time to meander throughout the first floor of the mansion which is dripping with grandeur and opulence.

The ceiling in the Library
Lady Angelica 

The mansion seats 60 guests throughout the many rooms with seating in the dining room, the library, the ladies parlor, and the gentlemen's parlor. Each room more beautiful than the previous one.

Be sure to look up, down and all around as there was no detail overlooked by the interior designer.

An article about this event and additional photographs recently appeared in the local Times Leader publication.

If you are in the area, upcoming events held at the Frederick Stegmaier Mansion are announced on their Facebook page.

It was a girls day out, and we were eager and ready to enjoy the Downton Abbey themed tea in the Library. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Girl Scout Cookie Time!

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time again and today begins the kick off day to order your favorite cookies from your favorite Girl Scout. March 2015 saw the introduction of these two unique Bigelow teas inspired by two favorite Girl Scout cookies, Caramel & Coconut, a black tea and Thin Mints, a herbal tea! The publicity surrounding these teas say they are available for a limited time only, so I'm not sure if they are still available in your area, but we recently had the opportunity to sample them. They capture the basic flavors associated with the cookies, and none of the calories! It's a good way to indulge without actually eating the entire box of thin mints (please tell me I'm not the only one that has ever done that). If you want to order Girl Scout Cookies, information and details can be found on the GS website beginning with helping you locate a cookie booth by entering your zip code, or featuring instructions for ordering off the Internet from a Girl Scout you know, or downloading their App. Scouting has certainly come a long way since my day.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Traveling Teapot - 2009

The Traveling Teapot that we shared in the previous two posts featured a Doctor Who theme. We did not participate in the actual exchange of the teapot this go round. We did however, participate in the original Traveling Teapot escapade in 2009. The teapot was a traditional blue teapot which we hosted in August. Since the first day of school was pending, we held a last day of summer tea party at the picnic table. It was a fun time, enjoyed by all. Check out the blog post here. That was then...
and this is now.... #Blizzard2016. Can you find the picnic table? It's right in the center of the photo, under a mound of snow. Every time I check the weather report, they bump up the snow prediction amounts. Originally predicted to be 6" - 12", now it stands at 24" - 30". Officially: 36.9".

Friday, January 22, 2016

Traveling Teapot Blog Party

A surprise package arrived earlier this week with an invitation to join the Traveling Teapot Blog Party featured on the Afternoon Tea Across America blog. A Tardis shaped teapot has been crisscrossing the United States in search of new adventures. It has recently landed in CA, and the hostess for this month, Martha, coordinated this unique blog party across America. 

Martha provided tea from Adagio called The Tardis BluesThis loose leaf tea is a combination of oolong and black teas with colorful additions of cornflowers and safflowers. A touch of rosehips and a hint of hibiscus add a third dimension of flavor to this lovely brew. Almond, passion fruit, and blueberry round out the flavors. The tea was placed in a Tardis shaped strainer and brewed at 212 degrees for 5 minutes.

The tea party in a box also contained some little nibbles to enjoy during the party. The Doctor's favorite Jammie Dodger, a popular English shortbread cookie with a flavored jam filling, was tucked in the box. Such a special treat to sample a traditional English biscuit. Yum! The Jammie Dodger is the round cookie shown in the photo below. An assortment of freshly baked scones were added to our tea party since our Whovian always comes home from school with a hungry appetite. The other little goodie tucked in the box were Jelly Babies, another favorite of the Doctor.
What a delightful afternoon we had! Sharing about the traveling teapot, enjoying a calming pot of tea, and watching the first snowflakes fall as we hunker down for what looks to be The Blizzard of 2016.