Saturday, September 24, 2016

My Country, 'Tis of Tea — Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home of so many things I'd like to see: The Liberty Bell, Gettysburg and Valley Forge, and my friend Nancy's tearoom, Sweet Remembrances. (I've met Nancy in person but have not yet had the pleasure of visiting her famous tearoom.) So could I learn anything new about Pennsylvania and tea this week?

• The Pennsylvania governor and his wife were teatime guests of the president in 1937. According to the Library of Congress website entry accompanying this image, on September 14, 1937, “The governor and Mrs. George Earle were tea-time guests of President Roosevelt at the White House today.” (And doesn’t Mrs. Earle look stunning?) It seems that no matter who is in the White House, teatime never goes out of style there. Thank goodness!

 In his legendary book “All About Tea,” William Ukers includes a list of what he calls “tea surrogates,” including "Pennsylvania tea." Ukers notes, “Oswego, or Pennsylvania, tea is made from Monarda didyma, a perennial of the mint family, Labiatae.” A) Have you ever heard of Pennsylvania tea? I had not. B) For years I have wanted a copy of “All About Tea,” but it is quite pricey (currently $145 for the 2007 reprint on Amazon). Imagine my delight in discovering this 1935 book is now available *free* as a download on Google Play. Go here if you’d like to download it for yourself.

• In my year of featuring vintage tearoom postcards a while back, I found one for the Dutch Cupboard Tea House in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This card is one I like both because it's a linen postcard and because it shows both the exterior and interior of the tea room. The back of the card tells us what was served here: "Schnitz un Knepp (apple slices and dumplings with ham), Shoofly pie, homemade bread and other Dutch dishes. I believe I would have enjoyed the "homelike atmosphere" here, and I'll bet many of you would have too!


  1. I had never heard of Oswego tea by either name - and I will be checking out that book!

  2. day perhaps you could come here and stay a little bit then we could both head on over to the big ole state to my right, Pennsylvania...........

    Informative and interesting post!

  3. The book looks beautiful and sounds wonderful ♥

  4. My favorite place for afternoon tea in Pennsylvania is Nancy Reppert's Sweet Remembrances in Mechanicsburg.


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