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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

15 years...and still going!!

   Tomorrow marks the beginning of our 16th year!!! We've come a L-O-N-G way!! There have been some changes along the way...all for the better!! Some things have stayed the same, though...we still make everything, on premise, from scratch. We still make all of our soups, the famous quiche, the chicken salad and egg salad...all done on sight! All of our baking is done right here...probably while you're eating lunch, since I, rarely, turn the ovens off before 3:00!! The cakes, brownies, cookies, and, of course, our famous scones...all done right here, everyday!! We still do our Sunday Brunch, Country Inn style, just like we've always done. However, we've added Sunday supper and Friday night bistro-style supper, too! We no longer have seating in the back room...which has gotten a few comments, but I needed more room (still do!!!) We have changed the gift shops into quite a destination!!! We sold merchandise that was heading for New Zealand, this week!!! You will still find great food and baked goods, wonderful and unique gift items, a special atmosphere and all of your friends...and, of course, me, my husband and my daughters!!! There have been changes along the way...but some things will never change! Thank you for 15 great years!!! Our wonderful and loyal customers make our business the success it is!!

ice cream treats...

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream....We spent a little time re-doing the candy and sweet treats area, yesterday afternoon. I have some great dishes for ice cream and banana splits so we moved them into the center. It is ice cream season...and it's been so hot, I think people dream of ice cream in this kind of weather! There is no reason not to have "stylish" ice cream...makes it taste even better!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Not so hot...

         I don't feel too hot, today!! This is the pits! I have so many things I'd like to get done...but just don't have the energy!! I've been reading through some cookbooks...I always get new ideas when I do that!! I can't just waste a whole day!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Breakfast by the light of the moon

            This has been a very long, hot week!! A little relief would be nice! We have ladies night, tonight, and it's my turn to host, again. We picked out "themes" for dinner, this year...for something different. When I hosted in January, I had Mexican food...tonight it's "Breakfast". This one is easy...which is good, because the heat from this week is really taking a toll on me and I'm exhausted!! It is also my youngest daughter's birthday month...but instead of cake, I think I'll make sticky buns and put them on a plate to look like a cake...she will be very excited about that! I'm also planning some sort of frosty coffee beverage...she'll be in heaven!!! Frosty coffee beverages are her favorite thing...she has a hard time finding GOOD ones...no one seems to understand how to make them...she always says we should make them at the shop...but I can't do everything...so I'll make them for her birthday "breakfast"!!! Tonight is full moon...heaven help us!! It's called the strawberry moon...but it's still a full moon, no matter what you call it!!! This is promising to be an interesting day!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jingle Bells???

 My Grandson turned 4 months old, today! It's hard to believe it was 4 months ago, already!! We got to spend quite a bit of time at the hospital, right after he was born, because we were in the middle of a snowstorm...and it was pointless to be open...so we went to the hospital and spent time with him. Today...4 months later, it was hot as blazes!!Remarkable!... We are also marking another milestone, today...6 months ago you all were doing whatever it is you do on Christmas Eve!! 6 months ago...6 months to go!!! Crazy how time flies...just remember..it's never too early to start your Christmas shopping!!! It was a LONG, HOT day, I'm beat...and going to bed..night all!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Outhouse...for my tools!!!

My outhouse toolshed...my husband finished it on Monday!! We had the front porch of the shop restored last year, and he kept the porch floorboards. He used them to build this for me!! We had an outhouse toolshed, before, but it wasn't looking very good...so he decided to build a new one! It turned into quite a project! There were wasps inside and ground hornets underneath the old one...and then the bluebirds started to build their nest in the birdhouse 10 feet away!!! We were sure we would scare them if he kept building...but it needed to get done! It's all built and the mommy bluebird is sitting on eggs...all is well!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New things for baby...

    A little while ago I ordered some new merchandise. There's nothing new there...but some of the companies I ordered from were new. I asked for it to be delivered this month so that I had some fresh, new things to make the gift shop look good. We are kind of between seasons...almost past summer (you have most of what you need by this time...) and not at all up to fall (although some came in today...all priced and ready to go!!) So I was looking for some "different" things! One of my reps has a company that has some of the cutest things for babies...so I ordered some of the line. It came in today and it is SO cute!! There are birthday crowns that say first birthday on them...and bibs and socks for the birthday boy or girl, too! They have this big, plastic bottle with 18 "pages" inside...you write things, on one page, each birthday...when your baby turns 18 they can read all about themselves! What a great shower gift!! Then there are bibs and hats that make the baby look like a snowman when they are wearing them!!! and hats and blankets for the Holidays, too!!! I also got some of their toys and booties with rattles in the toes, when the baby kicks their feet they rattle!!! That took up most of my late morning...I had to find a place for all of it. It looks good, and I am pleased with the quality and design of everything...I'm interested to see what the reaction will be to all of it! Hopefully, everyone likes it as much as I do!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

First day of Summer!

Happy First Day of Summer!! Wow ...it was a hot weekend!!! I love the shop and what I do....but, this kind of heat and cooking and baking all day is an exhausting combination!!! However, today is Monday...and I have off...and my pool awaits!! Today is the Summer solstice. It is the longest day of the year (it stays light the longest...) After today, the days start to get shorter!! I can't believe June is almost over..get out there and enjoy your summer! Before you know it the sweaters and new backbacks will be in the stores (if they're not already!!!) I am going out to weed, weed, weed...it has started to get away from me!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Time goes so fast....

           We have a Mother and daughter who come in for lunch, every year, on the last day of school. They have been doing this since the daughter started school...she was a freshman this year!! At one point I looked out into the dining room, in between finishing my orders, and saw them! I had just been wondering when I would see them, and there they were! I went out and asked her how old she was now...and her Mom said "we only have 3 more years to do this! Boy does it go fast! My own youngest turns 23 today...she was 7 when we opened the shop!! We have seen so many kids grow up, graduate, get married...15 years in business is quite an accomplishment...and being a part (important part in some cases) of SO MANY families is awesome, and a real plus!! We are about to start our 16th year in business...so many new "sweet memories" await!! Happy Birthday Allyssa!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some more tarts...

       I made another batch of tarts, this morning...I was afraid of running out! There was such a response, on facebook, that I was sure I was going to disappoint too many people!!! We sold out...but I did my best! We picked the berry bushes clean...it will take a couple of days for more to ripen. I might just make some plain blueberry while we wait!!! Those darn chocolate chip cookies sold out in record time, again, too!! They love all of our "big" cookies...but the chocolate chip are the winners (most of the time...) It's almost Friday again, already. Thinking about the menu for tomorrow night! Friday nights have really become very popular...so have Sunday nights and I have the extra pressure of Father's Day weekend....hopefully, the menus start coming to me, so I can think about other things!! I'm going to play with some other new recipes I found, tomorrow...I'm focusing on Ice Box pies...they don't have to be baked and are very summer-y...it's supposed to be hot as *&%$ again this weekend...but you would never guess that, tonight...it's very breezy and kind of chilly! This has been a very strange Spring!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Time for pie...

         We went out, very early, this morning and picked the black raspberries. I had a nice amount, but I had posted my intentions on facebook, last night, and had quite a response. I also had some requests...so I combined our black raspberries with purchased raspberries and made a custard pie. Then I added blueberries to the remainder and made blueberry/black raspberry tarts. This made the "harvest" go further. They are chilling right now and will be in the case first thing tomorrow morning!! I love to make pies...it's just very time consuming. I had quite a few other orders, today, so it was a little tricky trying to get everthing done...but I really wanted to make them!!! I, also LOVE to make bread...but that doesn't usually fit into my schedule, either. That's what happens when you go from doing something because you love it, to doing it for a living. It's no longer a hobby...there is a schedule to follow. I love what I do, and wouldn't change it for the world. Although, sometimes, I'd like to have some time for PIE (and bread, too...) Today, I had some time. Tomorrow, my customers will be happy!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I hope we are helping...

        Big baking day, again, today...I don't think I've ever sold out of chocolate chip cookies that fast!!! I've got alot to do tomorrow, too. We have black raspberries growing on the fence in front of the orchard...I think I'm going to make some tarts with them. I need to get up early(er) and pick them before we leave for work. I didn't think I'd get any...expected the birds to get them first!! There are quite a few on the canes...I'll let you know how the tarts turned out!! One of my customers, who just lost her husband, came in for lunch. I feel so badly for her. I wish there were more that I could do to help. SO many of our customers are like family...it's hard to see them go through tough times. I think it helps when they get out with friends...so I guess we are helping in our own way. I'm going to go and watch my bluebird couple a little bit before it gets dark!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bluebirds are moving in!!

There are bluebirds in the house!!! This house is right in the middle of our herb garden...very close to our house! I was really excited to get them to come in and eat out of their feeder...but really thought getting them to come in from their houses in our orchard and live in the garden was just a dream!! Well, dreams DO come true!! We have been watching them (and taking pictures) all morning...I am SOOO excited!! The funny thing about this is that we put this house up a couple of summers ago. It was very expensive...but I love it!!! My husband put it on an antique porch post, and used old spindles as supports. The following summer, one of our woodpeckers "drilled" a new hole in it!!! The 8 holes (and cavities) weren't enough!! I WAS SO MAD (I have since forgiven the woodpecker) but, that is the entrance the bluebirds are using!!! I think that is pretty funny!!! But...whatever works!!! My husband had planned on working on my "outhouse" potting shed, today. However, it's only a few feet away from all of this activity and I don't want to scare them away!!! So, he's doing what he can out back for now!! I'll keep you posted on this amazing adventure!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Great hats!!!

         We had our Fairy Garden Tea party, today!!! It was alot of fun..and we had some VERY creative hats!!! We had three little ones in attendance, and TWO fairies!!! You can't ask for more than that!!! We gave out prizes for the prettiest, funniest and craziest hats. One of the hats was "chirping"...and one looked like a jellyfish!! The sorting hat (from Harry Potter) was there...but all decorated with flowers!!! That one got the funniest. The jellyfish got the craziest! It was alot of fun, and we will make this a yearly thing! There were an awful lot of flashes going off...great photo opportunity!! I must say, though, I'm beat!! 60 cupcakes, 15 dozen giant cookies all on top of my usual Saturday baking duties makes a long day!! It all got done...and I lived to tell about it!!!! I hope all of the celebrations that we were a part of (in a round about way) were wonderful!!! I'm done!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Stuff...New Look!!!

            We ripped the kitchen(at the shop) apart, yesterday and redid the whole thing...I got some great new things in and needed to spotlight them. It's always a big job...but it always looks really good when it's all done. It's like decorating for the Holidays at your house...you wonder why you do it to yourself...and then it's all done and actually looks a little magical...and you are thrilled with the results and wonder why you would ever consider NOT doing it!!! I don't think I would go as far as saying it looks magical...but it looks good and I'm happy with the new merchandise!! I ordered these drinking glasses that are made of Italian glass. They were a customer favorite the last time we had them. I also ordered dishes that look like old agate and these tall, skinny refrigerator pitchers...you could use them for milk or juice...they are really cool and very vintage!! We have all kinds of new stuff that we've gotten in the last few days...jewelry, things for the garden, new lamps, notecards, recipe cards...the gift shops look great! We have a very busy weekend ahead of us, too. Hopefully everyone likes the new merchandise!!! There is still more coming, too! That's why it's a good idea to come and see us often!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Lunch to remember...

          We are having a rain day. No 60 mile an hour winds...no torrential downpours...no dangerous lightning strikes...no tornado warnings...just rain! We needed this...all of my plants needed this, the grass needed this, my herbs and my fairy garden, the seedlings that are coming up and the things I transplanted...all needed this! Do you know what I DIDN'T need?? The electricity to go out while there were still quite a few tables eating their lunch!! When we called the electric company, their explanation was a fire???!!! I'm still not sure of the details. I just know that a whole bunch of our customers are real troopers...they kept right on eating and talking like nothing out of the ordinary was happening!!! When I called the electric company the recording said the estimated time for it to be fixed was about 2 hours from when I made the call...luckily they were wrong and it came back on a few minutes after I hung up...but it was probably out at least half an hour! Lunch in the dark...now that is a lunch to remember!!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

We have pictures!!!


Ok...so this is a picture of part of my herb garden!!! I told you I was working on getting some pictures on here...and ta da here it is!!! This is some of my hard work!! I took this early this morning, and did it kinda quickly, so we could fool with it this evening and figure out how to do it...now that I know how it works, I'll get some more on here!!! This is very exciting!! I love to learn new things on the computer...and I've wanted to get pictures on here for awhile!!! Stay tuned!!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Close call?????

The front garden at the shop is all done. We even mulched it...watered, cleaned off the front porch and the walkways, took the trash down...and as we got in the car, I looked up the walkway and a lady was standing there looking at the flowers we had just planted down the side of the building. This weekend is our "Best in Bloom" art festival. The whole town really plants alot of flowers and hanging baskets,and then the garden club comes around and judges the displays. It could just be a coincidence that there was a lady standing there, looking at the flowers we had just finished planting. I have people stop and smell (and take pictures of) the roses all the time...OR..we just finished in the nick of time and the garden club was there to check out our garden!!!! I don't know...I think it may have been a close call!! Sort of funny, really...I mean the porch and sidewalks were still wet!!! Hopefully they don't take off points for wet sidewalks!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Have cupcake will travel!!!

Some of our cupcakes were heading to New York today.... that's pretty cool!!! We have had things travel all over the place. Other than being concerned about them arriving, safely, to their destination, it's very exciting!! The idea of ours going to New York was, actually, sort of funny! We try to go into New York for Christmas and we took both of our daughters for their 21st birthday. Whenever we go, we do the usual shopping...and occasional "tourist" stuff...but we, also snoop around at the food establishments and bakeries. We try to hit the "famous" ones...and we've gone to quite a few bakeries that have their own cookbooks etc. We have gotten treats and taken them home...not good!!! I have been told that I am hard to please...and I can see how that would be true. I have extraordinarily high expectations for myself...so I don't see any reason why I should cut other restaurants/bakeries any slack... The baked goods we've purchased in the city just are not good!!! A couple of weekends ago, we had a family come in and get cake out of the case. We got into a discussion about other baked goods...(they consider themselves to be authorities on this subject) they started to talk about the same places that we've tried in New York and they said they weren't good, either!!! So, it's not me....and it's pretty ironic that MY cupcakes went into the city....I guess to make up for the cupcakes that I took home and threw away!!!(and paid an arm and a leg for them!!!) Too funny!!! Hope they made the trip OK!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Proud to be a collector....

I had an interesting conversation, yesterday, with a couple of my customers about collecting. We got into the conversation because of the Byers' Choice Carolers...they know someone who has a very large collection and shares it( along with the rest of their Christmas decorations) every Christmas with an open house for charity. The lady I was talking to said she wasn't a collector...but I believe everyone is a collector!!! The definition of a collection is a group of three things...that's all, just three!!! Maybe your collection isn't a typical one. Maybe you don't collect salt and pepper shakers or milkglass...but SOMETHING gets you!! Cookbooks, jewelry, shoes, purses, plants or the latest gardening tools, fun kitchen gadgets, Beautiful Christmas decorations, Fantastic Halloween Collectibles....maybe you can't walk away from themed serving pieces for parties, or the new people magazine....the bottom line is we all have something that we love and that makes us happy. What's wrong with that??? If your collections make your garden the envy of the neighborhood, your house look like a museum, your kitchen the heart of your home, or you look great....and that makes you happy...be a collector, and do it proudly! It's all part of who you are, and that's something to be proud of...go collect today!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Getting it done...

We just came in from working in the gardens...it's really looking good!! Just a few more, little, details and then weeding, weeding, weeding...and watering!!! Enjoying it all through the summer and even into the fall makes all of this work worthwhile!!! There is no vacation spot on the planet that could give me more than my own backyard does!!!!! The pool temperature is warmer, now, than it was in July, last year!!! Strange...but I'm not going to complain!!! My husband is in the middle of building my fairy houses and my "outhouse" tool shed...and when he's done with those, I want a "Hobbit" house in the back part of the fairy garden. These are NOT the "little" details I was referring to earlier...but I know we'll (he'll) get them all done, as always!!!! We are having some technical difficulties with the camera and the program on this computer...but I will, eventually, get pictures of all of this, so you can see what we're up to! I am going to bed..it's been another long day...productive...but long!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Just like Christmas...

We had a 8 boxes arrive from UPS today. Four of them were Byers' Choice Carolers. These are the rest of the new releases for the beginning of this year. It's like Christmas when they come in...literally!! There is a postman and a family with Victorian postcards, The first 10 of the 12 days of Christmas, The Salvation Army characters for this year, including the kettle! I also got the Pilgrims, some new snowmen and the horse...he's waiting for the headless horseman who should be along soon.... The Carolers are made right here in Pennsylvania, about an hour-ish away. The first time I saw them was at my MomMom's house. She was not easy to buy for...so my Aunt started her on a Byers' Choice collection. I always thought they were interesting, but I never went out and got any for myself. Then, one afternoon, we were flipping through the channels and came upon the PCN tour of the "factory". It was fascinating...and I was hooked! My husband and kids bought me a grandmother and 2 grandkids making Christmas cookies together. Then I collected the ones that had something to do with food. Now I have a pretty good collection myself, as well as selling them at Sweet Memories! I would love to get everyone to watch the tour of their "factory" and showroom....because then we could all be hooked!!! I always say they talk to you...we had a lady in a little while ago. She said she started her sister's collection and gave them as gifts...but didn't collect them herself...until she saw a little girl upstairs in the gift shop...who "talked" to her!!! If you don't know about the Carolers, make a point of learning...then come see all the ones we have...A Gardener, A Fireman, A Fisherman, A Bride and Groom, A Man Cooking a Hotdog, A Lifegaurd, 4 different Chefs, A Lady and Kids with Strawberries and Christmas Characters that just make you happy...they really are awesome...and they really do talk to you!!!! Come see for yourself!!!