B&B

Guestbook Memories

Laboratory Mill Weddings

We had such a great time in Lincolnton! We loved exploring the area and learning the history of this little town. We had a blast celebrating the marriage of two of our favorite people at the Laboratory Mill. And we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the White Rose Manor.

Thank you for everything!

L & S

Guestbook Memories

English-style: ‘Just Like This!’

My English mum would be proud to know it is so.

We tried to bring a bit of ‘home’ to Lincolnton. According to this guest, we nailed it!

Thank you Allison and John for the enjoyable time in your lovely English-style Manor. My husband did not accompany me to England so did not know how it was there . . . just like this! Am so glad we could experience this together and we will be back and he will want to keep in touch. We’ll spread the word that Lincolnton has a lot to offer.

R & J

Berry Peachy Morning Shadows

The morning is warm. Even as early at 6 a.m., it is warm. We welcome the soothing morning shadows. Fresh peaches and blackberries are bathed in the shadow of a Queen Anne chair. Life is good.

Breakfast awaits our Bed & Breakfast guests with the promise of Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict to follow. Life is good. Come . . . let us show you how good it can be.

RECIPE: Holiday Magic Ice Cream

RECIPE: Holiday Magic Ice Cream

Oh-la-la!
My, oh my!
Santa Claus got
Holiday chai . . .
ICE CREAM!

Jump to Recipe icon   Have you ever had ice cream made from tea? Done well, it is something very, very special.

Over the holidays, I got creative with some of our loose leaf teas. The Pearamel Delight tea that we featured in November made a nice palate-cleansing token to share between meal courses; however, our Holiday Magic chai was a show-stopper as an ice cream!

How to Order Holiday Magic chai – WhiteRoseManor.com

Our annual High Tea featured a tasting of this rich, creamy, churned ice cream to see how it would be received. It was an overwhelming success! Special thanks to our new friend, Desma Hart, for loaning me an ice cream maker for the “test kitchen”. I assure you, we will be returning the ice cream maker with a quart of freshly-churned Holiday Magic.

If you have never made homemade ice cream, I believe everyone should do it at least once. That said, I have a simple recipe that you can use to make your own churned ice cream, whether you choose to incorporate our tea or use your own (FYI, Matcha makes a great ice cream, too!). This recipe is for a churned ice cream, so be prepared to “kick the can” of ice and salt for an hour or so, or use an ice cream maker.

UTENSILS RECOMMENDED:
Stove and potholders
Ice cream maker (or small coffee can with lid that fits into a larger coffee can with lid)
One-quart plastic or glass container with lid
Measuring spoons
Measuring cups (2 cups works well)
Stovetop Bain-Marie or double boiler
Tea sieve/strainer
Egg separator (unless you can do it by hand)
Whisk for egg yolks
Wooden spoon for constantly stirring during cooking time
Metal spoon for verifying cooking consistency

Holiday Magic Ice Cream Recipe

Yield: Approximately 1 Qt.
Category: Dairy, Sweet, Dessert, Gluten-free
Difficulty: Moderate to easy
Time to Make: 2 days (includes steeping)
24 hours steeping, 20 minutes cooking, 4 hours cooling, 30 minutes churning, 8 hours hardening

INGREDIENTS:
2 C. Cream, heavy whipping
1 C. Milk, whole
3/4 C. Sugar, granulated – divided (1/4 cup, 1/2 cup)
6 Tbs. White Rose Manor Holiday Magic loose leaf tea (BUY)
1/2 tsp. Salt, table
6 ea. Egg, yolks only (room temperature, if possible)

Day 1:
Step 1 – Steeping the Base Cream
Steep the tea in a one-quart container with tight lid by mixing heavy whipping cream and loose tea. Seal container with lid, then stir/shake well. This will become your base cream.

Step 2 – Monitoring Time
Place base cream in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, stirring/shaking two times per day.

Day 2 or 3:
Depending on how long you steep the tea, this day is when you cook the cream.

Step 3 – Preparing the Bain-Marie
Using a stove top Bain-Marie (double boiler), add water to the base of the Bain-Marie (water ‘bath’) until just below the top part when inserted. Do not immerse upper part into the water.

Step 4 – Egg/Sugar Mixture
In two small bowls, separate egg yolks from whites. Refrigerate egg whites for other uses. To the yolks, stir in 1/4 cup of the sugar reserving the remaining 1/2 cup for cooking with the Base Cream.

Step 5 – Cooking the Base Cream
Strain cream through a tea sieve (fine metal mesh) into the upper part of the Bain-Marie. Add the one cup of whole milk, part of the sugar (1/2 cup), and salt. Stir well.

Time-saver Tip
Wash and rinse the one-quart container and lid to reuse to store the finished ice cream.

Step 6 – Cooking the Base Cream or “Custard”
Much of this process is really like making a custard.
With the Bain-Marie assembled and base cream in the upper portion, begin heating the water bath to a boil, constantly stirring the base cream with a wooden spoon. To keep from scorching, gently stir all portions of where the cream touches the pan. When sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to simmer.

When the base cream begins to produce steam on the top, it is ready increase the temperature and add the egg yolks (without cooking them). To avoid cooking the eggs, bring them up to the base cream temperature by gradually adding the heated base cream to the yolks, a spoonful at a time. Adding slowly, constantly stir to blend well and thoroughly warm. The gradual addition of the heated cream will slowly make the egg yolks as warm as the cream so they can be added to the Bain-Marie without cooking the eggs. Using egg yolks that are room temperature hastens the tempering process.

When the egg mixture is warm. Slowly stir the egg mixture into the remaining base cream (in Bain-Marie) and continue to cook to 165 degrees F (for safe egg consumption) and thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. When you can draw your finger through the mixture on the metal spoon and it leaves a trough/gap, the mixture is ready for Step 7.

Step 7 – Finalizing the “Custard”
Strain the cooked mixture into the one-quart container and refrigerate for four hours or more.

Step 8 – Churning the “Custard”
Using your best method to churn the custard into ice cream, the ice cream will be soft-serve ready once churning is complete. Freeze for two hours or more for a harder ice cream.

Serving Suggestions:

This flavour stands alone, but we also found it is a great complement to apple and crapple pies. My husband is ready to put it in his coffee. I will let you know how that is. Making a new batch now, so we have some more. 😊 Enjoy!

TIPS/TRICKS: Tying a Classic Bow

TIPS/TRICKS: Tying a Classic Bow

We love the holiday season! Getting everything ready is an important part; however, sharing is the BEST PART!

December 1st is Decoration Day at the White Rose Manor. We keep Thanksgiving completely separate. This year (2019), Thanksgiving weekend and December 1st fall on the same weekend. It is a busy time here.

Without further ado, I am sharing how to tie a classic bow. The following three, short videos should help guide you to tying your own. I am happy to help answer questions.

Tying a Classic Bow – Part 1 (YouTube video)

Tying a Classic Bow – Part 2 (YouTube video)

Tying a Classic Bow – Part 3 (YouTube video)

Post photos of your classic bows! We want to see!

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

TEA: Tea Bars

TEA: Tea Bars

More and more people are hearing the term “Tea Bar” these days . . . quite frequently, really. Tea is becoming as hot as coffee was before it became ever-popular staple enjoyed now. While tea is often on the menu at coffee shops, a new type of establishment is emerging that makes tea the focus. Tea bars have started appearing in urban areas, and their popularity is causing a growth of shops that are dedicated to tea service. There are tea fusions, tea cocktails, hot tea, cold tea– whatever you can imagine, it is being explored. A tea bar is where we began custom tea blending.

What is a tea bar? Imagine if you will, the Baskin Robbins® of tea selections with even more than 31 flavours–canister after canister of ingredients lining shelves and counter tops. Many exceptional, and unbelievable, ingredients (not just tea leaves) are available to mix and match as we blend the perfect tea for the perfect occasion. Experimenting is half of the fun!

We started experimenting almost five years ago. At the White Rose Manor, we have a built a relationship with a tea-aficionado in California through our daughter’s relationship with him. One of our daughters lived there and thought we should have custom blends here at the Manor. She was so right! Now we get to share them with you!

Admittedly, some of the blends do not happen as imagined; some are better. Then again, while some flavours are not my favourites, I have found others to enjoy them– like our loose, black tea, A Black-Tie Affair with licorice root which we released three years ago at a New Year’s Eve celebration. Where else is better to experience “a black-tie affair”?

To date, we have thirteen custom teas here at the Manor, plus a Wonderland Collection of six tea packets designed with Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Listed below, we have started featuring a different one for each month of the year. “A Black-Tie Affair” and our Manor House Chai are not shown, and we have approximately 10-12 under development.

BUY TEAS HERE

  • January – “Fig”ment of your Imagination
  • February – Queen of Hearts
  • March – Maple Leaf Rag
  • April – Lavender Grey Dilly Dilly
  • May – My Fair Lady Anne
  • June – Serenity
  • July – A Golden Afternoon (part of our Wonderland collection)
  • August – Peach Blossom Special with/without Lavender
  • September – Pomberry Tea
  • October – “Just in Time for Tea” (part of our Wonderland collection)
  • November – Pearamel Delight*
  • December – Holiday Magic

We have blended some custom teas for others, like Crafted Southern Speakeasy in Lincolnton, NC. Their tea is named Southern Peach tea; in addition to serving in hot/cold, they have crafted signature cocktails using the tea as a base. We would love to work with you to create custom blend for you to enjoy and share. Call us at 704.735.6161 or email reservations@whiterosemanor.com to discuss what you might like. Discover what a fantastic, personal tea has to offer. Casual, everyday tea that is not your everyday experience.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

*Pearamel Delight is available in November only. Holiday Magic, our Christmas blend will debut on Thanksgiving. All of our teas are available in bulk which is less expensive per ounce than the Sampler packages. Please contact us for pricing and orders (BUY TEAS HERE).

CLEANING: Laundry – Keeping Whites White and General Stain Removal

CLEANING: Laundry – Keeping Whites White and General Stain Removal

We have white towels. We have white washcloths. We have white hand towels and bathmats. Then there are our white napkins, tablecloths, sheets, and pillowcases. While all of these can be “standard issue” in a household, the white can be an underlying issue. Fair warning—long post.

When I was growing up, I thought everything should be white because you could bleach it clean. Put in washer. Add soap and bleach. Wash. Ta da! White again. This, however, was not how our housekeeper saw it. She believed that everything should be dark colours. Her rationale? “If it stains and the spot does not come out, you will never see it on dark colours.”

Enter, my grandmother. Apparently, NOT the right thing to say. And so, the lessons began.

Today, flipping to the back of Grandmother’s cookbook, the secrets of old are shared; many I learned as a young girl. Here we go–

  1. Lift any solids from the fabric. Do not rub as this only presses it further into the fibers of the fabric.
  2. Be sure to rinse the area(s) in cold water making the water flows through the fabric the reverse way the stain was created to keep it from permeating further into the fibers. Rinse as much of the residue as possible.
  3. Pre-treat and wash. Aside: We will forgo the discussions of boiling whites because that is not happening at my house.

End Grandmother’s notes. Now enters Alice and her cleverness, aka, tips/tricks learned through trial and error, and a few friends along the way.

I fully check tablecloths and sheets before they are ever removed to launder. I pre-treat simple stains with Spray ‘n’ Wash® stick where the fabric lays, then I remove and wash.

Some stains are tough! Depending on the stain type, there are ways to fight back. Chocolate, blood, lipstick, mascara, and rust (from hard water and old pipes) have always been challenges. So, here is what works for me—

Yes, definitely complete steps 1 and 2 above.

Protein stains like oil-based lipstick/make-up, blood, cooking oils, meats

  • Dawn® dish washing liquid (safe for the environment, so great when camping, too) – Rub concentrate into stain until stain is mostly/all gone. Wash as usual.
  • Spray ‘n’ Wash stick – So there is a story behind this. It does tend to work well if you act quickly. Sometimes I can even let it sit in the laundry basket until more pressing things are washed and out of the way; however, the stick does not work as well as the original Spray ‘n’ Wash aerosol from years ago. The reason? Phosphates, which were exceptional for destroying proteins, were removed from cleaners when deemed they were not safe for the environment. Nevertheless, with proper attention, the stick works well. Other people I know use Tide® sticks, but I stick to tried and true for me.
  • Wash with laundry soap and a full cup of baking soda. We will come back to the baking soda part.

Chocolate

  • LOTS of cold water until you get it ALL out, if possible.
  • Pre-treat any remaining visible signs with liberal amounts of Spray ‘n’ Wash stick.
  • Wash in cold water, laundry soap, and a full cup of baking soda.

Blood

  • LOTS of cold water until you get it ALL out, if possible.
  • Depending on the fabric and freshness of the blood, hydrogen peroxide works great! I learned that at a hospital when I wanted to save a little baby’s cap for a keepsake. Old blood is more of a challenge.

Old blood/rust/age spots – These are the awesome ones!

  • Efferdent! Yes, Efferdent—the denture cleaning tablets. Get a tub and liberally use the tablets, possibly, multiple times or even starting again with new tablets. Do not worry if the Efferdent is blue, the colour will dissipate. Believe me, I panicked the first time I saw the blue. I have never had any issues with the blue adversely affecting the fabric. Be patient! It could take a few days, but if the item is important to you, it is worth it to do it right. I brought a family heirloom Christening gown back to white with absolutely no distress to the gown.
  • Hydrogen peroxide—Depending on the fabric and freshness of the blood, hydrogen peroxide works great! I learned that at a hospital when I wanted to save a little baby’s cap for a keepsake. Old blood is more of a challenge. Persevere, but be prepared for less fortunate results, just in case.
  • Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover—Use as directed. It even removed dried blueberry juice from my grandmother’s damask napkin; I missed one when initially washing the tea napkins. Warning, in this case, the stain turned black as soon as the spot remover was applied. I shrugged, figuring it would work, or not. No risk at that point. I could not use the napkin with the stains. And, it worked! Absolutely no sign of the stains.

Back to the baking soda discussion . . . This helps keep everything fresh without fragrance and can help keep your washing machine smelling fresh, too. I buy it in large bags and use about two per month; I use it on all the laundry in the house. With regular use, it also helps neutralize body musk in clothing and sheets.

Just for fun, here are renditions of some similar tips I found. Let me know what works for you!

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and rub it gently into the fabric with a clean, soft cloth until the stain is gone. Do this before laundering as usual.
  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water and pour it over the stain. Allow the area to saturate for 20 to 30 minutes before gently scrubbing the area with a clean, soft cloth. When the stain is gone, launder the garment as usual.
  • Rinse the garment immediately with warm running water to remove as much of the stain as possible. Apply 3% hydrogen peroxide to a clean, white cloth, and dab the area to remove the rest of the stain before washing the garment as usual.
  • Cut a lemon in half and rub it all over the stained area making sure that it’s completely saturated. Place the garment outside in the sunshine for at least an hour. Launder the garment as usual.

Please share your tips/tricks in the comments!

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

TEA: Caffeine, or No

TEA: Caffeine, or No

Did you know that teas have different caffeine levels, including none? I was speaking with a young woman last week. She did not realize that tea plants can have less caffeine during stages of early development. The white teas are harvested from early growth–the first leaves produced– and have a short harvest time because of the maturing that continues if the leaves are left on the tea tree or bush. The limited yield of an early harvest is why white teas have a tendency to be quite a bit more expensive. Green tea has more caffeine than white tea, followed by black tea. Reds and herbals are decaffeinated, if not blended with things that contain caffeine.

Camellia sinensis is a species of evergreen shrub or small tree whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea (Source: Wikipedia). It naturally contains caffeine. Dry, black tea has more caffeine by weight than coffee, but when prepared in a cup, a brewed black tea contains significantly less caffeine than a cup of coffee of the same size.

I have not tried to decaffeinate tea, so I take the label at face value, but should you need to remove some of the caffeine from your favourite teas, here is a link that shares more information. https://www.wikihow.com/Decaffeinate-Tea

We have launched our Pearamel Delight black tea blend for the fall season*. It contains black tea leaves. This tea blend is caffeinated. We also have white and green caffeinated teas. Our reds and herbals are decaffeinated. The attached photo (Source: Republic of Tea) can serve as your reference for caffeine levels, comparing coffee as well.

Enjoy a cuppa!

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

*Pearamel Delight is available in November only. Holiday Magic, our Christmas blend will debut on Thanksgiving. All of our teas are available in bulk which is less expensive per ounce than the Sampler packages. Please contact us for pricing and orders (tea@whiterosemanor.com).