Spade and Trowel holds elaborate tea

Courtesy photo The Spade and Trowel table of gourmet treats made a lot of mouths water.

The Spade and trowel Garden Club does a lot of beautification work around Kennett, like caring for the triangle garden at Route 1 and Way’s beverage, filling the Barrels in town with plants, making 45 small table decorations for patients at Heartland Hospice and entering the Philadelphia Flower Show on alternate years. But these things take money. To raise the money needed for these and other projects, last week the ladies of the club proved that were not just superior gardeners and decorators, they are also marvelous cooks.

They held their biannual tea with all the goodies made by the club members. If you have ever dreamed of a table filled with delectable tea sandwiches like curried chicken, cucumber, bacon and walnuts, etc. plus deviled eggs, scones with lemon butter and apricots stuffed with blue cheese, plus many other treats you must know the ladies felt they had died and gone to heaven.

When you have finished all that, then you attack the other table filled with fudge, miniature cupcakes, cookies and all sorts of miniature specialty. Hot tea was being brewed by Kris Qualls made by the exact instructions, “Don’t let it brew more than three minutes,” from Nancy Olson, now of Jenner’s Pond, who is the local expert on handling food for large groups. The ladies of the club served 50 hungry ladies in each of two seating.

The tea was held in a gorgeous home on the edge of the King Ranch. During the morning tea we watched through the window as a fox hunt went by, the owner’s herd of horses frolicked in the meadow and hawks circled overhead. The enormous kitchen was not even crowded as the phalanx of helpers prepared and served the tea. This year the moment the tea was mentioned, the second sitting sold out and club members could not get tickets for a seating at the tables but had to sit in the kitchen. How wonderful to have such a popular event you sell out immediately.


The Kennett Square Candlelight Holiday Tour went off as scheduled in spite of nasty weather that did keep some home. With the rain and muck underfoot people were very careful not to track up the immaculate homes on display. This was particularly noteworthy as most of the homes had beautiful floors.

The homeowners were most welcoming and happy to share their particular collections and family treasures with the visitors. Several were a mite unhappy that they could not highlight some of the outdoor features like a fire pit or an intricate garden, but the weather was not cooperating.

The owners are a remarkable lot, to welcome hoards of strangers into their homes, particularly on a stormy night. Everything looked so beautiful with all the decorations in place, what the owners going to do with all their spare time until Christmas! Chairman Lynn Sinclair and her committee deserve congratulations on this beautiful tour.


Rio Clemente will be performing at the Tri-State Jazz Society at the Community Arts Center, 414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford. On Sunday, Dec. 16 from 2 to 5 p.m. Known as the “Bishop of Jazz,” Clemente studied at the Julliard School of Music and has played at every major jazz festival since. He has entertained the United Nations, governors, mayors, senators, and the White House. When he made a CD of the music of Richard Rogers his daughter, Linda Rogers, she said, “Rio plays my father’s music better than anyone I ever heard.” Tickets are $10 to $20.


The Candlelight Theatre in Arden, DE is offering a family friendly variety show that should entertain all ages and raise your spirits. Performances that still have seating are 12/14, 12/20, 12/21, 12/22 and 12/23.For tickets call 302-476-2313


If you haven’t had your fix of “The Christmas Carol” recently, you have several great choices being given in the area.

Delaware Theatre Co, (200 Water St., Wilmington) This version has been rewritten by Patrick Barlow, the creator of the two times Tony winning “39 Steps,” where five actors portray over 20 characters. This version is fundamentally a spoof of the story you had better know or you will be lost. Two children sitting near me were totally confused and also could not follow the 15th century English accents. The cast was extremely active giving full rein to loud yelling, cackling and hilarity.

Andrew Long played the role of Scrooge with an air of bemused superiority that is very off-putting. In an unusual twist, Tint Tim was played by a small marionette. Several sections of the story have been glossed over while some very funny lines have been added, destroying any continuity of emotion. All the scenes take place on a revolving stage which lends itself beautifully to quick scene changes. It played to a sold out appreciative audience.

Performances are Wednesday through Sundays with tickets$35-$49. Call 302-594-1100.


This is the 20th year the theatre has presented the classic tale of “A Christmas Carol.” This adaptation by playwright Nagle Jackson is true to the original and fits naturally into the theatre that is an 1849s grist mill. This is America’s first repertory theatre located at 64 Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley near Media. For tickets call 610-565-4211.

Walnut Street

The Kids’ Production at the Walnut Street Theatre of “A Christmas Carol” has become a Christmas tradition. This delightful musical adaptation will run through Dec. 22 with morning and matinees shows. For tickets ($10 to $16) call 215-574-2787.

‘Music Man’

While the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street, has been running “The Music Man” for a few weeks, it will continue through Jan. 6. This great show for children with the show stopping “76 Trombones” has tickets from 215-574-3550.


The musical pantomime of “Aladdin” will run at People’s Light & Theatre, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, through Jan. 6. Written in the style of the British pantomimes these fairy tales are a treat for all ages. For tickets call 610-644-3500.


The national tour of the Broadway musical “Million Dollar Quartet” will be at the Forrest Theatre Dec. 11 through 16. This is based on a true happening when Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n Roll” brought together Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley for what turned out to be an incredible concert. Tickets are $49.50 to $97 from 800-447-7400.


For several years the outstanding choir at the Concord Presbyterian Church, corner of Faulk and Murphy roads in Wilmington, has performed Handel’s beloved “Messiah” with soloists and an orchestra. The performances have such a sterling reputation, there have been many who have been turned away. This year they will be performing on Saturday, Dec. 15, and Sunday, Dec. 16, each concert at 7 p.m. The concerts are free, although donations are accepted. Child care will be provided, but children are encouraged to come to the concert.

Theatre N

“The Flat” – Considered one of the best movies of the year, this tells of the mysteries found in the flat in Israel of his Jewish grandmother after her death. Here in all the papers and photos she had brought from Nazi Germany was a great mystery. Dec. 14, at 2 p.m., Dec. 15, at 2 and 8 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 6:15 p.m.

“Fitzgerald Family Xmas” – An estranged brother returns home for Christmas for the first time in 20 years to his complicated Irish American family. Old alliances are forgotten and new ones formed. Dec. 14 at 8 p.m., Dec. 15 at 5 p.m and Dec. 16 at 12:15 p.m.

Opera: “La Cenerentola” – This stunning new opera event is filmed in real castles and ballrooms in Europe with lush, never seen before animation. It is fundamentally the Cinderella story. Sat. Dec. 16 at 2:30 p.m.

Kennett Flash

Andrew Lipke – Born in South Africa, he is a prominent member of the Philadelphia music scene with three acclaimed solo records and high praise for his expanding role as a record producer at his studio, The Record Lounge. Griz - Chris Grunwalk, known Griz, is an established member of the Philadelphia music community. He is well known for both his songwriting and American folk singing. Both headliners will be performing on Friday, Dec. 14

Open Mic –Tuesday, Dec.18, 6:30 p.m., two-drink cover.

Jane Siberry

Jane Siberry has been knocking them dead for 25 years with her original, creative music. She is probably the only successful recording artist with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and 13 major recordings, three poetry books and her own label. Dec. 15 at the Arden Gild.

Boxing Day

The Spring Standards will be at Arden Gild on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) for two shows. Both are being recorded for a national digital release. For more info go to www.ardenconcerts,com or call 302-695-6803.

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.

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