As I mentioned in my earlier post, today is England's National Day (aka St. George's Day), and it is also the birthday of one of the most famous Englishmen, William Shakespeare. As an American of English descent (on both sides!) as well as a self-confessed Anglophile, I feel this is a fantastic day for my family to celebrate! (It's also the feast day of a great Catholic saint - Crackerjack's favorite - so there's that as well. :))
So I pulled out my olde Norton Anthology of English Literature from my college years (which I've since given to Bookworm for "Brit Lit") and perused some of the Bard's sonnets. I even read a couple out loud in case anyone was listening. (I don't think they were, lol.)
Now, I have a St. George's Dinner planned for tonight, but I thought I might incorporate some kind of dish to represent Shakespeare. So I googled a little but alas, all I could find was a "Shakespeare's Tea." Apparently it was mentioned in The Winter's Tale (act 4). I don't have the specific herbal ingredients on hand, but I thought I might add them to my garden plans this year. They are all readily available, easy-to-grow plants.
Here's the recipe, just in case you're curious:
- 1 cup dried lavender flowers
- 2 cups roughly cut dried peppermint
- 1 cup dried summer savory
- 1 cup dried sweet marjoram
- 1 cup dried whole calendula flowers
- Here is a dried tea blend to keep you young and warm-blooded all winter!
- Collect your herbs mid-summer and rub off the stems when dried.
- Crumble the Peppermint leaves to match the size of the other greens.
- If your Calendulas are huge, break in half when dry.
- Use 1 tsp per cup.
- In a pot add 1 tsp per person and 1 for the pot!
- Steep 3 minutes.
And if you happen to have a copy of China Bayles' Book of Days (an absolute favorite of mine) for today's page there is a checklist of herbs and flowers to include in a Shakespearean-themed garden. They all show up in one way or another throughout his works.
(If you don't have that boo,k and you're intersested in the checklist, let me know in the comments below - I'd be glad to type it up and send it to you. :)
Now, I may not devote a whole garden to this particular theme, but a few planter-pots would be fun! Maybe a windowbox devoted to the herbal tea mentioned above? Ooh, I can just imagine the possibilities! This would make a great summer homeschooling project, methinks! I can see a whole notebook devoted to Shakespeare ... poems, narrations, research ... nicely embellished with pressed herbs and flowers related to his works. In fact, I just requested this lovely little book from our library, and I've added a project page behind the May tab in my Yearbook binder ...
But I'm getting carried away now (as I'm wont to do), so I'll wrap up what was meant to be a quick mid-morning post!
I hope you're all having a lovely Monday - rain or shine, busy or no. Thanks so much for stopping by ... I will see you again very soon!