Herbs have been used throughout history for culinary (cooking) and medicinal (healing) uses. Herbs make food dishes taste enticing and flavorful. Without the use of herbs in cooking, Tudor cooks would have had a difficult time making preserved meats taste good when they were finally cooked. The herbs used in cooking in Tudor England are still used today in our 21st century kitchens!
Another important use for herbs was making medicines. In Tudor Times, people could not go to CVS or Walgreens for medicines to help with pain and illness. The mistress of the manor made medicines 500 years ago with home-grown herbs.
Today we talked about the fact that Mistress Dauntesey of Agecroft Hall was responsible for the health and well-being of her family, her servants and other neighbors. The plants grown in her HERB GARDEN were used to create remedies for various illnesses. During Tudor times, most remedies were herbal remedies.
Something as simple as a cabbage leaf from the kitchen garden may have cooled a fevered head. A sniff of lavender from the herb garden may have calmed a fussy child. Other remedies, however, were more complex and required special “receipts” or recipes in order to make them. One such recipe book that Mistress Dauntesey would have used 500 years ago is called “Gerard’s Herbal”. This was the best-known English herbal.
Today you can test your ability to remember pictures and names of herbs. The herb cards in your folder show 12 herbs commonly used today and 500 years ago for both cooking and medicine- making. Some of them may be familiar to you from your own meals at home. The list included with the cards gives some of the uses for each herb.
Find the supplies in your backpack for Day 2, Activity #4, and play this fun matching game with your friends and family! Make sure to cut the words off the bottom of one set of the cards.
Playing the Game: Here are two games you can play with your matching cards:
Game 1: Separate the picture cards into short and long piles. Set the label cards aside. Lay the short cards face down on your left and the long cards face down on your right. Players take turns turning over one short card and one long card trying to find a match. If a match is found, keep the cards and the next player takes his/her turn. If no match is made, turn the cards back over and the next player goes. The winner is the player with the most matches!
Game 2: Lay out the long cards in a line. Find the matching short cards and place them next to the long cards. Match the name labels to the correct short cards. This is a great way to learn the names of each herb plant. You can use the short cards as flash cards and try to remember the plant names!
Activity card source: MontessoriFactory on Etsy