This Weeks Ag in the Classroom, mAgnificent Monday with Herb Gardens!Mon, 06 Jul 2020 11:49:44 CDT
Summertime is here and the kiddos are out of school with many parents are at home with their kiddos, wondering, "What do we do now?" Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom has come up with some excellent daily activities you can do with your kids and family.
Today we are featuring mAgnificent Mondays with herb Gardens! A perfect Summer activity! Many Oklahomans plant herb gardens so they can enjoy fresh herbs in their food or drinks. Oregano is generally used to season Mexican, Italian, Greek and Spanish dishes. When in bloom they have beautiful purple or pink flowers that are also edible!
The name "oregano" derives from two Greek words meaning "the joy of the mountain." It is a hardy member of the mint family that has been used for flavoring fish, meat and sauces since ancient times. It became popular in America after soldiers returned from Service in World War Two in the Mediterranean and were craving pizza - it's this reason it is often called the pizza herb. Ancient Greeks believed that cows that grazed in fields full of oregano had tastier meat and that if you anoint yourself with oregano you will dream about your future spouse.
Herbs and spices have been used by people for centuries for culinary, medicinal, and even religious purposes. In general, herbs are considered culinary flavorings that come from the vegetative part of the plant, most often leaves and roots. Herbs such as parsley, bay leaves, oregano, summer savory, thyme, sage, basil, and marjoram are leaves. Spices are most often seeds, seed pods, and fruit (usually dried). Black pepper, chili pepper, nutmeg, sesame, mace, mustard, vanilla, cacao, kola, celery seed, turmeric, and almond are seeds, seed pods, or fruit. Of course, there are exceptions—ginger is from a root, cinnamon is from the bark of a tree, and saffron is the actual stamens of crocus flowers.
DID YOU KNOW?
**Peppercorns have been used to spice up foods for more than 4,000 years. As early as the 4th century BC, texts described pepper being used as a seasoning for Indian feasts.1
**Nutmeg trees actually produce two spices—nutmeg and mace.2
**It is suspected that the origins of chili powder date to frontier chuck wagons. The first commercial chili powder was sold in the late 1800s. Chili powder is a blend that usually contains chiles, onion, garlic, cumin, and other spices.2**
**The United States leads the world in the consumption of spices.
There's plenty of fun lessons and activities on herbs and the spices of the world. Learn how to be an herb and spice rack, make seasonal mixing cards, go over the history of spices and more. Click here to see all the lessons.
And don't forget, Ag in the Classroom offers daily activities to do with your kiddos on their website, and their facebook page.
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