Sunday, December 17, 2006

Bill of Fare

Each tea guest is given a "Bill of Fare" that outlines the menu of the day. A sprig of fresh rosemary is tied to the menu, adding beauty and fragrance. Tamara explains that rosemary is traditionally an emblem of "remembrance". The information she presents tells that in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ophelia says, "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance." In the language of flowers, rosemary means "Fidelity in love". In medieval times rosemary represented faithfulness, love, and remembrance. Ancient Greek lovers used to give rosemary to their ladies, and the custom of a bride wearing twigs of rosemary in her hair is still practiced in England and several other European countries today. The herb also stand for sensibility and prudence. Ancient Roman doctors recommended putting a small bag of rosemary leaves under the pillow of someone who had to perform a difficult mental task, such as an exam. Rosemary is associated with feminine love, because it is very strong and tough, although it grows slowly. In traditional Christian symbolism, rosemary reflects the piety and faithfulness of the Virgin Mary and remembrance of the birth of Christ. Along with parsley, sage, and thyme, rosemary was made famous by modern renditions of the old ballad of "Scarborough Fair", one of the oldest enduring village fairs still held in England.

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