By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America
This summer I’m busy purging my worldly goods as I prepare to sell my home and move into a smaller space. The move gives me less time to garden (and blog). The new space, by the way, will have more land to garden. So … maybe next year.
In the meantime, thank goodness for mint. I didn’t have to plant it. I don’t have to attend to it. And, I still have a trendy herb to play with. After all, it grows like a weed.
In this case I can reap what I didn’t sow. I inherited my mint with the gardens on the property. And, true to character it’s prolific, pushing out runners in every direction. Without an underground barrier it’s even moving into the grassy yard which makes mowing smell like a mojito.
That’s a comforting smell to me. When I had an upset stomach as a child my mom would give me a mint or mint tea. Real or imagined, it was soothing.
Today it retains those magical powers. And so, I will harvest and dry my mint for tea. Because I have so much, I will use it for other purposes as well.
Here are seven easy things to do with mint …
- Infuse with it. Steep it in rum for mojitos. Macerate it in vodka. Simply stuff a mason jar with clean mint, pour in the spirit and let it sit in the dark for four to six weeks. Strain and use. Or, with the vodka add simple syrup to create crème de menthe.
- Make ice cream. Infuse warm milk or cream – then strain — before moving on with the recipe.
- Arrange it. Bundle a bunch and nestle it in a vase. Or stick one stalk in each of three vases. It will look delightful and you can brush it with your fingertips to release an invigorating aroma that’s said to ease headaches and stress.
- Cook with it. Use toasted almost with it in a pesto for pork. Steep in apple juice and use to make jelly for lamb chops. Google savory recipes for mint and explore Greek, Middle Eastern, Asian cuisines.
- Garnish with it. Pop a sprig in ice tea for a decorative touch. Or tuck it on a plate next to chicken salad.
6. Dry it. Store your dried stash in a metal tin for a winter warmer. Or sew into vintage hankies for an energizing sachet.
7. Freeze it in ice cubes. Use them to chill tea or to flavor a refreshing water.
So many uses exist. * What do you do with mint? * Please share in comments.
Mint is wonderful in summer salads. It is always such a surprise when you find it there and so refreshing.