I think I may just love mint a little too much. But I love mint.
Ever since it’s shown up in the garden, I’ve been using it. If I don’t use it, it will take over my garden. It’s a good thing I like it, but we may still have to put up stronger boundaries for it. I keep giggling at the thought of letting it go wild in a pasture, and then finishing the lambs on it next spring. (Add a little garlic to their water — a great parasite help! — preseasoned Easter lamb surely is a selling point, right?) (Note to self: you do not need help selling lamb. You need help growing your flock faster.)
Mint and runny eggs — not usually a combination that most people would think of, right? It is SO GOOD. I wander around the garden before almost every meal to see what looks good. One morning I picked mint, parsley and chives from the garden, added some parm and garlic, and baked it with my eggs on a whim. (20 minutes at 400 degrees) I usually use spinach and chives, or cilantro, but mint turned out to be awesome. I have to force myself to use other herbs in my egg now. I think Frank might be getting a wee bit tired of it.
There’s nothing I like better on a hot summer’s day than ice cold cucumber spearmint soup. It’s so easy to make. Peel and seed four long cucumbers, place in blender with any combination of white things. I like buttermilk and cream cheese. Sour cream and yogurt. Heavy cream and dill. I use handfuls of spearmint, add a little salt, then stick it in the freezer for about an hour. (Set a timer that you can hear outside!) Garnish with fresh mint and just picked chives.
I was a Girl Scout growing up, and I sold about a million boxes of Thin Mint cookies. I needed a way to make my own, and the recipe from Small Batch Baking is pretty good. I use whole wheat flour and lard in my chocolate wafer cookie, and for the glaze, I pour one cup boiling water over about three cups of chocolate mint leaves and let it cool, then cover and place in the ice box for two or three days. Add that liquid to two cups of melted chocolate, add a little butter and the glaze is the perfect consistency. I keep frozen logs of the dough in the freezer, slice a few off while it’s still frozen so I can slice really thinly, and then store the finished cookies in the freezer. I love having an ice cold cookie whenever I want, usually two or three in a week.
Whenever Frank manages to steal some nice oranges from the loot destined for the pigs, we juice them. I juiced 4 oranges, added about a cup of mint extract (just mint I’d soaked in water for a few days in the icebox), and simple sugar made with organic sugar, to make 2 cups of fluid. I added 2 ounces of dark Bermuda rum to keep it from freezing too hard. Yum! Highly recommended.
What do I do when I only have a few ripe strawberries? (I mean, besides eat them straight away.) 1 cup strawberries, 2 cups mint leaves soaked in water for two days, then drained, 1 cup simple syrup, 1 ounce lemon vodka. Yum. Adding just a little bit of alcohol (rum, vodka) keeps the sorbet from turning into a solid brick in the freezer.
Things to write up later. Potato mint garlic potato salad, perfect to use with new red potatoes. Shredded pork, mint, and ginger on Thai egg noodles. Mint jelly that turned out a weird color because I use raw sugar and mint leaves and refuse to use green food coloring, but it tastes great!