Last summer, as the mint was taking over my garden, I contacted my friend Barb the Gourmet to ask her for recipes using the herb. There was just so much taboule I could prepare with the mounds of mint I was getting, and she was bound to have ideas.
Barb did give me a couple recipes, neither of which used more than a couple tablespoons of the green stuff. So, in desperation, I began to tear the plant from the soil, knowing full well that it would be back the following summer, if not sooner.
Of course, during the winter when I needed fresh mint, I had to buy a peppermint plant at the grocery store – it was much fresher and would last longer than the limp bundle in the herb section of the produce aisle. Loathe to waste anything, I watered it and kept it in the sunroom, where it thrived so well that I had to repot it.
When a couple weeks went by with no further need for the herb, I had to pinch it back so it wouldn’t get leggy. I took the snipped-off pieces and put them in a glass of water – where they began to root. And grow. Again! The mint began to take over!
Anyway, as this winter from hell seemed never to end, I developed the habit of comforting myself every afternoon with a big mug of hot herbal tea. I find that it goes really well with writing (I try to channel my favorite authors while sipping).
One day, inspiration struck. No, not for a plot twist, but for tea. Why not harvest and dry the mint to make my own perfectly organic mint tea?
Scavenging through my kitchen cabinets and drawers, I realized that I must have given my old tea infusers to one of the kids, so that is at the top of my shopping list this week.
Maybe I’ll find a few other varieties of the herb to round out the collection: orange or lemon bergamot, pineapple, banana.
Or how about chocolate mint? That should be good for inspiring something. A Proustian contemplation of Girl Scout cookies perhaps?
Lorrin Krouss says
I have tried to grow mint. It always become so leggy. But I also buy the mint plants in the spring and keep them on my porch throughout the summer. I love to pinch off a leaf, hold it in my hand, and breath in the delicious, cool fragrance. But please do pursue your tea-making project. The chocolate mint tea sounds wonderful – with or without cookies.
Just keep pinching it back and it will be bushy.