Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mad about Mint

mad- adj. 1.Insane 2.frantic 3.foolish and rash 4.Infatuated 5.Wildly amusing 5.having rabies 6. angry

Every morning, I wake up and make myself a glass of Mint Iced Tea.  My husband drinks hot coffee, and I drink cold tea.  Opposites attract! I really enjoy mint.  It's so refreshing and fragrant, and good for you too.   Many years ago I decided to try my hand at growing it.  I quickly found out that you can't control mint, it controls you!  To keep it from taking over the garden, I plant it in old galvanized tubs.  This gives it plenty of room to spread, without it taking over the world. It likes morning sun, afternoon shade, and wet feet.  I started with this spearmint variety.

It's just waking up from a long hard winter, but it will be huge by the end of summer.

The small leaves are full of minty flavor.  The bigger they get, the less bang for your buck in the flavor department.  So cut them often, and they'll start to spread outward, not upward.  Does that make any sense?

After I grew spearmint, I discovered another variety, that has become my absolute favorite: CHOCOLATE MINT!  And yes, it's as good as it sounds.  The plant is gorgeous too.  Can plants really be gorgeous? I think so.  Here's a picture of it.
The stems are brown like dark chocolate, and the leaves are deep green.  They taste a bit like an Andes mint chocolate in the green foil wrapper. 

I couldn't stop there.  So I began to scour the mountain for new varieties of mint.  Here's what I've got growing now:
This is apple mint.  The leaves are rounder, and the plant gets quite tall. 

This here is pineapple mint.  It's in the same family as apple mint, but has white edges on it's leaves.

This is orange mint.  It has a citrus smell to it. 

This is lemon mint.  It's my least favorite.  It doesn't pack a real minty punch like some of the others, but it still has it's merits.

Some people like to cut several sprigs of mint and brew it in water to make a delightful tea out of it.  I prefer to make my mint tea the following way:

Take 2 family sized Black Tea bags and several sprigs of mint.  Place them both in a large saucepan with water, and bring to a boil.  Take off of the heat immediately and let steep for 2-4 minutes.  Have an iced tea jar filled about half way with cold water, and pour the strongly brewed tea through a small strainer into the jar.  Grab your favorite favorite Mason jar, fill it with ice, and pour the tea into the glass. Then top it with a sprig of mint if you want to be like Martha Stewart.
You must drink it from a mason jar, I don't know why, but it tastes better this way.  Just trust me on this one.  Now, grab your Bible, go out to your back porch, and have a glass of Minty Iced Tea while spending time with your best friend, God.


1 comment:

  1. Cool! I will have to grow some myself! :) YUM!