Friday, August 13, 2010

An Abundance of Mint

At long last, summer is reliably here in the Pacific Northwest. It was touch and go for awhile, and we still get foggy mornings, but my mountain hiking trips have taught me a very important lesson: once you climb 2000 feet above sea level, the skies are clear, blue and sunny.
But on days when I can't get away for a hike, those endless gray mornings with a slight chill in the air have made me a little less eager and a bit neglectful with my garden. I reluctantly wander out to do some weeding with one hand while my cup of coffee warms the other, taking mental notes on bigger issues: like why suddenly does all of the lemon thyme look dead?

The weather has turned again, bringing clear sunny mornings and I've resumed my summertime morning ritual of tending the garden before starting my creative work — and I've been rewarded with a beautiful explosion of abundance, brought on a sun blast that followed the cool grey weather. Which means that I now have more mint than I know what to do with.
Mint is a great addition to salads; I've also sprinkled it on top of pasta, roasted vegetables, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce...but the best way to use the abundance of mint is to make tea. Mint iced tea is refreshingly lovely on these warm afternoons, and it's pretty quick and easy to do.


RECIPE FOR ICED MINT TEA
  1. Loosely fill a quart-sized mason jar with mint leaves.*
  2. Add 1 generous table spoon of honey.
  3. Pour boiling water in to fill the jar, leaving a little room at the top.
  4. Gently stir with a wooden spoon (a metal spoon may crack the hot glass).
  5. Let sit without lid for an hour.
  6. Put lid on and refrigerate (can sit for up to 5 days).
  7. Strain into a glass. Enjoy!
* A lovely addition to the mint leaves is parsley. When that becomes abundant I use half mint and half parsley to loosely fill the mason jar.

~ Kata Golda

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