I’ve been running myself ragged lately, so after my weekly Castle viewing, I’ll be “toddling off to bed” (as my mother used to say). But I can’t let a Monday pass without honoring one of my favorite herbs.
Since arriving in New Orleans a week and a half ago, I’ve already sampled raw oysters (twice) at the Oceana Grill, messy beignets at Cafe Du Monde, fried seafood (and part of a muffuletta) at Cafe Maspero, and a bite of a much-beloved Lucky Dog (on Halloween night). So, believe me, I’m happy to be in the Big Easy. But still, it’s hard knowing that I’ll have to live without a garden until next May – which means I’ll have to wait six whole months for fresh mint.
Ah, fresh mint, how I love thee – let me count the ways...
When I was a little girl, I used to love picking wild mint leaves from my grandmother’s flower bed and then alternately munching them or rubbing the leaves between my palms to release their essence. During the past twenty-five years, nothing much has changed. Just this summer, I plucked several leaves from the little potted plant in our makeshift garden and happily mashed them between my teeth.
Of course, using the mint leaves to enhance food and beverages is even better. Periodically, I would gather fistfuls of leaves, and Dan would crush them with his mortar and pestle and blend them with ice, lime juice, white rum, and homemade sugar syrup to make one of our favorite cocktails: the oh-so-refreshing mojito.
Next summer, we plan to use the mint leaves for even more yummy treats – from mint sorbet to Vietnamese spring rolls. Do you know of any more mint-related recipes that we ought to keep in mind?
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