Sunday, July 4

Monster Mint

I have a bed spilling over with mint. I planted it between the koi pond and the wall and it is flanked on either side by the wisteria and the deck, so that it is well contained. To those who have not dealt with mint in their gardens before, be warned that it can be pretty invasive. Without boundaries, you will be mowing the mint with your lawn. I thank my lovely neighbor for sharing this broad-leaved monster mint that can even sprout roots if you set a cut bunch in a glass of water for a couple of weeks.

The mint bed adds to my peace when I feed the koi, sipping my morning latte. I take the extra five minutes after the kids have left for school, before my shower to get ready for work. I love seeing it grow in profusion. I don't think my husband understands this zen element of the mint when he curses and swears at them when he wades amidst them to clean out the external pond filter, which is hidden under the deck. To keep the peace at home, I regularly make as many things with mint over the weekends.

I must admit, I first planted the mint so that my mother can make biriyani, which requires lots of deep fried mint, and my mother-in-law can make mint chutney, that goes well with the vegetable cutlets she makes. Since neither visits us often enough, I have discovered Moroccan Mint Tea. It's an easy recipe that is very satisfying. The recipe is for hot tea, but I followed the advice of a sweet Malaysian friend of mine, who was visiting on a hot day - how about making it an iced tea?

Moroccan Iced Tea
8 sprigs fresh mint
3 tsp green tea (matcha)
3 Tbsp brown sugar (of course)
4 cups boiling water
Brew for 4-6 minutes and strain onto crushed ice and garnish with more mint.

Put your hat on, relax on your lounge chair in the backyard, and sip slowly.

Happy 4th of July!

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