Tuesday, July 2, 2013

To Mint or Not to Mint?

So we got back from a two week vacation
and the garden had overgrown
as had the weeds!!! - eek.

My herb bed was really needing attention,
especially the mint (seemingly on steroids)!
I began pulling and cutting ruthlessly
but just couldn't bring myself to
throw the cuttings over the fence.
So - instead of getting some
real work done I took the mint
in and decided what to do with it. 

First I dried some of the leaves:

Wash and spin dry plucked
mint leaves. I used my lettuce spinner.
Heat oven to 170F - turn off.
Single layer leaves on parchment paper
and place into warm oven for approx. 1 hour
or until completely dried and crunchy.

This was a good time to get my
laundry done and "almost" get 
the luggage unpacked!

Store uncrushed dried mint in an 
airtight jar.

Some uses:
Steep in boiling water for Mint Tea
Crush and use in soups and stews
Sprinkle on steamed vegetables

Next - I decided to make Mint Jelly....

2 Cups firmly packed mint leaves
Chop Mint finely to release the oils
Place in sauce pan and add:
2 Cups Water
Heat to boiling - remove from heat
and allow to steep for 20 minutes.

Pour prepared "tea" into a dampened
cheese cloth lined sieve.
Allow to drip undisturbed for at least
2 hours or overnight.
(I let mine drip while I went into town
to finally get some much needed 
groceries and also to pick up some
liquid pectin)
Prepare jars and lids 
(This made approx. 8 small 125 ml jars)

Measure 1 3/4 Cup of Mint infusion
Stir in 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 3/4 Cups Sugar
5-7 drops green good colouring (optional)
I chose not to add the colouring
but after filling 3 jars without I 
decided to add just a wee bit (3 drops).
Over high heat bring mixture
to full rolling boil that can't be stirred down.
Add 1 pouch (85 ml) liquid pectin
Boil hard for 1 minute - stirring constantly
Remove from heat and quickly seal
in prepared jars.

This is how it turned out.
I like the one with a bit of food colouring
and I even added some of the mint leaf pulp into
the last jar - just to experiment.
(not recommended as it's too chewy but it did look nice).

Mint Jelly uses - A traditional condiment to serve with
pork and lamb or as a delicious glaze
brushed on roasted meat and turkey.
Decorate the jars and use as hostess gifts???

Well - there you have it.
I "saved" the mint but didn't get much of anything else done - sigh!
But I had fun .....

Till next time ......... mustering up some ambition to weed the rest of the garden!


  1. That took me back, Rosella. My mother always dried mint - it was one of her favourite flavourings when I was growing up. She used a lot of mint to season things like Tabouleh. Just the scent takes me back. You were certainly industrious!

  2. You are one industrious woman! What a pretty result to your labor and lots of mint to enjoy past it's season. Now I'm thinking about a nice big bowl of Tabbouleh...

  3. I have not have not come across a lot of recipes that use mint, but it sure adds a nice flavor when I have. It would be nice to have it in the garden. Your mint jelly looks pretty in those jars.

  4. I love to put some mint jelly on a block of cream cheese and use it as a cracker dip. It is really good.

    1. That sounds delicious (instead of red pepper jelly)!. Someone also suggested to me to use chopped mint in a Watermelon/Feta Cheese Salad. Mint is such a healthy and versatile herb. Glad I didn't waste it.

  5. Very pretty jars of mint jelly! Thank you for sharing the process, too. Don't spend much time in the garden weeding. A little bit every day will get the job done. Hopefully!

  6. Mint is about the only thing in my garden that I cannot kill :) Too bad Bill does not like anything minty, but I love having the fresh sprigs for garnishes all summer long. Your jelly is beautiful!

  7. The mint jelly is pretty in the jars. I have a few kinds of mint growing, you may just have given me the incentive to do something with it:)

  8. I can smell the freshness of mint. My granddaughter loves eating fresh mint in her back yard and always offers me a leaf or two to add to my water. Mint Jelly is so pretty in those little jars.

  9. I can smell it, and taste it! You were a busy beaver when you got home. We've been home for 6 days and I just got home suitcases unpacked yesterday, and laundry completed. We had company staying in our home while we were gone and so they lingered a bit and now I feel like I am caught up. It's fun to go and it's fun to come back and enjoy the garden and all that it offers.


Summer in Full Swing!

It's official! Summer has arrived in SW Ontario. It has been sweltering hot, the Spring flowers have bloomed and are long gone. ...