Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Herbs, Spices and Herbalists – Mint: Part 7 …



Tis coming up to Easter … the time of roast lamb, new potatoes glistening with butter and mint, mint sauce, home-made gravy, baby leeks, and new carrots … a delicious Easter lunch welcoming in the early Spring …

Garden Mint


… garden mint is not that convenient … desperately easy to grow, but incredibly keen to spread – keep it in a pot … however an essential for lamb and/or new potatoes – Jersey Royals perhaps …





Mint Jelly - so so good!


… yet the Lamiaceae (or Labiatae) is a ‘huge’ family of flowering plants commonly known as mint or deadnettle … they include Mentha, the strongly scented herbs, and include Peppermint and Spearmint … as well as many other varieties: apple mint, orange mint, pineapple mint …






Winter Savoury
To my surprise the Mint Family also includes a large number of herbs, lots of small shrubs and a few medium to very large trees … including basil, rosemary, thyme, savoury, lavender, sage, marjoram and others … also the tropical hardwood tree ‘teak’, which I would never have put into the ‘Mint family’ …





Jersey Royals simmered in Mint, tossed in butter,
sprinkled with parsley

We will concentrate on our Garden Mint … which George Orwell proclaimed that new potatoes simmered with mint and tossed in butter were superior to the fried potato dishes traditional in other countries … he has a point …




Jersey - highlighted in the Channel
Islands



Keith from Keith’s Ramblings reminded me in my Boxty post that it can’t be long before the Jersey Royals are in the shops – heralding the start of Spring in a foodie way … the first outdoor produce from the warmer Channel Islands – that has led to this ‘Mint’ post …






Freshly made mint sauce

Pliny the Elder (AD 23 – August 25, AD 79) was keen on mint … ‘the smell of Mint doth stir up the minde, and the taste to a greedy desire of meat’, so it looks like mint sauce has been around for 2,000 years + and more I expect …






Mint is known to have originated in Asia and the Mediterranean region … the Greeks used it to clean their food tables, bathed with it … whilst the Romans used it in sauces, as an aid to digestion and as a mouth freshener.


Growing potatoes on Jersey
with Mont Orgueil castle in the back ground

Medieval monks developed further culinary and medicinal uses … as mint symbolised hospitality and was a welcome of friendship to guests.  The Jews strewed the floors of their synagogues with mint so that its clean and aromatic perfume scented the place as they entered to worship.





Shakespeare loved his plants and wove them into his tales … as here “The Winter’s Tale (Act 4, Scene 4):


"Hot lavender, mints savoury, marjoram,
The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ th’ sun
And with him rises weeping.  These are flowers
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age.”



Mint Chocolate Ice Cream


Mint goes with so many things … chopped mint and sugar on pineapple, or grapefruit slices – can I say chocolate – let’s move on … how about finely chopped mint with some sour cream, or cream cheese, served with a baked potato …





Mint leaves added to refreshing lemon water

… while at home as a deterrent for the ever present clothes-moth, or ants and the cabbage white caterpillar in the garden … then our bathrooms, our mouths … we would not be same without the tingle of our toothpaste cleansers …





Twinings Mint Tea


So here’s to Mint – enjoy a cup of mint tea, a cool glass of minted lemonade, or mint water … peppermint is a native to these shores … and is good for indigestion … I will not make an obvious link to Brexit …






Rack of Lamb with Mint Sauce

… but I am looking forward to British Spring Lamb, with new potatoes, mint sauce and freshly dug vegetables … simple foods that nature provides from the earth …




Melon Salad - so refreshing in summer
with the sprinkling of chopped mint


One final idea – a recipe I came upon as I was starting out in life which inspired my love of herby bread – that’s a standard when I cook – how about a melon salad … melon, cucumber, tomato pieces … with a vinaigrette of choice, fresh chopped parsley, chives and mint to sprinkle over … served with the herby bread – oh so good!!




Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

62 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Mmmm, mint. I no longer do lamb, but still enjoy mint's freshness in so many dishes. A flavour which crosses cultures and years so very well.
And you have reminded me I need to replace our chocolate mint bush. I too would never have made a link between mint and teak. Learning every day - and thank you.

Anabel Marsh said...

I love mint - but learned the hard way how prolific it is when we planted some in our first garden. As you say, pots are best!

Gattina said...

I hate mint, I think it is the only herb I really can't eat or drink ! I think it comes from my childhood, each time I was ill my grandma gave me mint tea ! Ever since the smell of it makes me sick !

Mason Canyon said...

I love pineapple mint. While I've never tried cooking with it or making a tea out of it, I just love the beautiful red flowers it has. The hummingbirds seem to love it too. I hadn't realized that basil, rosemary and such were in the mint family.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Wonderful, Hilary. I do enjoy your excellent posts and barely knew a quarter of all this. Fascinating - I had no idea that mint was related to teak etc. I do enjoy my strong mints (bad for you) and have recently rediscovered mint tea which, as you say, is good for the digestion. Nice one!

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

PS Can't have lamb without mint sauce. Or maybe redcurrent. Or maybe a mixture of the two :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't believe we've used mint on anything. Maybe if we had fresh mint, we would. At least I know where to use it now.

A Heron's View said...

I am very appreciative of herbs in general and quite often spend a few hours browsing into Culpepper's and other similar volumes.
Never ever though underestimate the strength of herbs and their medicinal qualities.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I learned the hard way that mint spreads and takes over a garden.. Now I just use it in pots with flowering plants. I, like Mason, like Pinapple Mint for its verigated color and it's aroma.

Susan Scott said...

Wow, fantastic post to get this tummy grumbling Hilary thank you! I grow mint but not hugely successfully, perhaps because the plant is not in the shade. But I do buy pots of it to keep on my kitchen shelf and often make smoothies with mint. And I have mint tea occasionally - those tea shops must make a mint out of all those delectable flavoured teas ...

Crystal Collier said...

You know, I wish I was a little more savvy on this front. Life is so crazy that it seems there isn't as much time to enjoy the little things. I think in a slower day and age, it would have been normal to know more about herbs and such, because of their medicinal purposes alone. Sometimes I wish we could go back to that...then I realize I'd have to give up my computer.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC – I’ve realised recently how rich lamb is … though I still eat meat – a lot of the foods I choose are fish or veggie oriented. You’re right that it is a flavour, scent and usefulness that crosses cultures and millennia …

Now a chocolate mint bush I’ve never heard of … but that mint and teak link was a fascinating one …

@ Anabel – funny how many of us plant mint and then it rambles away … pots are best …

@ Gattina – interesting – but I can understand why if you had way too much of it as a child when you were sick …

@ Mason – yes pineapple mint … is a variation of apple mint – the different mint colour flowers are lovely … I think I’d use ordinary mint for tea … How lovely the hummingbirds love the flowers. Like you I had no idea of the connections of other herbs and plants to the mint family …

@ Mike – thanks so much … nor did I know a lot – in fact I got somewhat befuddled by the amount there was to be written about mint … but decided I had to put as much as I could down. Lots of sugar in strong mint sweets … oh that’s good you’re going for mint tea now – and helps digestion … that’s for sure …

Oh yes – lamb – must have mint sauce and red currant jelly – those two accompaniments!

@ Alex – have you and your wife never used mint with anything … I’m very surprised … and yes now you have some ideas – lots of them!

@ Mel – I know herbs can be dangerous if not used properly – especially as far as medicinal aspects are concerned. I’ve a Culpeper’s (similar volumes) here which I refer to and like you love looking things up for reference purposes …

@ Arleen – oh yes, so many of us have let mint loose in the garden – we’d never catch it again – sensible to just use it from pots. The variegated mints are beautiful and contrast so well with other plants – and then the different aroma …

@ Susan – I know I rather feel like roast lamb … but I’ll wait. Mint does like to be kept damp and probably out of your Jhb sun – that’s good you keep it indoors … smoothies sound rather delicious. There are lots of tea shops around now … specialist teas … lots of ideas …

@ Crystal – I know we rush around doing so much … but as you say if we were slower and could live back in the day: we wouldn’t access to the internet.

Yet now I’m sure there’d be a good book/novel that would introduce us to herbs … but with a relaxed overtone … I should check to see if I could find one. I had a look –but think it depends on your book taste … Catherine Cookson, but perhaps the one that interested most was the Scent of Herbs by Claude Michelet – a trilogy … French herbs!! Saga covering a century including both World Wars …

Thanks everyone – and now Roast Lamb probably has to be had soon … and probably buying those Michelet books … cheers to you all - Hilary

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

I grab my mint tea whenever my tummy is out of sorts! Love mint. When I lived in California, I grew a chocolate mint. It really tasted like chocolate and mint.

diedre Knight said...

I had no idea the many uses for fresh mint! Or that they could take over a garden - until they did, in my back yard ;-) We grow peppermint, spearmint and chocolate mint along with a grand old rosemary bush which is a favorite of the little ones whose toys we find nestled within every time we trim it. Your melon salad looks and sounds heavenly. Herby Bread? Have you a recipe you could share?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I would love it on potatoes. It grows easily? I'm getting some for my herb garden this year.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Mmm, you've actually got my taste buds going with this post - mint is one of those flavours that makes my mouth literally water. Mint sauce is so lovely. And mint choc chip icecream is refreshing in the summer.

And I know for certain my day wouldn't be the same if I had to start it with cucumber or basil flavoured toothpaste!!

Liz A. said...

I've never been a fan of mint. Or lamb. Interesting musings.

Olivia Rose said...

I have mint and basil on my windowsill.

Suzanne Furness said...

I do like mint . . . mint sauce, mint tea so refreshing And how about a lovely mojito cocktail with lots of fresh mint. Definitely makes me think of warmer days. Thanks, Hilary.

Rhodesia said...

I love mint, but am amazed that so many different plants come under the mint family :-) Another great post that I have learnt so much from. Thanks Hilary, Diane

DMS said...

I enjoy mint. So fresh! I can't imagine toothpaste without that minty flavor. I do not think I have ever had potatoes with mint. Mint in tea is very refreshing. :)

Thanks for sharing!
~Jess

Lenny Lee said...

hi grandblogmom! another post to turn my appetite upside down. lol when my mom was alive she fixed new zealand lamb with jellied mint sauce on easter. other veggies too. seems like the tradition in the states is ham at easter. thats what's served at our cousin's house. now i've read your post it sure makes me miss that lamb and mint sauce. yum! and mint chocolate chip is one off my favorite ice creams. sometimes we can find vanilla ice cream with pieces of mint candy and that's delish too. a nice mint tea is good and york peppermint patties are good. thanks for a cool mint post.
...love and hugs

Joanne said...

Your herby bread and salad sound like a very tasty mix. I want that for my dinner right now! In regard to mint - mint chocolate ice cream is my favorite. So refreshing - just tickles the palate. Aaah!

Botanist said...

I do love roast lamb and mint sauce, also buttered new potatoes with mint. BTW, the photo captioned "Growing potatoes on Guernsey" is actually Jersey, as would be expected given that you mentioned Jersey Royals. You got your Channel Islands switched, but I recognized Mont Orguiel castle in the background :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Holly – yes certainly mints settle the stomach and it is a delicious herb. It’s interesting I hadn’t come across chocolate mint … other chocolate plants – but not chocolate mint herb … now I’ll have to make a foray and look for it!

@ Dierdre – I’ve added a note in to your recent blog post and you can find the sort of things I use under my Herbs and Spices – Parsley part 5 post in November … search Herby bread and a few posts come up.

Now to your comment! Yes the mint plant is lethal isn’t it … I think we all live and learn that it spreads and enjoys life! Wonderful range of herbs you’re growing. What fun to find the kids’ toys hidden within the rosemary bush – they’re amazing plants too …

That salad is delicious – so refreshing and light as a starter – yet the herby bread gives some bulk and extra taste … I love it!

@ Diane – I know mint on potatoes … oh yes it grows very easily – get a good standard garden plant – but keep it in a pot and watered or damp, not in the sun all day … it’ll be fine, once it has settled in …

@ Annalisa – I’m sure you’ll be cooking up some roast lamb as the early Spring season comes upon us. I know mint is a great herb to have around …

Mint choc ice-cream a necessity … but I agree toothpaste wouldn’t be toothpaste without mint …

@ Liz – sorry you don’t like either mint or lamb … but we all have different taste buds – glad you enjoyed the musings!

@ Olivia – that’s good that you’re using mint, and have basil available too … thanks for coming by …

@ Suzanne – we could have a mojito cocktail with lots of fresh mint – not something I’d thought about … but a good idea for a special occasion. Yes the warmer days are coming – I see it’s been a bit misty and wet further down the coast in our beloved Cornwall …

@ Diane – I bet you’ve got mint in the garden … I’ve had a few mint types in my time … but certainly ‘researching’ this post I discovered the mint family was very all encompassing … so glad you appreciated that part …

@ Jess – yes cleaning teeth would take on a whole new concept if we didn’t have mint toothpaste. Oh give new potatoes with melted butter and chopped mint a try – so so good! Mint tea is soothing isn’t it …

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lenny – good to see you … I know food always does that … and I’m not happy that lunch is so far away as I reply to the comments. Delighted that this brings back remembrances of your Mama and Easter with New Zealand lamb and jellied mint sauce at Easter, other veggies – definitely. Ham is very popular in the States for big occasions … I seem to come across it for Thanksgiving … I’d rather have lamb with mint sauce ….

Ice cream is good … so many varieties of ice-cream now-a-days … also chopped mint choc ice-cream too sometimes. Glad you enjoy mint tea … those chocolate York patties – we have similar kinds of chocolates – thins – After Eights, and Elizabeth Shaw are the two varieties the family tend to see …

So glad you enjoyed the cool mint post! Thanks…

@ Joanne – yes it makes a really good easy starter or different take on salad with some grilled chops … easy to make. Mint chocolate ice cream is a good one – I tend to go for chocolate … but then I don’t do ice-cream very often! Tickling the palate … is good!

@ Ian – glad you remembered your roast days with the mint sauce, buttered new potatoes and mint. Thanks for telling me about the photo – it’s one I ‘borrowed’ so just used the description – the funny thing was I was going to put Jersey instead of Guernsey … but now that I know – I shall immediately change the caption – thanks for putting me right! I didn’t know it was Mont Orgueil Castle – good to know that too … thanks so much for correcting me!

Oh great – thanks for all the comments and additions … chocolate mint ice-cream, mint tea feature well … as do other varieties of mint – perhaps why the family has such a large range of plants attached to it ….

Here’s to Roast Lamb with Mint Sauce … cheers Hilary

Rhonda Albom said...

I kept my mint in a pot until drought killed it. I then noticed a stalk of it behind my rubbish bin. I didn't think anything grew in that area because it never gets direct sunlight.

Elsie Amata said...

I like to use mint with some of the Greek dishes I make. It adds a little bit of flavor to the plain Greek yogurt I put on top of the cabbage rolls. Yummy!

cleemckenzie said...

Yum! I do love anything minty, and this is a perfect time of year to enjoy it. My pot is burgeoning with the lovely green herb. You've reminded me have to get out my mom's mint sauce recipe. Thanks Hilary.

bazza said...

I love the thought of a minty melon salad. And to think that I once thought you had to plant mint every year in the garden! It did try to take over.....
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Patsy said...

I do like fresh mint - the look of it, smell, taste - everything. I have several different kinds and all of the relatives you mention, except a teak tree!

LD Masterson said...

I love mint in so many forms. But I wish I'd read this post a couple years ago...before I planted it in my garden. It's everywhere, taking over the space that belongs to other plants.

A Cuban In London said...

Love the smell. Great post as usual. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Jo said...

You had me drooling there Hilary. Unfortunately new potatoes here are not a patch on those we got in the UK. And the thought of your Easter meal,yum. I am surprised you like mint jelly. Never heard of it before I came to Canada and can't say I like it. Give me good old mint sauce. I am actually contemplating cooking a duck for Easter this year. Not decided yet though.

Arlee Bird said...

The only time I remember having lamb with mint jelly is when I was a child in about 1961 I'd guess. My mother fixed it. I don't ever recall having it again since, though I've had lamb in other dishes a number of times.

I didn't realize so many herbs were included in the mint family.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rhonda – oh yes, I can believe the mint escaped … it is a great traveller … probably had a little reflected sun, but mostly daylight crept in.

@ Elsie – I agree … mint with Greek recipes goes well. Cabbage rolls – I’ve made those once or twice … but yoghurt with a sprinkling of mint is good to go … I can easily see that …

@ Lee – glad I reminded you of your Mom’s mint sauce recipe – and that you’ll get it out ready for some roast lamb dishes with home-made mint sauce … sounds good.

@ Bazza – that minty melon salad is such a useful dish ... makes a complete variation on a salad, or a starter. Mint tricks us when we start our own gardens … then we learn their clever tricks of never going away!

@ Patsy – I imagine you’d have a good selection of mints … being the good gardener you are … no teak tree?! But you do have other relatives ready for the cooking pot … that’s good!

@ LD – oh yes … keep mint contained … it’s a lovely herb to be everywhere, but you can at least indiscriminately pull it up – and it’ll still be there for you!

@ ACIL – fresh mint crushed between the fingers is lovely isn’t it …

@ Jo – yes you often mention how things taste different out in Canada – understandable I suppose with the different soils … I do love roast lamb and certainly enjoy the traditional English dishes.

I don’t like bought mint jelly, but the ones you get in artisan shops or farm stalls are lighter, fresher and not so sugary and they are good – like the one in the image.

Roast duck is good – love it too … decisions, decisions!

@ Lee – mother’s roasts … it seems to be a family thing out in the States … lamb chops, and lamb stews are always good too. I’m glad I reminded you of an early meal with your mother …

I know that range of herbs within the mint family is quite extraordinary isn’t it – opened my eyes …

Thanks everyone – I was quite daunted writing this post –there’s a lot more to mint than I realised and I think I only really scratched the surface … but I learnt a lot … cheers to you all and have good weekends - Hilary

Lynn said...

I grew a variety of mint in a pot - it was "chocolate" mint and it smelled just like that. I never really used it for anything, but loved the scent of it.

My mother told me one day, when I was visiting, that mint had "volunteered" in their back yard. I loved that expression "volunteer" for something that was spreading wildly. :) She ran with it and put sprigs of it in iced tea.

Keith's Ramblings said...

What a versatile herb. Yes, it's a menace in a border but I put up with it. I make my own mint sauce and just last night, mixed some with yoghurt and sploshed it on my curry! Yum yum!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

My favorite way to use mint is in tea, both hot and iced. So refreshing and soothing. I like to pick a a handful of it first thing in the morning when I go outside to pick up the newspaper, so I can use it in my morning tea. Last year, I planted some chocolate mint, too, which smells just like a Peppermint Patty! I don't like its taste as much, but it sure does smell good!

Cheers! Have a super weekend.

Deborah Barker said...

Oh how my mouth waters Hilary! What a delight to read. We have mint in our herb garden and I cannot resist sniffing it as I pass by. It appears in various dishes but roast lamb with mint is the best. Not that I really like the thought of eating lamb - maybe just the mint?
Thank you for the nod to Spring! :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - I hadn't come across chocolate mint before this post when many of you have mentioned it .. I'm not sure I'd like the taste - but perhaps with chocolate sauce over minty ice-cream ... yet the scent would be fascinating.

How funny - about the volunteering mint - good way of describing it .. but your mother put it to good use ...

@ Keith - yes it is a versatile herb isn't it ... as you say a menace in the border, but easy to pull out excess plantings. Your mint sauce sounds good, but I like the idea of adding it to yoghurt that you can then use as and when ...

@ Susan - fresh mint tea is such a great drink isn't it - cooling in summer, or warming in winter - as you mention: refreshing and soothing. Great you use it everyday ... lovely to have that scent in the early morning.

The Peppermint Patty idea with a sprig of chocolate mint - makes sense ... I can understand the taste aspect though ... but can understand the smell ...

@ Debbie - just glad you enjoyed the post with its nod to Spring ... I love rubbing mint or other herbs between my fingers - yes Roast Lamb with Mint ... I do love eating lamb, I suppose I shouldn't but occasionally I do ... and I'd need mint with it but not on its own.

Cheers to you four .. thanks for your visits and enjoy the weekend - Hilary

Gina Gao said...

I love mint, just wish I could be able to grow some for myself.


www.ficklemillennial.com

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary. I don't think we'll be roasting lamb at Easter in Oz. Still too hot! Maybe a bit of fish and salad (with potato salad with mint, of course!) I didn't know all those herbs were related to mint. I keep mine in a pot near the tap, nicely constrained. My favourite slice is Peppermint Chocolate slice, but I don't eat it any more -- too sweet.

Enjoy your roast lamb Easter treat!

Denise :-)

Jacqui Murray said...

I can't get my head around potatoes cooked in mint. Hmmm...

Inger said...

Only you could come up with so many fascinating facts and classics about mint. In Sweden we boil our potatoes with dill, but since I love mint, I must try it. It never occurred to me to do that. There's somethig special about mint, it perks you up, wakes you up, I think.

Robert Bennett said...

Ugggh! I have PTSD from my mint. I decided to plant a little at my dad's house and the damn stuff proceeded to take over EVERYTHING. It started as a little foot wide patch and proceeded to spread over a half acre! I'll give it this...it's a hardy little shit.

Vallypee said...

I have mixed feelings about mint. I love it as a mouth freshener, but don't like eating it much. Amazing how many uses it has, though! Great post, Hilary!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

That mint salad looks wonderful! And I had no idea that mint could even be tree-sized!

Too bad that they spread so much, but at least a pot should contain their antics.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Gina – it’s very easy to grow as I mentioned … so buy a pot, keep it fairly damp and out of too much sun – you’ll be rewarded …

@ Denise – still hot? We’ve had a few days of lovely weather – probably nicer inland, but now we’re in for a spell of wet, colder weather …

Can quite see you’d rather be eating fish with salads, potato salad with some mint is good – my salad suggestion would be good too. I was surprised how many herbs were related to the genus mint. Clever to keep your mint by the tap. Oh yes I’ve gone off too much sweetness recently … but that chocolate peppermint slice sounds good …

@ Jacqui – give potatoes cooked with a sprig or two of mint a go … as long as you have mint sauce, or mint jelly to go with your meal … it does work.

@ Inger – I nearly didn’t write the post up … there was so much information to use for this mint post. Potatoes boiled with sprigs of mint in the water and then served with some meat and mint jelly or sauce … just adds to the deliciousness! Glad you’re going to give it a go … and yes mint does tingle our taste buds doesn’t it … Your idea of dill sounds interesting too …

@ Robert – oh dear … it really has run away with your garden or your Dad’s garden … pull it up – quite therapeutic as you’re not really doing any damage – except getting rid of a few plants and roots. Or pot up a bit, and then be ruthless pulling the rest up! Good luck with clearing the mint out …

@ Val – I don’t enjoy eating mint, but do enjoy the garnishing of chopped herbs over the top of dishes. As you note – lots of uses for it …

@ Elizabeth – the fresh melon, cucumber and tomato salad with a sprinkling of herbs is delicious … I know to think of mint as a tree is a little much – but teak has wonderful wood …

Exactly contain their wandering shenagins by keeping it in a pot …

Thanks so much to you all – for the extra comments and your ideas and thoughts – cheers Hilary

beste barki said...

Hilary, I liked your photograph titled 'growing potatoes on Jersey
with Mont Orgueil castle in the back ground'. Henri and I just completed watching the UK TV series 'Secrets of Great British Castles' (Dan Jones) and learned so many historical facts we didn't know. Just loved it.

Deborah Weber said...

What a refreshing and yummy post. I don't cook with mint often but I have a lovely little confined space near my back gate along a narrow path, and I can't help but brush up against the mint planted there as I walk by. Just the little bruising of passing by releases such a lovely scent it makes the walk a true pleasure. My favorite way to enjoy mint.

Nick Wilford said...

Sorry to say, Hilary - I can't stand mint! Never liked the taste or smell - and my father always kept a big bag of mints in the front of the car while driving. It made me carsick. I can handle brushing my teeth because I trick myself that I'm not eating it, but that's it. Interesting to read about all the things that are part of its family, though. I do love basil, thyme, sage...

Ann Carbine Best said...

I'll remember....new potatoes simmered in mint and tossed with butter. Anything for variety to get Jen to eat potatoes, though she and I both like the hot air fryer "fries," healthier than deep fat frying....a machine that we're really enjoying.

Will be in touch tomorrow via email. Take care. Many ((( ))) from me and Jen.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Beste - oh yes the potatoes growing on Jersey - rather wish it was my photo ... but it shows the Castle, which Ian advised us of its name. Glad you enjoyed Dan Jones's Secrets of British Castles ... I saw some of them ... but then I've got my own A-Z series ... not as erudite, but lots of info ...

@ Deborah - mint is certainly used for some things and is almost essential to certain foods - eg lamb. But brushing by your mint plants does release that lovely scent and stays with one ... I often rub a leaf through my fingers - it lingers longer!

@ Nick - no worries ... but I'm just surprised that a few of you positively hate mint, but if it upsets you, can understand ... the thought of mints of any variety won't be good. Fascinating you have to tell yourself that you can brush your teeth as you're not eating it - gosh ... a challenge indeed. The mint family does stretch far and wide doesn't it .. glad you enjoy basil, thyme, sage etc

@ Ann - good to see you ... well give the potatoes a try - it'll be sprinkled in green (chopped mint) - perhaps it will entice Jen. Glad you've found something healthier than 'fried' potatoes for you both to eat. Good look forward to the email ..

Cheers to you all - we're back to a wintery feel here this week - then the clocks daylight save and longer evenings will be with us .. have good weeks - Hilary

Nilanjana Bose said...

I love mint with tea, and with limeade. It's a staple part of Indian cuisine too, used in chutneys and to flavour stuff...had no idea that the family included all those herbs and teak as well! Astonishing!

Sara C. Snider said...

I love mint. I often drink peppermint tea shortly before bed as part of my "unwind" ritual. I know they say chamomile is better for relaxation, but peppermint tastes better. ;) I've never had mint on potatoes, and probably wouldn't have ever thought about it, but now I feel I have to try it. And I had no idea basil, lavender, etc. were part of the mint family. Fascinating!

Jean Davis said...

I can't say that I've ever had mint with potatoes, but I do like mint. We have some growing wild in our yard. Makes for a wonderful fresh smell when someone accidentally mows it over. :)

Bish Denham said...

I did not know about cooking mint with new potatoes. I'm going to have to try it! Nor did I know so many other herbs (AND teak) were in the same family!

Learning something new every day.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nila - mint tea is a favourite isn't it ... and yes mint is a part of Indian cuisine - as you mention mint chutney. But I was staggered at the mint family connections - even to the teak tree ...

@ Sara - again that peppermint tea before going to bed seems to be a favourite too ... chamomile is as you mention also meant to be very good. I hope you enjoy your minty potatoes ... do have some mint sauce, or mint jelly with the meal too - just enhances the potatoes. That mint family is extraordinary isn't it ...

@ Jean - I think the minty potatoes must be an English thing ... and it so easily grows wild and as you say exudes aroma once crushed ...

@ Bish - oh that's great you'll give minty potatoes a try ... as I mention above I'd have some mint sauce, or mint jelly with your meat ... to enhance the potatoes. I have to say reading the plants that are linked to mint was a surprise ...

Cheers to you all - enjoy your minty tea and thank you for trying a sprig or two of mint with your potatoes ... enjoy! Hilary

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

The person who owned our property before us had an herb garden in the backyard, untended for years. I still fight mint growing all over. But I love it in things, tea, ice cream and candies. I was surprised that all those plants were part of the mint family.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan - well the good thing is - you won't mind pulling it up - as you'll have a pleasant aroma around you ... and suspect it will be there for a long time to come - just a nuisance! I know mint does go with many dishes, particularly as a garnish, if not the main component as in sweets ...

So was I surprised by the range of plants in the genus - nearly stopped me writing the post ... but I persevered ... cheers Hilary

mail4rosey said...

I didn't know mint was so expansive. I also didn't know it grew so quickly. Makes me feel less guilty about my friend and I eating her grandmother's mint out of the garden all of the time. ;)