To my surprise, the mint plant that died a horrible death last year, came back with a vengeance earlier this spring. I need to move it to a bigger container as it is straining at the seams. While we were picking basil yesterday, we also gathered enough mint to make mint simple syrup. I used this recipe from The Hungry Mouse and it was very simple, if you’ll forgive the pun.
I gave my mint leaves a quick rinse and spun them out in the salad spinner. Then, I followed the steps in the recipe. The only change I made was to heat the water to boiling in my electric kettle and then whisk it with the sugar until dissolved. The syrup sat and cooled while we had dinner and then I strained it into a pint sized mason jar.
As you can see, there’s still a few little bits floating around. A second straining through some cheesecloth would fix that, but I’m not sure I care enough to go to the trouble. Mint is not my favorite flavor, but I’m hoping this syrup will go well in mixed drinks and lemonade. So tell me, what would you use it for?
Thankfully, the garden survived the high temps while we were gone over the weekend. In fact, I think it flourished with the 90º temps, thanks to the good soaking I gave it before we left. The straw bales seem to be doing a good job keeping the tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchinis hydrated. I’ll try to get a picture in the future, but these were not from the straw bale part of the garden.
The foods from my first harvest were from the original garden bed that came with the house and some containers of herbs.
Sugar snap peas, larger than expected. Rex thought they were delicious and scarfed one down before they made it into the house.
Enough basil to make pesto for dinner. Rex loved pulling the leaves and was very sad when we were done picking. I washed up the basil and then threw it into the food processor with some parmesan cheese, a few walnuts, lots of garlic, and some salt. I blended it up while drizzling grapeseed oil in until it looked about right and p(r)esto!
I served the pesto up on some organic pasta from Costco (I don’t remember what this shape is called) with a side of asparagus. Rex had three helpings of pasta in addition to his asparagus! I’m hoping my basil plant will continue to flourish and there will be many more pesto dinners in our future.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about the mint that was picked with the basil. It became something else entirely.