Thursday, August 21, 2008

Minty fresh

No, I am not selling toothpaste! But I do like the taste of mint. So cool and refreshing, like a cool ocean breeze on a hot summer's day, it is invigorating!

So this year we bought some peppermint. We had some for a while previously, but it got out of hand. Mint is a very hardy, aggressive plant. It is best to plant it in a container. But do not do as we did and just set the container on the grass. For if you do, it will drop seeds in the grass and then the central command (mint in the container) will send its troops (mint seedlings) marching across the yard to declare war on the zinnias, the tomatoes and the cucumbers. Really, it just goes wild.

We do have some chocolate mint, but it seems to be a little tamer than regular mint. If you have never tried it, please consider doing so. It smells just like a York Peppermint Pattie when you crush the leaves. Yum!

So I had to wait until the mint was big enough to use, we bought just a small plant. I had been intrigued by the idea of making my own mint jelly (ok, so I am a weirdo). It is delish!

Mint Jelly
I got 5 half-pints

1 1/2 cups fresh mint, washed and packed (I used a combination of chocolate mint and peppermint)
3 1/4 cups water
2-3 drops green food coloring
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 (1 3/4 ounce) box pectin
4 cups granulated sugar

Crush mint leaves (I did a rough chop). Add water. Bring to a boil.

Remove from heat, cover and let stand 10 minutes. Strain and measure 3 cups of mint infusion. Take a big sniff to clear your sinuses - works waaaaaaay better than Vicks VapoRub!

Add food coloring and lemon juice. Add Sure-Jell, dissolve and bring to a rapid boil.

Add sugar. Cook fast, stirring occasionally until it comes to a rapid boil that cannot be stirred down, then cook 1 minute more.

Skim foam off.

Pour into sterilized jelly jars and seal. I processed in the hot water bath canner for 10 minutes to insure a good seal.

Mine turned out a bit darker than I thought it should, but a lot of my mint leaves were rather dark, kind of purply.

Great with lamb, but I am thinking to use it in some baking . . . hmmmmmm!


Cheryl said...

That looks amazing, we eat quite a lot of lamb and I would love to make my own jelly!

Sylvie said...

Look at that colour, amazing.

Linda said...

My mom made mint jelly every year. Hers was often dark too. I have the choc mint on my deck and when Country Sampler was here shooting the pics for next spring, the photographer picked big bunches to use a prop. It smelled like York patties all day!

Kindra said...

Hi Raquel! It's great to meet a fellow Nebraskan! Even if you live in Missouri. :) I loved seeing the pictures of the corn fields. :) What a great blog you have! I will be back to try some of your recipes. I love blog recipes, gives me something different to make for a change! Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

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Carin said...

sounds yummy

Jan said...

Slam in the lamb! If only we could get some. :-(

Anonymous said...

This looks so yummy, i love mint on new potatoes, Thankyou for the recipe

Angela said...

I love mint jelly with lamb, my Mum does a great roast dinner, something I am not brave enough to do unless it's chicken.
I have pineapple mint this year and it is lovely too, with really pretty leaves.

Marie said...

Your mint jelly looks fabulous Raquel! I Love the dark colour. Mint is so wonderful with lamb. I prefer the jelly over the sauce myself.