Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Seasonal Differences
What’s cooking? Minted Water

Today I spent the morning in my garden, which, as often happens toward the end of the summer, has taken on some rather unruly aspects. Sort of like my hair after a two-hour drive in a convertible. My Sun Gold tomato plants are still producing like rabbits, but the vines have moved well beyond the confines of either the tomato cages at the north end of the garden, or the trellis at the south end. (And just to show you how little shame I have, here are the offenders in all their messy glory.) If the fruit weren’t so tasty, I’d be tempted to rip the plants out and start over.

Which is apparently what they do down here in Texas. I’m told that there’s actually a spring growing season and a fall growing season, separated by the inevitable scorching summer – as opposed to New Jersey’s single non-stop season from May to October, punctuated by a frigid winter. I’m not sure which I prefer, but they’re an interesting contrast.

I noticed as I looked around at the explosion of basil and thyme and sage and mint that the mint in particular was threatening to take over its box. And not in a nice way. So I’ve just checked a couple of gardening bulletin boards on the web and find that you can chop it all back 2-3 inches from the dirt and in a few weeks it’ll look bushy again. Now there’s a cathartic activity.

But I can’t stand to just throw the stuff away, so in the meantime, I’ve discovered something really nice to do with the mint I’m cutting.

Minted Water

Take a large pitcher and throw 3-4 thin slices of lemon into it along with 4-5 sprigs of mint. Fill the pitcher with water and stick it in the refrigerator. The result is a bright, lightly flavored drink that will quench any thirst. I’ve been making it on and off for the past month, and especially in the heat it’s been terrific. I know, the hot months are just about behind us, even in Texas, but I’m pretty sure this is good year-round.

No comments:

Post a Comment