Green Giant - Apron Diaries Blog at Allrecipes.com - 98413

Apron Diaries

Green Giant 
 
May 29, 2009 11:56 am 
Updated: Jul. 12, 2009 8:22 pm
When I was a kid in Southern California, gardening meant pulling weeds when I'd rather be body surfing. It was a chore, a burden, and occasionally a punishment. Okay, often a punishment. Later, when I watched a housemate work in her little flower garden planted in the hard scrabble side yard of our Venice Beach rental, I still couldn't see the point.

Then I fell in love and moved to the Pacific Northwest, where I married a man with a garden.

After many years of digging and planting and rearranging and inadvertently killing things and unexpectedly growing things, our garden has become our haven and I've started to think of myself as a gardener.

Mistakes were made. My most recent bone-headed move? I planted mint, and not in a pot. You gardeners are screaming, "What were you thinking?"

Yeah, I hear you.

And now the green giant has taken over a sunny corner of a vegetable bed where rightfully a tomato should go. But it's so pretty! Well, so was the Japanese timber bamboo that eventually tore up the north side of our garden. That was pretty, too. But we had to take it out once it bullied its way past the barrier that we naively thought would hold back the forces of nature.

And now we have to deal with the mint.

I need some ideas from you because I can't drink that many mojitos!

Thanks for the visit, and happy gardening!
The garden in May 2009.
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The mint that ate my garden.
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Chive flowers + salad = genius
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I love chard's colorful stems.
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Comments
alyssa 
May 29, 2009 12:42 pm
Thanks for the laugh! I had to tell my neighbor to take the mint out of her garden last summer; thankfully it had been in the ground less than 24 hours. I am sorry I don't have any mint recipes, but a sprig in a glass of sweet tea or lemonade (or pretty much any drink) always adds a nice touch. Oh, and I am jealous of your birch trees - I love them!
 
May 29, 2009 1:47 pm
Your yard is beautiful. My mint is planted in a large herb pot that I keep right out my back door. It is growing happily alongside chives, parsley, oregano, and basil. They all seem to know their place and it's really pretty when it's full and lush. As far as the extra mint.....how about some Moroccan foods or Indian even? Or are you able to gather some and barter at a farmers market? You know, I'll trade you 3 bunches of mint for 3 pints of strawberries?
 
bonnie 
May 29, 2009 2:45 pm
Mint is the one plant I don't mind pulling when it gets out of hand because it smells so good. So just enjoy!
 
May 31, 2009 10:03 am
Hi alyssa, Avon, and bonnie. Nice to see you. I'm pretty torn about the mint. It really does look nice and it smells so good, but it's the size of a medium to large bush and it's going to fall over any day now. We've been putting mint leaves in unexpected places in an effort to use it up--for example, my husband topped off a tuna sandwich with some shredded mint (it was good!)--but we certainly haven't made a significant dent. I think I'll cut a bunch of mint and inflict it upon my co-workers on Monday. Avon - I really like your idea about bartering it. That's genius!
 
Jun. 1, 2009 9:56 am
Oh, I love mint, but haven't planted it yet in my own garden for fear of the same "problem!" I love mint pesto with pasta, grilled lamb or seafood. And, this last weekend I had a delicious sandwich made with thinly sliced radishes and mint-lemon mayo and another with cucumber and a tarragon-mint butter. I would highly recommend both - they were delicious. Apple-mint preserves might be fun...Best of luck with your bounty.
 
Skuba 
Jun. 1, 2009 12:48 pm
You can brew it into a really strong tea and freeze it in ice cube trays. You can add it to lemondade and Ice Tea, you can also make mint jelly if you like that sort of thing. (For a recipe for thoes Ice cubes I posted one or just look up mint icecubes on here.)
 
Jun. 1, 2009 1:56 pm
I planted pennyroyal once - member of the mint family, invasive, and it STINKS! I think it's mostly gone now. So see? At least you can DO SOMETHING with your mint! :) I think bartering is an excellent idea! Also, I love mint with any kind of melon - Rainbow Mint Julep here on AR is pretty good!
 
Jun. 1, 2009 3:46 pm
Mint pesto! Mint ice cubes! Tarragon-mint butter! See...this is exactly why it pays to ask questions. I had thought about the mint jelly, but then I wondered how much mint jelly I would actually use. (Of course, the answer would be to give it all away.) But the pesto and ice cubes give me even more options. And the flavored butters can be frozen for later. I might even try that mint julep, you never know. Thank you all for the great ideas. I'm going to run outside and do a little happy dance in front of the mint...show it who's boss.
 
Jul. 9, 2009 5:10 pm
One of my favorite ways to prepare salmon (something I'll bet you have a lot of up there in the PNW)is to blacken the salmon, then top it with a really simple strawberry-mint salsa. Chop the mint, crush the strawberries very slightly, just enough to soften them and release the juice, and stir in a little basalmic vinegar. It should have the consistency of salsa, not sauce. Top the blackened salmon and enjoy! Also, a fruit salad of watermelon chunks, cucumber slices, and chopped mint is really refreshing on a hot summer day. Good luck!
 
Jul. 9, 2009 10:11 pm
Hi jenny - I love your idea for strawberry-mint salsa! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I'm going to try it this weekend.
 
Jul. 12, 2009 10:33 am
The Mint that ate Seattle? You must not have any hungry cats in your neighborhood. My parents had a mint bed, yes, a 7 x 5 plot of ground below their bedroom windows, where Mom planted mint. It grew nicely for several years but sadly, it is no more. We figure the cats got to it. I heard cats love mint. Or maybe it was a blight? I have no idea what may have killed it but the bed did not spread and lasted a good 15 years. Recently, Dad planted mint in a large upright planter surrounded by chicken wire to keep out the cats. Fresh mint has returned! Yay!
 
kooky cutter 
Jul. 12, 2009 8:22 pm
at least when you planted it you didn't know better. i too have made the same mistake, knowing full well that i shouldn't have last year, but i didn't have anything better to plant in the vast space that we call the garden. ^_^ you can cut off generous handfuls and save them for use later when it is not in season and help cut down on it now. i also love the idea of bartering it and using it for giving away.
 
 
 
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