Saturday, May 9, 2009

La Vida Loca - Crazy Mint

Have you heard the definition of crazy (or insanity)? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

Oh, I won't even begin to count the ways in which my life is "crazy" by definition, but I will divulge one: I am mint crazy.

I am crazy about mint, the perky, fragrant and versatile herb that gives a flavor boost to everything from cocktails and teas to salads and side dishes. Nothing wrong with that.

But I was also certifiably crazy in my approach to growing the vigorous herb. For years, friends (who bragged that their mint was "growing like crazy") shared cuttings and I planted them in a semi-shady spot in my garden, only to have them die. Each year, I would try again, make a minor alteration and . . . fail. Same thing. Same results. Same head scratching.

As Dr. Phil might ask, "How's that workin' for ya'?" Well, it wasn't working, thanks for asking.

This year I decided to get sane. A member of my seed and plant exchange group, CASAPE, brought five kinds of mint to share at a swap meet. I took all five home and planted them in an entirely different, sunnier part of the garden. And guess what? The mint is thriving and spreading and screaming out to me, "Why didn't you do this before, you crazy lady?"

For lunch yesterday, I made a simple salad of cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes, mint and feta cheese. Served with a piece of grilled chicken and brown rice, it was a lovely way to celebrate a sunny day and sanity.



Minty Cucumber Feta Salad

1 cucumbers, peeled and diced

1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 tomatoes, diced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1 fresh garlic clove, minced
4 T. fresh mint, chopped
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for two to three hours before serving.

This recipe is so easy, it's crazy. In a good way.

(Is there an area in your life, the kitchen or the garden where you're doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Do tell.)

49 comments:

altadenahiker said...

Yum-mee. I'm trying to have the mint prove its invasive powers in the areas where the dogs have killed the grass. The mint (tried three varieties) is holding its own so far, and smell so great when mowed.

Trish said...

If at first you don't succeed...keep trying the same spot? ;-) crazy is one way to describe it!

Glad you stopped the insanity and are producing REAL gobs of mint!

Not long ago I turned Joan onto virgin mojitos and yeah, we're enjoying those!

salad sounds great even if it isn't something I can eat with the feta....sounds yuuum tho!

GOOD for you in changing the behaviour to improve the outcome!

Mermaid Sweets said...

So funny, my hubby and I laugh about the definition of crazy - because being stubborn, it's not that different sometimes.

Marcy said...

Sheesh! You would post about mint and salads, almost midnight and I'm reading that and now I'm hungry. Thanks alot! "tehe" I'm glad you will now have an abundance of Mint. Thanks for sharing the recipe too. ( Yay ) Sweet dreams and Bless you Susan! xo~

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

It's the full sun. I have a mint plant I consider a stowaway, It grows in a crack between asphalt, trash bins and my back steps. Full southern exposure. Can't get rid of it. (A tomato plant has recently joined it).

Location location location...probably why I've never used the plant. Can't kill it, can't eat it

Susan C said...

AH "Mint not lawns" - that's my new motto.

Trish, I like your saying. ;) Mojitos here I come!

MS, Yea, there's a fine line between being stubborn and crazy isn't there.

Marcy, So many wonderful things to do with mint. Can't wait.

AH, I think I need a cutting from that mint plant. The ultimate survivor.

altadenahiker said...

By the way, this salad looks most delicious, and I will try it this week.

(You use spearmint, I assume?)

Linda Dove said...

Mint is one of those smells I love to encourage on my hands. Garlic, too, actually. Those stainless steel "soap" bars that are supposed to take all these 'offensive' cooking scents away are not for me. I prefer a little crushed mint on the palm.

That salad looks delicious!

Margaret said...

I'm so glad your mint is thriving and that you have one less thing to feel crazy about. Your salad looks fabulous.

mattatouille said...

I LOVE mint, in everything, on everything :)

Susan C said...

AH, Yes, definitely spearmint

Linda, I think I'll run outside and rub my hands in the mint plants now. See ya'.

Thanks, Margaret

Matt, Yea, I think it's one of the most versatile herbs out there.

drppanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
drppanda said...

It's utility is very much known to the Indians.It is very much in use as folk remedies.Have heard of mint tea ?

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Do you have chocolate mint? Mine died long ago and I haven't come across it again. :(

Desiree said...

I always forget to water my mint.
I just tossed a dessicated pot of the former stuff yesterday--

Allison Lemons said...

I love fresh mint! It grows everywhere in Berkeley. Great post, I was smiling the whole time I was reading it.

Susan C said...

panda, I didn't know about the "utility" of mint (besides for the breath). Very interesting.

WC, Yes, I do have chocolate mint, but it's not nearly as hearty as the spearmint. I'll get you a cutting when it starts to spread.

Desiree, Even the dessicated stuff can come back to life with water. (I know because I kind of forgot about my cuttings for a couple of weeks and even the dead stuff came back to life again.)

Allison, That makes me happy that the post made you smile. :)

Ronni Gordon said...

I don't grow mint, but I do like having a flower garden, and I constantly plant things in the shade that will only do well in the sun that I do not have. Recently I have tried to come to grips with the fact that there are just some things that won't grow in the shade. Like you with your mint, I've found it a relief to plant things where they belong.

Petrea said...

Oooh, do you think it would work for ground cover? I need something invasive.

Susan C said...

Ronni, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only stubborn gardener. (I'm going with Mermaid Sweets "stubborn" instead of "crazy" or "insane.")

Come to think of it, I told my gardener to plant a Japanese maple in deep shade, even though I know they like part shade, part sun. He told me as much, but I just have to try. So far the tree likes its spot.

Petrea, I think mint makes a beautiful ground cover. It does like water thought, right AH?

altadenahiker said...

right. I'm on your train of thought, P. Patching up the dead grass with mint.

cookingschoolconfidential.com said...

I look at that salad and I think "refreshing."

Add some lemonade and a blazingly hot sun, and I am so there.

Cheers!

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

I'm on the PCC campus on Saturdays. I'll try to drop by and visit if I can get away from the class critique scheduled for that day.
BTW: I went out to look for the mint and remembered I'd gassed it. The tomato still stands.

Bec said...

Yum. . . that looks delicious. I guess my crazy kitchen thing is making boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot (some of the same, some different recipes) and wondering why they are always dried out and rubbery. Yuck.

The Food Librarian said...

Put me in the insane asylum, I'm crazy about mint too! I love all things mint.

(My only problem is sometimes I floss my teeth in the morning with minty floss, and then I put in my contacts..and my eyes feel minty)!

Cafe Observer said...

Luv those mints. Especially from the girl scouts.

tengo hambre said...

yeah, i think crazy can be good too. like how easy the salad is to make. i want to start a container garden on my balcony soon. maybe i'll plant some mint!

Carolyn Jung said...

Ah, mint and cucumber are like peanut butter and jelly -- even better together than they are separate.

Susan C said...

Cooking School, With fresh lemonade? Man that does sound yummy and refreshing!

PA, That's one determined 'mater ya' got there. It's right up there with the indestructable roaches.

Bec, LOL That's a great exmample!

Food Librarian, So do you have minty-fresh, kissable eyes and breath?

Tengo, Mint would be perfect for a container on a balcony.

Carolyn, You're so right about certain combinations being better together than apart. Now that would be a fun post.

jpvill said...

i saw your blog i wonder if how can i be one of your follower so that i could follow your beautiful blog... thanks

Jean Spitzer said...

Love mint also. Have peppermint, spearmint and some kind of variegated mint with fuzzy leaves, all in pots. Am currently on quest to get strawberry plants to grow in my backyard. (Unfortunately, I am of the tough love/neglectful school of gardening, so who knows.) I love it when you can just bend done a find a strawberry.

Carolyn Jung said...

Are you positive your mint actually died? In the winter, my mint plant looks deathly -- bare, withered, and empty of leaves. But in the spring it bounces back, and has done so since I got it four years ago.

foodcreate said...

Wow! The aroma of Mint. Mojitos best of the mojitos.I love Mint on everything.

~Thanks for sharing~

And you can visit me if I can visit you:)

Welcome~
foodcreate

Recessionista Genie said...

One of my friends grows chocolate mint. It's delicious in a mojito and also makes a nice ice cream garnish! I would gladly trade all my grass for mint. I tried planting some of hers last summer in a sunny spot, and it died. Maybe not enough water?

christina viering said...

You have inspired me to plant mint1

Meredith Kent said...

I like all the pictures and cliparts. It really adds flavor to your writing. A picture is worth a thousands words, and you saved several thousand.

Susan C said...

Carolyn, Sadly enough, my mint actually died. Not a dormant bit in sight. : (

RG - Love the idea of a chocolate mint mojito.

Sorry for not responding to everyone individually, but just want to thank you for visiting, reading and commenting.

The Changing Look of Friends said...

Well this is great! I'm growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and mint. Now I have something new to with them. To top it off I love feta.

Sonya said...

oh boy does this ever look good!

Gia's Spot said...

This year my dad offered me snips from his favorite mint patch, chocolate mint! It is divine and truly smells like a peppermint patty!! he insists it will spread far and wide..we shall see!!Nice blog!

bailey said...

Tasty tasty. That is what it looks like.

Legiman said...

Ah, your salad seems has a good taste. It's a good idea to try your salad.

nkrohini said...

Hi, Nice.Crazy!

nkrohini said...

Hi, Nice n Crazy indeed!

Mr. Ellison said...

Ahhhhh mint...I just planted some in a large pot. Great recipe idea...I will use it since I am the cook of the family (feeding four). Might even use for a 4th of July cook off on my block. Thanks for sharing!

Los Angeles, CA/ University of Southern California said...

That salad sounds FABULOUS! It's like a tabouli recipe I always make minus the rice/cous cous. Thanks for all your summer cooking insights and beautiful pictures :)

Dez's Shopping blogspot 1 Stop. said...

Nice blog!!!

Dez's Shopping blogspot 1 Stop.
Don't buy anything until you take a look at this site. Why search the whole internet while shopping when you can make one stop and find everything you want. Check out my one-stop shopping spot.

http://httpwwwmyshoppinggeniecom-dez769.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

網頁設計 網頁設計公司 最新消息 訪客留言 網站導覽


情趣用品 情趣用品 情趣用品店 情趣 情趣用品 情趣

色情遊戲 寄情築園小遊戲 情色文學 一葉情貼圖片區 情人視訊網 辣妹視訊 情色交友 成人論壇 情色論壇 愛情公寓 情色 舊情人 情色貼圖 色情聊天室 色情小說 做愛 做愛影片 性愛


免費視訊聊天室 aio交友愛情館 愛情公寓 一葉情貼圖片區 情色貼圖 情色文學 色情聊天室 情色小說 情色電影 情色論壇 成人論壇 辣妹視訊 視訊聊天室 情色視訊 免費視訊 免費視訊聊天 視訊交友網 視訊聊天室 視訊美女 視訊交友 視訊交友90739 UT聊天室 聊天室 豆豆聊天室 尋夢園聊天室 聊天室尋夢園 080聊天室 080苗栗人聊天室 女同志聊天室 上班族聊天室 小高聊天室


AV AV女優


視訊 影音視訊聊天室 視訊交友


視訊 影音視訊聊天室 視訊聊天室 視訊交友 視訊聊天 視訊美女 視訊辣妹 免費視訊聊天室


自慰器 自慰器

Anonymous said...

A片下載 成人影片下載 免費A片下載 日本A片 情色A片 免費A片 成人影城 成人電影 線上A片 A片免費看

米蘭情趣用品 情趣用品 情趣 飛機杯 自慰套 充氣娃娃 AV女優.按摩棒 跳蛋 潤滑液 角色扮演 情趣內衣 自慰器 穿戴蝴蝶 變頻跳蛋 無線跳蛋 電動按摩棒 情趣按摩棒