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Herbs from the garden make a refreshing iced tea

It is incredible how the garden grows this time of year – each year it is an unbelievable surprise. Maybe that is why gardening is so much fun: constant amazement!

My herb garden is looking good. It contains more than just herbs because the vegetable garden is out back and it is too far to run for a head of lettuce. There are spinach, radishes, peppers and two kinds of head lettuce in the herb garden. Last year I had lavender for the first time and it came back this year. The hollyhocks along the back look promising for a good show. Also new this year is garlic. I can’t wait to harvest it.

Sitting beside the back door is an old blue chair with a basket of yellow and purple pansies on it. And herbs? Of course! Basil, parsley, oregano, dill, thyme and a big patch of spearmint.

That is what I want to talk about today. Mint, that plant that people want but then it goes wild and takes over the garden. It should really be planted in a container. But I am the type of gardener that likes to poke and putter in the long summer evenings so I keep my mint under control.

When the mint gets tall it should be cut down to about 6” from the ground, then it will grow up fresh again. That is when you can make this refreshing Iced Mint Tea … then sit on the porch to sip it. I use spearmint, but peppermint could also be used.

Iced Mint Tea

  • 6 cups mint leaves, packed
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 8 cups ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Wash mint thoroughly. The stems of the mint may be used if you are short of mint. I used the top part of the stems and discarded the bottom half, using only the leaves.

Place washed mint in a large container that will tolerate boiling water.

Pour boiling water over mint leaves.

Cover and let steep 20-25 minutes.

Remove mint leaves and discard.

Add ice cubes to hot mint tea.

Add white sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time.

Serve in tall iced tea glasses and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Makes about 9 cups.

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