If but for the squirrels...well, not only the squirrels, there is also the invisible-ish fence I put in place for the dog who chases after the squirrels, over which I continually trip, and the dirt that is all over and has to be replaced and put back nicely and cleaned up after the darling beasts have finished digging up my foxglove, red onions and geraniums yet again. Besides this, gardening is pure joy, especially when I have a day when I can just be out without interruptions. The kids wander out and around, help out when I give them a job...or not, sometimes.
Today, sirop de menthe is on our minds...it always is in the summer. This is the French equivalent of Kool-Aid;
a syrup in a bottle that you can mix with water for a kid drink. [Not a clear photo, but I loved the dreamy face he had as he hypnotically pulled leaf after leaf off the stems, singing a half-song as he did.]
Back when I didn't know any better, I once planted a tiny little mint plant, it may even have been from seeds started indoors in February. It was so long ago that I've forgotten. Here is the thing: mint is an invasive sort of species. It goes crazy and pops up all over, beginning from the spot where you first thought you had contained the little devil. I have decided to capitalize on this prolific harvest each year and make mint tea, taboule, and the thing that will use up the most amount of mint by far; sirop de menthe. After some trial and error and extensive Youtube research, here is our super simple recipe/method of making it. There are, after all, only 3 ingredients, and one of them is water.
4 cups of water
2 lbs. sugar
A lot of mint leaves, one recipe said 750 grams
this looks like 2+ cups when the leaves are all removed from the stems
Put cold water and sugar into a pan, heat, stir until thickened; 30 minutes at least. Remove from heat. Immediately add mint leaves, cover. Let sit for 12-24 hours. Strain. Bottle, put in fridge. Use 1:6 with water for a delicious drink. If the color is less than beautiful and you have no moral objections, add a few drops of green food coloring to make it pretty during the bottling phase. Cheers.