Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mint Extract

I'm boozing again. This time I'm attempting mint extract. I think the mint plant I got from the neighbors and put in a pot last summer is spearmint. When I broke off a leaf today and chewed on it, I couldn't make up my mind. Yes, I haven't tasted it until now. Could be I can't tell because my mouth is still all goofy from two and a half hours in the dentist's chair yesterday. Poor guy, scare him out of his wits. A nerve connected to my right eye wasn't where it was suppose to be and he jabbed it sending me into minor shock. My eye turned color immediately, the skin around my eye turned white along with a U shaped streak on my cheek, my gums turned white along with part of my lips, my hand started to shake, and yup, next I turned as white as a sheet. I went into a minor case of shock.
Of course the first shots didn't completely numb the tooth and after most of the shock wore off he had to give me another shot. A different kind of medication. Under the duress a few minor cuss words parted his lips. I just felt terribly sorry for him and his assistant. The not suppose to happens quite frequently in my case and it has made me a memorable patient for a number of doctors and a couple dentists. I on the other hand just figure it is par for the course. But anyway, we were talking about mint extract. Hoping that the mint is actually minty and my taste buds are lying to me, I went ahead and stripped a pint of leaves, washed them, and gently crushed them as I dropped them into a quart jar. A pint would do nicely, but a quart was handier at the moment. The recipe called for a pound of leaves. That sounded like a whole heaping lot to me and I can't imagine myself using that much mint extract. Besides, I've lots of vodka left in the bottle to make up another batch when I run out. I might want to change something in the way I make it and if I have too much, that is a long way off before I need more.
With a winter wonderland outside, leaving the jar in the sun like sun tea just isn't going to happen no matter that that is what the recipe called for. And I don't have a window sill to put it in either. So instead, I opted to warm the vodka until steam gently waifed off, then poured the cup full over the leaves, placing a lid on the jar to steep like an herbal infusion.
That's it. Wait three to four weeks and voila, mint extract. At this point one is to strain the leaves out with cheese cloth. The leaves are said to turn a bit pale and brownish. I hope it works. One blogger wrote that hers didn't create anything but a slight minty smell. If that happens, I'll just put more mint in and give it another four weeks. What have I got to loose?

If you haven't figured it out by now, then I'll warn you. You have to stay tuned to see just how things turn out with all my experiments. As for the lemon extract, the lemon peel is turning quite pale and the liquid in the jar a rich lemonade color. Sometime next week I'll strain it. A batch of whole milk yogurt is in the maker and my eighth batch of buttermilk is culturing on the counter.

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