With the rain and cold weather that we have seen over the past several months it seems that everyone in our area has gotten a pretty late start in their gardens. Maggie and I have planted herbs, greens, peas, onions, and several other spring crops but we still have quite a wait before we will reap the benefits of these plantings. The one fail safe crop that we do have is our annual abundance of mint. So, taking inspiration from my favorite radio cooking show, which is featuring classic Kentucky dishes this month, and seeing as the Kentucky Derby is coming up this weekend, I thought I would start my blog post with a traditional Kentucky Derby recipe using mint.
I tsp sugar
3 ounces bourbon
Place 5 or 6 leaves of mint in the bottom of a prechilled, dry 12-ounce glass or silver beaker. Add sugar and crush slightly with a muddler. Pack glass with finely cracked ice. Pour a generous 3 ounces of Kentucky bourbon over the ice. Stir briskly until the glass frosts. Add more ice and stir again before serving. Stick a few sprigs of mint into the ice so that the partaker will get the aroma.
For those of you who would rather have an alcohol free but equally refreshing drink, Maggie makes this wonderful mint tea that is great after a hard day of working in the garden
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/8th cup sugar
1 gallon water
Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the mint leaves to the pan of hot water, steep for 10 minutes. Add sugar and adjust to taste. Let the tea cool a bit then strain out mint leaves if you desire and serve over ice.
The following recipes may not be traditional Kentucky fare but they are all great ways to put fresh mint to use now and throughout the summer
To hear about some great classic Kentucky recipes tune in to What’s Cookin Now “The World’s Only Live Radio Cooking Show” tonight at 6pm on WMMT 88.7 Fm or listen to the live stream at wmmtfm.org