Homegrown Herbs & Basil-Mint Lemonade

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I inherited my Grandmother’s love to play in the dirt of gardening.  I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t have a garden to tinker in. Sometimes the garden has been large, such as my Grandmother’s garden, from my childhood, filled with tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, peppers, lettuces & a beloved strawberry patch.  And, sometimes it has been very, very, small {namely, the single potted plant that adorned my desk throughout college & graduate school}.  But, no matter the size, I have always enjoyed watching something grow, nurturing it along the way.  I am not an expert, but rather, a hobbyist…learning as I go along.  I did manage, however, to master the fine art of drip irrigation systems a few summers ago, learning from an expert {KP}.

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Currently, time and space constraints {as well as a large herd of hungry deer} have me exercising my green thumb on an indoor herb garden and a few flower pots on our deck…

Herbs Collage

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Herbs are low maintenance {give them plenty of sunshine and a bit of water, no fussing, and they will reward you with quick growth}, forgiving {they won’t lay down and die if you miss a watering} and I do enjoy being able to snip my own basil for a Pesto, chives for an Egg Salad and thyme for a Roast Chicken.

This morning, as I was working on next week’s dinner menu, I came across a recipe for Lemon Basil-Mint Lemonade in Deborah Madison’s, Vegetable Literacy.  Maybe it was the abundant sunshine streaming into my living room or the fact that I was struggling with the dinner menus but I decided I needed to try this beverage…immediately!

Basil-Mint Lemonade {adapted from Vegetable Literacy, by Deborah Madison}

  • approximately ½ cup of fresh basil leaves
  • a dozen mint leaves {I used peppermint}, plus additional sprig for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • grated zest and juice from 3 lemons
  • 4 cups of water
  • ice  (crushed & cubes)

Using a mortar and pestle, muddle the basil & mint leaves with the sugar until the leaves are crushed.  Transfer to a pitcher containing some crushed ice and then add the lemon zest, juice and water.  Stir well to combine.  Using a small, handheld strainer, pour lemonade into serving glasses containing ice cubes.  Garnish with a sprig of mint & serve.

Basil Mint Posterino

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Basil Mint Crushed Posterino

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Back at my desk, this lovely lemonade is making the task at hand much more enjoyable!

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See you later for dinner!

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