Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Minty Boost

I’ve always loved new-year’s resolutions.

I also like reading seed catalogs while there is still snow on the ground. I can imagine the fragrances and textures of the garden much more effectively when they are not confused by early spring weeding.

I get this one catalog of heirloom seeds. I love looking at the pictures of the potatoes they sell. The lighting they have chosen for the potato pictures is dark and luscious. The cut purple and red potatoes look like they are crafted from velvet.

I have a small bed of amazing potatoes in my garden. Last year they were overrun with mint.

I like the strange mint that grows in my garden. Eventually I gave up on viewing the mint like it was a weed simply because it had gotten out of hand. Since it is not recognizably a spearmint or a peppermint (I actually think it may be more of a horehound) I cannot seamlessly introduce it into recipes. It is simply the wonderfully aromatic plant that wants to be everything I grow.

This New Years I have decided that the mint, or its essence, will make a wonderful soap additive. To this end I’ve gathered some rough plant waxes, and I search for lye. Lye is apparently important in the manufacture of meth, and is difficult to routinely acquire for people who look more like Walter White than Martha Stewart.

Like many of my decisions the effectiveness of the unruly mint as a soap ingredient will only be validated in hindsight. I’ve got some lavender that perennially fights off assimilation by the mint, and dried flowers from it should make a reliably saponified plan “B”.

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