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Mint tea and bath treats

October 23, 2009

I said I’d let you know about any little changes I’ve managed. The first is getting round to picking the mass of peppermint that sprung up in the garden when we had all the wet weather in September. I drink gallons of mint tea, so took the opportunity to make some of my own.

Obviously, it doesn’t require any great skill! Just pick the mint before it flowers (leaves are tougher then) and then dry it. There are various bits of advice on the internet, but the general consensus is natural drying rather than in the oven, which can evaporate more of the oil.

Also, pick the leaves in the early morning, after the dew’s dried off but before the sun has started to heat the leaves (again, evaporating the oil). Damp leaves equal mold…

I hung them in bunches in the kitchen and they took about a week to dry. The tea tastes so much better than the supermarket stuff, although I’m not sure we have enough to last us until the next bunch is ready to pick.

I read an article today about homemade cosmetics, including a bubble bath alternative. It sounds really good (especially the winter one). Note the use of ‘knicker wasp’!

Things for in the bath? [Find] a piece of muslin (or any sort of similarly fine material) and [put] a couple of tbsns of oats into it, tying it up and dropping it into the bath as the water is running. “It gives a lovely milkiness to the water…You can tip in a spoonful of sodium bicarbonate beforehand to soften the water and deodorise your skin as well.”

Into the muslin you might also want to put fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage, bay or thyme, or alternatively you could have a spicy winter bath with a cinnamon stick, some cloves and a whole nutmeg. “Don’t just chuck them into the water or they’ll turn into what we call knicker-wasps…You know, those herby bath things that you always end up sitting on.”

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