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Fresh-as-Summer Mint Jelly

| 7/21/2015 9:08:00 AM


If you grow mint, you know all too well that you don’t grow it, it grows you. I am always searching for recipes that make the most of the plant I seem to have the most of. Yes, there’s mint tea (see my earlier blog). Yes, it’s a happy garnish in sweet summer lemonade and adult beverages. Yes, it makes a naturally fragrant and beautiful bouquet on your picnic table. Yes, a sprig or two can be arranged artfully on a plate of ice cream topped with chocolate-mint sauce. But what else?

My favorite fun use of the chewing-gum herb is making a batch of mint jelly. If you are new to home canning, this is a great recipe to get you started. It’s easy; has just a few ingredients; and, if you avoid the one big mistake I’ll warn you about, should be pretty simple when it comes to clean up.

Get Ready To Can

This particular recipe comes from my time-tested Ball Blue Book of Preserving. It’s sticky, full of asterisks, notes and dog-eared pages, so you know it’s my favorite. The Mint Jelly recipe is pretty straightforward. Just a couple words of advice before you run out to your garden and start clipping mint:

1. Be sure to read the entire recipe so there are no surprises.
2. Have half-pint or quarter-pint glass jelly jars, lids and screw tops ready to go.
3. Use a pot that is at least twice as big as you think you’ll need. (This is the mistake I made that I said I’d warn you about.) When jelly gets to the gel stage, it notoriously foams and bubbles up. The first time I experienced this, I screamed. It was like green lava from a giant kitchen volcano. It leapt over the sides of the pot, onto the stove and down to the floor. Save yourself a giant, sticky clean-up and use a pot that looks way too big. I promise it will be just right.


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