The more mint you pick, the better the plants will grow, and you can pick sprigs throughout the growing season. Harvest more fully as the plants begin to
bloom, just as the lower leaves start to yellow. Cut the entire plant down two or three inches above the soil. You'll get a second smaller harvest the same season.
Strip the mint leaves from the stem and let them dry in a warm shady area. The dried leaves can be stored in a sealed jar. Detailed information on storing and preserving is given in Part 3.
A sprig of fresh mint is a pretty garnish for summer drinks — and you can't have a mint julep without it. Cook peas in a very little water to which you've added a couple of sprigs of mint. Toss boiled new potatoes with butter and chopped mint—a nice change from parsley. Instead of mint jelly with a lamb roast, try the traditional English mint sauce. Add a little sugar to a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh mint leaves, add boiling water to bring out the flavor, then top off with vinegar to taste.
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