Mint is a bit of a thug in the garden. It will rampage across the bed, strangling anything in its path as it strives for world domination. Anyone wishing to grow the stuff should either plant it in a pot on its own on a patio or plant it, still in its pot into the soil.
Having said that, I have managed to unsuccessfully grow mint on at least 2 occasions, each time the plant succumbing to chocolate spot (brown spots on its leaves) before dying completely over winter.
An allotment friend either didn't know about mint's habits or chose not to follow the advice and now has mint romping its way across one of his beds. In an effort to keep it under control he had recently started pulling great lumps of it out. I hate to see herbs going to waste so I took some to use to make my mint choc chip ice-cream recipe. I invented this two summers ago when I had a healthy mint plant and it was unlike anything I had ever tasted before - deliciously minty, almost in a new potato kind of way!
Anyway, I got on with this this afternoon but was sadly disappointed with the result which had little to no mint flavour at all. This could be due to a different variety of mint but I'm suspecting it is the time of year and that the herby oils have not yet risen in the plant to their full. I had to add peppermint oil to the ice-cream to salvage it, which is hardly the point, and will consul myself with the thought that I have probably imparted vitamins to the ice-cream from the mint even if not the flavour. In the meantime, I shall pot on some of the excess mint and hope to have a healthy plant in the summer to have another go.
Mint choc chip ice-cream
4 sprigs of mint
10 fl oz (284 ml) milk
2 oz (55 g) icing sugar
10 fl oz (284 ml) double cream
2 oz (55 g) chocolate chips
Pour the milk into a pan, tear up the mint and place it in the milk. Gently heat the milk (but do not boil) for 5 minutes. Strain the milk to remove the mint. Place the mint and 2 tablespoons of milk in a blender and blend well. Pour the blended mint into a sieve and press it against the sieve with a spoon to squeeze out the milk. This liquid should be green. Add the sugar to the milk and stir until dissolved. Add the cream and stir. Pour into suitable containers and add the chocolate chips. Freeze the mixture for 2 hours until beginning to freeze then stir with a fork to break up the ice-crystals. Return to the freezer for another 2 hours then stir again, making sure to stir the chocolate chips through the ice cream. Repeat again 2 hours later than return to the freezer until solid.