Simplicity is summer’s adjective. From where I sit typing in my kitchen I see the bottom hem of a blue and white striped skirt through slats in a deck one story above my own apartment. Green herbs and other various plants poke their leaves through these weathered, wooden slats meanwhile drinking up the cool hose water the skirted woman pours atop their blossoming heads. I see mint, its curvy, slender vine-like stalk curling in and out of the wood planks. I sip on iced coffee as I type, iced coffee spiked with minted milk.
Mint, a summertime staple and one that screams simple pleasures, grows like a weed in summer. Even my untended and overgrown back patio is covered with this its sweet, herbal leaves. It’s an ingredient that inspires me in the kitchen every summer, and this year my afternoon latte craved its mellow freshness.
Break off 4-5 stalks of mint and heat in a saucepan with a quart of whole milk. Heat the milk until it just barely reaches a boil. A skin will form on top of the milk, remove it and the mint. Refrigerate. Makes for the perfect and subtle accompaniment to coffee, scald heavy cream with mint instead of milk and whip to make a minted whipped cream, or simply pour atop cereal and fresh berries.