Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Time Flies!

It was an all day rain today, persistently reminding us the time is nigh for autumn colors, sweaters, rosy cheeks. Winter reached long again this year, making summer negligible and the notice of the "early trees" in August even less welcome than ever.

We also closed our summer location in Munising early this year. We frankly picked a convenient time, as Andrew (the manager) headed out the door for his last semester on his math degree.

Sitting in the cafe' this dark evening with the furnace warming the scent of freshly roasted Sumatran coffee, listening to "Summertime" wilting out of our old radio, I can't believe the first day of autumn is not even upon us.

Produce still opens our front door and makes its way to the cooler and the plates.  I've decided to stock pile mint syrup made with Backyard Mint from down the road.  It's the heaven that has carried me through the season. I can go years without ice cream, but this summer the pool of fresh mint syrup surrounding my vanilla ice cream while sitting in my bed looking out at miraculous sunsets over the new hoop house just up the road will never leave my memory.

Here's a recipe:

Backyard Mint Syrup

You'll need a large pot of simmering water, a large pot of ice water, a small saucepan, a blender, and a fine mesh sieve.

1 Dozen Mint Stalks (1 foot long)
2 Cups Organic Sugar
2 Cups Water

Put the washed mint stalks into the pot of simmering water. Turn the burner on HIGH. Allow them to boil briefly... 30 seconds or so, until they become bright green. Remove them from the water and place them immediately into the ice water.

Bring the sugar and water to boil in a small saucepan and cook until all of the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.  This is "Simple Syrup".

Remove the mint from the ice water and pat the excess water from them with paper towel. Cut the mint into 2-4" lengths.  Empty both of your water pots.  Wash them both and have them handy.

Place a handful of the mint into the blender and add about 1/2 Cup of the simple syrup. Pulse until well blended. Add more mint and add more syrup. Repeat. Continue this way until all of the mint and all of the syrup are now well blended (pureed) in the blender.  

Pour through a fine mesh sieve into one of your now empty pots. Empty and rinse and sanitize the sieve.  Pour the Mint Syrup one more time through the sieve into another pot. You're done!