I love fine coffee – and I hate to admit it, but I like it even better when I add a little flavored coffee syrup. I often feel guilty. Many commercial coffee syrups contain corn syrup and have lots of artificial ingredients.
I no longer need to feel guilty. I found a recipe for the perfect Mint Syrup in the place I would have least expected – in a hundred-year-magazine. It’s made with fresh mint leaves and there’s not a bit of corn syrup in it (though there is lots of sugar, so maybe I should continue to feel just a bit guilty). This simple syrup highlights the bright, complex nuanced flavor of the mint, and is wonderful in coffee and other beverages and foods.
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan; then add the mint leaves. Bring to a boil using medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid begins to thicken to a syrup consistency (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat; strain and cool.
Orange and Mint Salad is bright and sunny; and the perfect antidote to boring winter foods. The bite-size chunks of orange are mixed with chopped mint, and then drenched in a delightful citrus and wine liquid to create a refreshing, yet light salad (or dessert).
. . . hmm. . . . Now that I think about it, this salad would also be lovely on a hot summer day. Bottom line: This salad is good whenever you eat it.
Peel the oranges using care to remove the white membrane. Pull the orange segments apart into two halves, and then pull them apart again so there are quarters. Slice the quarters into pieces about 1/3 inch thick. Put the orange pieces in a bowl, and gently stir in the powdered sugar and mint.
In a small bowl combine the wine, lemon juice, and orange juice (and, if desired, the maraschino cherry juice). Pour the liquid over the orange and mint mixture.
Serve in champagne (or other decorative) glasses. Garnish with maraschino cherries and mint sprigs.
I only used half as many oranges as were called for in the old recipe. I also halved the amount of mint that I used. I did use the full amount of the other ingredients so that I would have plenty of liquid to pour over the orange pieces.
I also added a little maraschino cherry juice to the liquid to give it a lovely pink hue.
And, I skipped the angelica because it’s not easy to find these days. Angelica is the dark green candied fruit that was frequently used in fruit cakes in days gone by.
I plan to relax and enjoy the day with family and friends—and I may serve Angel Tip. This refreshing grape and mint cooler is perfect for all ages.
I found this recipe in a 1915 Good Housekeeping magazine. Angel Tip recipes generally include alcohol, but this one doesn’t. I’ve never seen a recipe that called for alcohol in a hundred-year-old women’s magazine. The 18th amendment, which instituted prohibition, went into effect in 1920. In the years preceding its enactment, public opinion and the media strongly supported prohibition, so alcoholic drinks were generally taboo in magazine recipe sections.
Use tall ice tea glasses. Fill each glass with crushed ice. Stir in a few (5-7 per glass) crushed mint leaves. Add the grape juice, and top with the whipped cream, and a sprig of mint. Serve with straws or long-handled spoons. Home-made grape-juice is preferable for this drink, but the commercial varieties may be used successfully.
To make homemade whipped cream, use 1/4 cup whipping cream per glass of Angel Tip. Whip the cream until there are stiff peaks; then, for each serving, stir in 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar.
Adaptation of recipe in Good Housekeeping (October, 1915)
You may notice that this is my second post this month that uses mint. Last week I did a post on Mint Glazed Apples. The mint plants in my garden are succulent and green this time of year, yet I have few recipes that use mint. I’m excited to find some old-time recipes that call for this healthful herb.
I love these last lazy-daisy days of summer. The apples are ripe, the mint plants in my garden are going wild—and I found a recipe that used both ingredients in a hundred-year-old magazine.
Glazed Mint Apples are easy to make: and a healthy, refreshing dessert. Life is good!
Glazed Mint Apples
6 apples (McIntosh or other variety that retains shape when cooked)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 dozen mint sprigs
Boil sugar and water together for fifteen minutes. Pare and core apples, and place in a frying pan. Pour the sugar syrup over them, add eighteen of the mint-sprigs tied in a bunch, and simmer slowly. Turn often to prevent them from becoming mushy. Each time the apples are turned, use spoon to baste apples with sugar syrup. When the apples have softened (about 20 minutes), remove carefully from pan, baste with a small amount syrup, and put a sprig of mint in the hole of each apple. Serve warm or cold.
Adapted from a recipe in Good Housekeeping (October, 1915)