23 July, 2014

Where the Wild Things Are

I made ice cream again today.
The same basic recipe as the honeysuckle.
But this time, mint.
My mom's mint grows wild.
It knows not the boundaries of the herb garden she, at one time, tried futilely to
keep in contained within.
It grows like a free spirit,
refusing to color inside the lines.
A sprig here, thick-stemmed and leafy, growing up between rows of oregano.
Another, there, tangling with the thyme.
It played hopscotch across the low brick border it was originally planted in.
It crops up in little thickets,
filling in the bald spots where the summer sun has scorched the grass.
Those little thickets.
The leaves bruise when you walk unknowingly over them,
the fragrant oils rising up and tickling the humid air.
The ice cream was an attempt to tame the wild beast.
Or perhaps to try and capture some of that spirit.
I'm not sure which.
It earned a thumbs up from my team of tiny taste-testers.
Of course.
They're a wild bunch themselves,
recognizing a kindred spirit when they meet.
I gave it a thumbs up, too.
I like the earthiness of using the leaves.
Lettuce, O called it.
"Will you take the lettuce out of it before you turn it into ice cream?"
I took it out.
But it left something behind.
Something not found in extracts or oils or artificial flavorings.

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