MINT, known from antiquity, is an herb with medicinal properties and is often used in specific Arabian cuisine as a spice. The most common and popular mints for cultivation are peppermint, spearmint and apple mint.
Spearmint and peppermint offer sweetly clean, refreshing taste and are the most widespread mint varieties used in cooking. Peppermint is more often used for candies and teas while spearmint complements savory dishes like lamb, peas and other vegetables as well as fruits and chocolate. Mint is common to Middle Eastern cooking. Leaves can be snipped into fruit salads and rice pilaf or added to a marinade for chicken. In India they hang fresh bunches of mint in doorways and open windows as the aroma of mint is said to symbolize hospitality.
PINCH OF WISDOM: Clean and refreshing is often used to describe not only the flavor but also the fragrance of mint. As Christians, we, too, ought to be recognized as clean and refreshing people who complement their surroundings. Knowledge of our hospitality should be spread throughout our community much like the aroma of fresh mint permeates its environment.
TASTE OF SCRIPTURE: “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:9-10
CHOCOLATE MINT COOKIES
2 cups mint semisweet chocolate chips, divided (can use Andes Mint pieces)
6 tablespoons butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a microwave, melt 1 cup chocolate chips; set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate chips and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
Roll into 1-in. balls, then roll in confectioners' sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until edges are set and centers are almost set. Cool for 10 minutes