No one told me that mint is an aggressive herb that will take over your herb box. Or maybe they did and I just wasn’t listening. Anyway, our mint is definitely waging a campaign for the herb box, and despite the oregano’s valiant attempt to defend its borders, the mint is winning. So, despite having bought a small mint plant, we now have a lot of mint. But our mint needs in everyday life are minor. What to do, what to do?
Well, as the saying goes, when life hands you mint, make mojitos. Or maybe that’s not how the saying goes, but I don’t think you can grow lemons in Vancouver, so let’s run with this one.
Drinking isn’t really my thing. I think I had my first drink when I was 25. Since then, I have maybe two drinks a year. But I think beer is nasty and wine not much better. Oddly enough, my tipple of choice seems to be rum cocktails. Two mojitos, however, would not be enough to put a small dent in my mint. And sitting at home drinking cocktails on my own smacks of a glamourously seedy path that I don’t want to travel. (For one thing, I think I’d need to buy a feather boa to do it properly.) So the natural decision was to throw a mojito party.
I have a complex relationship with throwing parties. In principle, I like them a lot. Lots of people I like all in one place. No one I don’t like, because I didn’t invite them. I pick the food. I pick the music. (Did I mention I’m a control freak?) In reality, I find them very stressful. What if people have nothing to say and just stare at each other in silence? And then turn to me to fix it? Do I juggle? Should I suggest parlour games? Will they judge me a loser because of my lame party and never talk to me again? Would it really not have been easier to just buy the feather boa?
Luckily, I have a coping mechanism for dealing with the many, many ways my brain tries to stress me out with hypothetical scenarios I can’t control: I give it scenarios I can control to deal with instead. I find the easiest thing to focus on is having enough good things for people to eat and drink. Now, overcooking for a party is deeply ingrained in my genetic material, so at the same time as I am trying to make sure we will not run out of stuff, I am struggling with an instinct to provide enough for eight similar parties.
In case you are not burdened by this particular affliction, here is a sample of the party-planning thought process:
- Two days before party – Decide to throw a party. Hope that last-minute invitations won’t mean that no one comes.
- We will have mojitos and use up the mint.
- We’ll have this after dinner to cut down on food preparation.
- Ok, seven people coming, plus us equals nine. Online drinks calculator says people have two drinks in the first hour and one per hour after that. If they stay until midnight, that means five drinks each, so we need enough for 45 drinks.
- Really? That sounds like a lot. No, must trust online drinks calculator. If it’s on the internet, it must be true.
- Need food to go with drinks so people don’t get alcohol poisoning. What goes with mojitos? They’re Cuban, right? What do Cubans eat? Maybe I should look that up one day. Meanwhile, I think I’ll feed everyone tortilla chips and guacamole. Mexico is sort of close to Cuba.
- Day of party – It’s raining. This does strange things to my summery food and drink theme, but too late now.
- Look up mojito recipes on the internet. Watch several videos of people making mojitos on youtube. Twelve leaves of mint per drink. Times 45 drinks. Maybe I don’t have enough mint!
- Go to liquor store. Have never bought anything at the liquor store besides bottles of wine as gifts. A bit overwhelmed by the rum choices. My budget helps, as does the need for white rum. Luckily, the liquor store girl is very helpful. She thinks people will have three drinks each. What? The online calculator said five! Who to trust? The nice liquor store girl or Martha Stewart? Martha Stewart’s more famous, but the liquor store girl seems pretty authoritative about mojitos.
- Find out that if you don’t open a bottle, you can return it to the liquor store. Decide to buy two bottles of rum, which apparently makes 46 drinks. Also buy a small bottle of coconut rum because it sounds nice and maybe it would be ok to have a non-traditional coconut mojito.
- Go to market. Two big bags of chips. Two big containers of the best guacamole in Vancouver. One big bottle of club soda. Nine limes.
- What if people want something sweet? Buy some chocolate macaroon things.
- What if people don’t like mojitos? Buy strawberry daiquiri mix and pina colada mix from frozen food section to be able to offer variety.
- What if some people don’t drink? Eye up the raspberry ginger ale because it’s lovely. But it’s pink. Is it too girly? What if one of the guys doesn’t drink? Will he be turned off by the pink pop? Settle on regular ginger ale.
- Go home. Enter husband. “We need more limes. And more mint. And if you bought Malibu, you’re supposed to have Coke too, because they go together. (Is that a real rule? He’s sounded pretty sure of himself.)” Right. Buy more limes, buy bag of mint, buy Coke.
- Hmm. Should probably use bag of mint first, as it is picked and will go off sooner if not used.
Here is what I did not consider: when people come to parties, they bring stuff. They brought red wine and white wine and beer. And pineapple (well done on keeping to theme!) and cherries and cake. Everyone had two mojitos and then switched to wine, beer, or coconut-mojito-strawberry-daiquiri-hybrid. (Yum!)
It was a fun party. No one stared at each other in silence. I don’t think they think I’m a loser.
But guess what? I have more mint than I started with. If you have any ideas about what I can do with it, please let me know.