Make Homemade Peppermint Extract for Holiday Baking

This recipe calls for vodka. We are a teatotalling family. Does anyone have a recipe for infusing without using alcohol? 

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Sentient, I think it is rational to "become more antisocial and withdrawing into our cocoons of yard and garden." I feel the same way, especially with all the discord occurring around the world today. With so much foolishness and silliness, and just plain irrational ideas floating around, it makes good sense to pull in, make a little haven where peace and tranquility exists, and if others want to share in the atmosphere, they are welcome, but don't bring nonsense and delusions into this special place. I just don't want to hear the crazies. 
Some call me judgmental; I call me and you "flourishing." The world is going to need some model to turn to when they get fed up with the lunatic crowd. 

As to the bees and mints, how can one get closer to all that is caring and compassionate and loving than taking care of a nest of bees? 

My neighbor has a hive three houses down and through the summer they have had to go to different houses to collect their swarm. My next door neighbor, stretched on on her hammock and looked up into a swarm of bees completely covering one of her yard art pieces. She called our neighbor and quickly was able to return to her hammock.

Growing Grapes in Bannock County:

Growing Grapes in Bannock County:
Select cold hardy early ripening varieties

By Reed Findlay, University of Idaho Extension Educator

Most books and other sources of information are not encouraging towards the potential for grape growing in Pocatello and Bannock County. Yet several varieties of grapes have been grown successfully in this area for many decades. The key is in the selection of cold hardy and early ripening varieties of grapes. Within the last twenty to thirty years the number of good quality grapes bred for colder climates has increased significantly.

American grapes are cold hardy
Most of the cold hardy grapes that succeed in Bannock County are known as American grapes, though many are actually hybrids with European grapes.

Seedless American Grapes—hardy to -25°F
These are typically the least hardy but the best for fresh eating. Some newer varieties are quite cold hardy.

• 'Canadice’—Red seedless and hardy to -25°. Sometimes available at local nurseries.
• 'Concord Seedless'—Blue seedless, hardy to -25°. often sold locally, best grape for grape pies
• 'Glenora' —Blue seedless, cold hardy at -15° to -20°. Superior flavor, rarely available except mail-order.
• 'Himrod'—White seedless, hardy at -15° to -20°. Commonly sold locally, great flavor, very early.
• 'Interlaken'—White seedless, hardy at -15° to -20°. Commonly sold here, the earliest ripening.
• 'Mars'—Blue seedless, hardy at -20° to -25° Likely available only through mail order.
• 'Reliance'—Red seedless and cold hardy to -25°. Sometimes sold locally, one of the best seedless.

Thanks for the information.  I'm going to study on those.

Two of those do well for me.  Canadice and Interlaken.  I love the flavor of Interlaken.  Canadice is very productive, and has a sweet/spicy flavor but isn't as "grapey" if that makes sense.  I have another one, Price, a slip-skin, seeded blue with a sweet grapey flavor, small bunches, does well for me.

I prefer seeded grapes.  I think they taste better.  I don't mind the seeds, and I read they are good for you.

Joan, maybe peppermint oil instead of alcohol extract?  Similar idea.  I don't know if it will work.

Sounds like an idea worth trying. Thanks. 

Can you just use the plant itself Joan for cooking?

Steph, I usually use peppermint for cold beverages, but it is often used in cooking, with lamb, for example or with green peas. Here is a site with several recipes using mint:

What to Cook Now: Mint



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