Mint Jelly

While shopping in the grocery store a week or so ago I spotted some imported leg of lamb in the freezer section. It was a marked-down closeout item that’s generally too expensive for my budget. I stood over it thinking and thinking and then finally pulled myself away – but I was back there the next day, saw it again and thought what the heck – I haven’t had lamb in decades and what with the holidays approaching and all I thought I’d splurge – you know, live a little. So I bought three.

While driving along the just other day I told my brother I’d be making leg of lamb for Christmas, so he says: “Ya gotta have mint jelly with it.” I said “OK. But since you’re so hard to shop for – the mint jelly is going to be your Christmas present.” My brother is practically impossible to find a gift for. He’s older than me and, whatever I might think to buy him to please him, it turns out he’s already got three. It’s frustrating; really, really frustrating.

My brother never communicates his firm holiday plans more than a day before-hand if at all (I was once stuck with a full Thanksgiving dinner all to myself) so today I dodged that traditional holiday bullet by making a leg of lamb today – on Christmas Eve Eve.

It was my first attempt.

I had a really tough time locating some mint jelly. I searched on the internet for a couple of hours (slow computer) and searched six local stores until I finally found the right stuff. There are variations on the theme you know: mint-flavored apple jelly, mint glaze, mint sauce, mint jelly with peppers, mint jelly with leaves and even mint chutney. I just wanted plain MINT JELLY – not the mint-flavored apple jelly – thank you!

When the leg of lamb and other sides were done (I took its temperature) and ready to serve I proudly presented the jar of mint jelly to my brother, adding a cheery “Merry Christmas!” He takes one look at it and says: “I didn’t say I liked it.”

That’s it! I’m done!

About The Twentieth Man

Age 69
This entry was posted in Humor, Observations, Personal History, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mint Jelly

  1. Charles H. Tupper says:

    Greetings from Vancouver, Canada….

    There’s Nothing like a roast leg of lamb, or lamb chops. Mint jelly or Mint sauce is an essential part of that meal. The ***best Mint Jelly*** is SCOTT’S MINT JELLY from Scotland. (Used to be $3.50/jar… now, it’s $5.99/jar here in Vancouver) I have two or three jars in the pantry, so it’s always available. Mint Sauce is also very good. It’s a bit tart because of the vinegar that the mint leaves are suspended in. There are many brands. The best ones are those that have more mint than vinegar.

    The beauty of a lamb roast is that you can make a very nice curry with the leftover meat… serve on a bed of rice, with peas on the side, or included in the ‘stew’. For this, you’ll want a Mango chutney…. however, in a pinch, a dollop of Scott’s Mint Jelly will do very nicely indeed.

    BTW… so your ungrateful brother didn’t ‘like’ the mint jelly…!!! What about you? Did you like it with the lamb?

    First time visiting your website ::: brought in via Michael Connelly’s blog, to look at the invasive survey for veterans, just released. Talk about a ‘fishing expedition’! The US Gov’t has lost its mind. Hopefully the people are waking up to that painful fact.

    Regards and best wishes,
    Charles H. Tupper

    • It seems I’ve enjoyed far more lamb in childhood than now. The mint jelly I had was really quite mild and therein lies the rub. Most other products made with mint are overwhelmingly strong (breath mints, gum, even some ice cream.) The strong taste (even the idea of it) is off-putting to many people. But most mint jellies are surprisingly mild and sweet, suitable for toast, pancakes, layer cake fillings, etc. and any dish you might make using grape, strawberry, peach or apricot jellies. If I were promoting mint jelly I’d emphasize how “mild” it is and the idea that it’s not “just for lamb”. How about a dollop of mint jelly
      on your morning oatmeal?

      I finished the jar on toast and English muffins.

      My son and I were just talking the other day about whether curry was a spice or a method of cooking.

      As for the Million Veterans Program, I have always been opposed to the use of veterans as guinea pigs in VA research and experiments. It’s part of the bloating corruption of the VA.

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