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Tomato confusion and mint confusion

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Tomato confusion and mint confusion Empty Tomato confusion and mint confusion

Post  gingeandhales on 5/14/2011, 8:50 am

I ordered a bunch of plants from a PTA plant sale at the school where I work. All but two plants came with identification tags, the other two are obviously tomato plants, but I'm not sure which is which.

Looking back at my order form I had one beefsteak tomato and 1 cherry tomato--that's all it says on the order form.
One of the plants has a small stake in the pot so I am guessing it is a vining plant. The other looks fuller and does not have a stake (so I am assuming it is a bush). I went ahead and assumed the bushier one is the cherry and potted it up in a large container (which is 1'x1' wide and very deep) and have it on my patio. The second one I plan on sticking in one of my boxes and I am assuming it is the beefsteak.

Do you think my assumptions are on target?

The other plant I ordered from this sale was on the order form as a mint plant. I have grown mint before and I remember it having a really strong minty smell (I have a really weak sense of smell and so the fact that I could smell how strong it was means a lot). The one I received from the sale is labeled as "peppermint" and I can't smell a darned thing.

So is peppermint the same as mint? Can I use it the same way I use mint (in teas and mojitos--specifically).
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Tomato confusion and mint confusion Empty Re: Tomato confusion and mint confusion

Post  Tril on 5/14/2011, 9:08 am

Check the stem on the mint.... all mint have square stems. If it's square, it's a mint. I suggest putting it in a pot. Mint is VERY invasive. Cat nip is a mint, too..... but it doesn't smell minty. Hope that's not what you have. LOL
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Post  gingeandhales on 5/14/2011, 9:26 am

Okay. We're good. Checked the stem and it is square, then had my daughter "The Nose" sniff it (without telling her what it was supposed to be) and she told me it smelled like mint. Then my son, who has inherited my weak olfactory system, gave it a sniff and also confirmed it was minty.

I stuck my nose as deep into the plant as I could and I got a little bit of a minty whiff as well. It might just be my allergies that kept me from smelling it.
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Tomato confusion and mint confusion Empty Re: Tomato confusion and mint confusion

Post  Tril on 5/14/2011, 3:26 pm

Break off a leaf and crush it... then you'll smell it.

Speaking of this... I saw a Stevia plant at a nursery last week. I broke off a small leaf and chewed it. WOW, was that sweet! I didn't buy it, but wish I had. Not sure what I'd do with it... it was just neat. I guess it might work to chew on a leaf if I was craving sugar. LOL
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Tomato confusion and mint confusion Empty Re: Tomato confusion and mint confusion

Post  Old Hippie on 5/14/2011, 9:14 pm

I use either spearmint or peppermint in my mojitos. They both work but give a slightly different flavour. There are LOTS of different kinds of mint. I used to have pineapple mint, apple mint and a couple of others years ago. Definitely keep them confined as they are very invasive.

I am growing Stevia this year just for fun. I am not sure what I will use it for either because you can't really use it in baking as a substitute for sugar since you would change the structure of the batter. However, I do plan on using it as a sweetener in drinks......lemonade, mojitos, iced tea and so on for starters. Possibly can get more ideas if I google it too.

I am thinking you probably guessed right about your tomato plants. It is too bad they didn't have tags. Cherry tomatoes that I have grown were more of a 'bush' type. Best of luck with them

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Post  gingeandhales on 5/14/2011, 9:30 pm

Is Stevia a calorie-free or low calorie sweeterner? I think if it is steeped in tea or coffee it would be a great sugar substitute.
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Post  kjenkins82 on 5/14/2011, 9:31 pm

I started stevia this year for fun too. I've read that you can make an extract by steeping it overnight in grain alcohol, straining, then simmering for 30 minutes. A few drops of the extract will sweeten drinks like the ones you mentioned. If nothing else, it will be a good experiment!
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Post  Tril on 5/14/2011, 9:33 pm

Stevia is the plant used for making Truvia. I think there are other brand names, but that's the one I can remember.
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Tomato confusion and mint confusion Empty Re: Tomato confusion and mint confusion

Post  Old Hippie on 5/15/2011, 10:48 am

It is supposed to be 0 calories and also supposed to be good for diabetics. Here's a link I just looked up quickly. They have recipes and all sorts of info. http://www.stevia.com/

Kjenkins, where does a person get grain alcohol? Wasn't that what the "locals" made in their stills back in the bushes that had govt. authorities so upset years ago? LOL!

Gwynn


Last edited by Old Hippie on 5/15/2011, 10:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : not enough coffee)
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Post  Tril on 5/15/2011, 11:16 am

It's not 0 calories, but it's close. The package can legally say zero only because the law allows it. When a serving of any food has less than 5 calories, it can state 0 (rounds down). Each packet has 1g carbohydrate. 1g carb = 4 calories. Not enough to make a difference, but it IS deceptive. Legal, but deceptive. 1 cup of Splenda "no calorie sweetener" has 96 calories and 24g carb. Uh, sure... no calories, no carbs at all. LOL
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Post  Old Hippie on 5/15/2011, 11:43 am

Deceptive advertising. That is why it is good to be skeptical of everything. LOL!

So is that packaged stevia sweetener or the plant itself? What I read about was the plant but maybe it makes no difference. Tomato confusion and mint confusion 680166

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Tomato confusion and mint confusion Empty Smelling herbs

Post  ModernDayBetty on 5/15/2011, 12:20 pm

An old tip I learned years ago at my first farmers market to smell herbs well is to take a leaf in between your thumb and pointer finger, rub it, then smell your finger. You'll get a lot of the oils on your finger and a full sent. The more herbs you smell, the better you get at telling the difference.

I prefer spearmint to peppermint (think gum and candy for these two).

Enjoy your new plants!! I have some I grew my self, miss labeled and now I'm just waiting to find out what they are, it's kind of exciting.
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Tomato confusion and mint confusion Empty Re: Tomato confusion and mint confusion

Post  Tril on 5/15/2011, 3:34 pm

"So is that packaged stevia sweetener or the plant itself?"

Stevia is the name of the plant from which a non-nutritive sweetener, brand name Truvia, is made.

Tomato confusion and mint confusion Truvia11

The company describes it this way:

Our new sweetener is born from a leaf, not in a lab. Meet the leaf of the stevia plant. The proud parent of our new natural sweetener. We just give it water. We give it sun. Next, we steep it in a process like [color:4c02=#507AA5 !important][color:4c02=#507AA5 !important]making [color:4c02=#507AA5 !important]tea. Ultimately, this little leaf gives back a recipe for sweetness that’s both delicious and 0-calorie guilt-free. It’s a miracle of nature, not chemistry. Enjoy. Find it at your grocery store. Find out more at truvia.com.
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Post  kjenkins82 on 5/15/2011, 10:09 pm

Good question! I'm not sure if you can get it at a liquor store or not. I think I'm going to try with vodka... that's made from grain. Smile Plus I already have some on hand. The alcohol evaporates while it simmers anyway, I think it's just used because it extracts more flavor from the stevia than plain water. I have to wait for my plant to get bigger before I can harvest enough, but I'll let you know how it goes!
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Post  Tril on 5/16/2011, 7:05 am

Actually, vodka can be made from any vegetable or grain. Vodka was orginally made from potatoes (still is, here in Maine).

Grain alcohol is illegal in many places. It's very high in alcohol (96%) because no water is added. Use the highest alcohol content you can find. Bacardi 151 would work. It's not as high as grain, at about 75% alcohol, but it would work better than regular vodka if your "recipe" calls for grain alcohol.
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Tomato confusion and mint confusion Empty Re: Tomato confusion and mint confusion

Post  walshevak on 5/16/2011, 7:11 am

Is the product Everclear still available? It is 95% grain alcohol and used to be available in some areas.

Used to make homemade cordials

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Post  Tril on 5/16/2011, 7:52 am

I found this:

"Due to its high alcohol content, Everclear is illegal, unavailable, or difficult to find in many areas. In Canada, Everclear is sold in the province of Alberta, but not in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and most other provinces. In British Columbia, it is available for purchase with a permit for medical use, research use, or industrial use only.

In the United States, it is illegal to sell the 190-proof variety in California, Florida, Pennsylvania,[Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Washington, and Virginia.
Everclear 190 is legally sold in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and in some military stores within the continental United States. However, some municipalities have banned Everclear even though the state allows legal purchase. Chicago is one example."
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