I read about a study done recently in England in which people spoke to tomato plants. That is, a group of women spoke to ten plants and a group of men spoke to ten others. After some time, the plants addressed by women flourished, grew beyond expectations, while the men’s plants grew less than normal.
While the study suggests that the timbre of the voice is what’s influencing the tomatoes, I’m thinking maybe women are better at selecting tomato-friendly topics of conversation. For the life of me I don’t know what I’d say to a tomato, but I’m sure I’d skip subjects like the Lakers’ winning streak or the benefits of owning a ’65 Mustang. Call me biased, but I’m not sure a man would be so selective.
Based on the results of the tomato study, I’ve decided to speak to the mint I planted last month. While I haven’t killed it, which is my usual style, it isn’t exactly thriving. I’m thinking it’s time for a conversation.
I will choose a mint-relevant topic, perhaps L.A.’s punishing summer sun, or the weight of butterflies. I will avoid sharing my recipe for minty iced tea, which involves ripping mint leaves from the stem, crushing and mincing, and otherwise beating them into releasing their flavor.
I’ll keep you posted on how things grow.
Mint Iced Tea
3 English Breakfast tea bags
Â½ cup fresh mint leaves, lightly crushed and chopped
2 cups lemonade
2 tablespoons honey
Bring four cups of wter to a boil.
Meanwhile, place the tea bags and the mint in a heat-proof pitcher. Let the water cool slightly and then pour it in the pitcher. When the tea is quite dark, remover the tea bags, leaving the mint leaves in the tea.
Cool the tea to room temperature, then stir in the lemonade and the honey. Cut the orange in half crosswise. Extract the juice from one half and add it to the tea. Cut the other half into thin slices and add them to the pitcher.
Refrigerate the tea until it is well chilled, at least two hours. Do not drink it while you are talking to your mint plant.
Yield: about 6 cups