It was gloomy outside, and I was gloomy inside. I was having my own personal pity party, feeling overwhelmed, and discouraged. I decided I was going to take my daughter Christmas shopping and break the gloom that was following me around. I took Holli to one of our favorite places to get something to eat. While we were standing in line, I noticed the glass case with a dozen gelatos displayed.
I pointed to one that was bright pink and I asked Holli what it was. She smiled and said, “It’s peppermint.” I felt a rush of emotion and I couldn’t hold back the tears. I started to cry and couldn’t stop. Feeling like a crazy person with the waiter looking at me like I was nuts, I tried to explain to Holli why I was crying so hard. My dad (who is living in spirit) loved peppermint. Every year at Christmas time he would make a special yule log with peppermint ice cream. I loved it so much that I could hardly wait every Christmas until we could have this treat. It was his special thing and when I saw that peppermint ice cream I could feel the love of my dad. The gloom I was feeling broke into a million pieces and dissolved. A short while later, my oldest daughter, Maci, called me and told me she had been obsessed with peppermint and she’d created bunches of recipes for me, including this one. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” she said, “I can’t stop thinking about peppermint and making recipes.”
My dad died on November 29th, 2008, but every year around the start of December I start to feel his spirit in a strong way. I feel his love envelop me like a blanket and I see and smell peppermint everywhere, and then I feel such joy that it’s hard to contain. It was my dad who taught me how to love and enjoy food. He made me try a diverse and large range of unique foods. He sparked that spirit within me and cultivated it. I was the child most like him and I was named for him. Don – Donna. I inherited my love of learning from my dad who studied everything and read thousands of books, and so I did some research on peppermint and found many wonderful health benefits and reasons to add peppermint to my life.
Peppermint can help with stomach upset and can be very soothing to the gut. 1 It has a positive effect on Irritable Bowel Syndrome, 2 and can enhance memory and increase alertness.3 Peppermint is also a great stress reliever and breath freshener. Rubbing peppermint oil on sore muscles can help reduce the pain and stop spasms. Peppermint grows in a pot on my window sill and in my garden. I often grab a few leaves and eat them or add them to a pot of tea.
Is there something you love? Do you share it with those you love? Well, you should, because you never know how much it could mean to them if someday you’re gone. It is like a giant hug on a gloomy day that can lift their spirits long after you have left this sweet earth. I have so many peppermint recipes, and now I know why. Never underestimate the power of something as simple as peppermint to make you feel loved. I love food because my dad taught me by example, and this has translated into my life’s profession.
This is a thank you to my dad – peppermint recipes that I think you will enjoy. This will help you make your own memories this holiday season.
Thanks for the peppermint hug, Dad. I needed it. We still remember and love you!!
Check out all my peppermint recipes. They’re love made visible.