Monday, August 6, 2007

Wedding mints

Not really a recipe, but a nostalgia post.
When I married in 1990, my maternal grandmother, then in her mid-70's, at my mom's request, made the mints for my wedding reception. Granny was not getting around very well in those days and I think she was a little surprised at being asked, but my mom wanted her to feel useful and, typical for Granny, she went all out; buying multiple molds, tinting them various colors and packing them carefully in Tupperware, cushioned with paper towels and sitting in a cooler atop a Ziploc bag of ice cubes for the 90-minute trip to Chattanooga from Rome. "I was afraid they'd melt in the hot car." They were beautiful and delicious, of course.
When she passed away three years later, the mint molds were one of the things I got from her house. A graduate school friend of mine was planning a wedding at the time and I think I made some for her shower. Since then, I've made them for several other weddings, mostly for church friends.
They're not that hard. Just buy the melting pellets: Wilton is the brand most craft stores carry, though I recently ordered Merckens brand from Confectionery House (along with a frog mold for my son's next Harry Potter birthday party, chocolate frogs and peppermint toads, anyone?). It's not "real" chocolate, but it works great and tastes fine. The "white candy" can be tinted with oil-based dyes, or you can buy ready-made colors. I prefer to flavor the white stuff with creme de menthe flavoring (use oil-based, not extracts) and the "dark cocoa" with peppermint oil. As one of my husband's aunts remarked, they "taste like you melted down Andes."
The salmon-colored (not peach, not pink, but salmon) ones I made tonight, pictured above, are for the wedding of an education student from UVA who has interned at our church the last couple of years. Color was achieved by about 2 parts peach pellets to one part red. I had a swatch of ribbon from the bridesmaids dress to guide me. Granny would approve, and I can picture her with a swatch of my own bridesmaids' pattern, matching her colors to my multicolored floral print. I doubt I'll resort to paper-towel packing in the Tupperware when I take them to the bride at church next Sunday, as I've learned over the years that mints really don't scratch each other in transit. But, with a predicted heat index of 105, I'll probably use the cooler and a Ziploc bag of ice. Wouldn't want them to melt in the hot car.
I hope they'll add as many sweet memories to the new bride's wedding as my Granny's added to mine.


LSM said...

What a wonderful memory of your grandmother and a tribute to her influence in your life. I was really touched by your story and your generosity in continuing the tradition for friends.

Sock Girl said...

Beautiful story. I love that you are continuing your grandmother's tradition of crafting mints to celebrate with your friends.

TDR said...

Ooooh...making Chocolate frogs sounds less expensive than buying the HP brand! Where did you find the frog mold? Frog mold....gross...

Lovely tradition with the mints. I need to think of how I can do something similar for my family and friends.

tkb said...

You should make these and sell online. I've been looking all over for mints like these for my daughter's wedding and can't find them anywhere. These are lovely.