Friday, May 28, 2010

Pretty colors


One of the benefits of living in a century-plus old farmhouse is the flowers planted generations earlier. Lilac bushes are as tall as the second story, loaded with fragrant blooms. Each spring tulips pop up in the lawn where they naturalized before you were born. Bleeding heart is a warm sign that the snow won't be back for many months. Violets create a carpet along the shady side of the house.

Before I drove back home, my grandchildren helped me pick violet flowerheads. I carefully packed them in a small lunch cooler for the long ride.









Once I arrived home and unpacked the car, I started working with the flowerheads. By following the instructions here, I steeped the blossoms and made this beautiful liquid.







The next day I added the lemon juice, sugar, and pectin, then gave it all a water bath to complete the porcess. My reward is five of these:





(My photo, taken in the morning sunshine, doesn't do the rosy pink color justice.)



The violets we picked were a mix of lavender, blue, and white. A higher percentage of deeper color would make a darker jelly. But the flavor is just as good no matter what color combination is used! Since this batch turned out well (and easy!), next year there will be lots more. Four of these five jars are going back to my grandchildren.


Notes:


These were picked from a yard where no pesticides are used, and far enough away from the road to be safe from winter salt/chemicals.


Please don't ever pick, or try to eat any flower/plant that you are not absolutely sure is safe. When in doubt, pass it by!




3 comments:

MyStory of HiStory said...

Oohhh - that is so cool. I've never heard of doing that before. VeRy Neat!!

We've been in our home about 9 years now & I was just recently talking to my husband about how we are finally enjoying some of the "fruits" (blooms!) of our labor :) Those first blooms will be so exciting to see & smell - Tho' I have no idea how long it will be before we get to enjoy them. It will require patience as they are basically seedlings at this point.

Maria said...

OMG - do you know how many violets I have in my yard......thousands....and no pesticides or chemicals....I need to try this next year......what does it taste like??????

I am so excited for this!!!!

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hi MyStory,
They may be seedlings but before you know it, the blooms will be abundant! Best wishes!

Hi Maria,
Just think of the Christmas gift baskets ;)