Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wild Wednesday ~ Violet Jelly

Because I'm the decider around here, I'm calling this a Wild Wednesday post because violets are wild flowers. I suppose I could start another series, called Foraging Friday, but that would call for a whole 'nother level of commitment that I'm not quite prepared for.

We seem to have had a bumper crop of violets this year, and, because I've let go of most of my domestic urges, I was perfectly happy to enjoy the sign of them without feeling like I had to do anything with them. On at least a couple of occasions in the past, I've made violet jam or jelly, and on even more occasions, I've felt like I should make violet jam or jelly, but haven't had the time or energy. So it was nice to see them and smile and just be happy to live in a world covered in violets. And then the very next day, E said, "Let's make violet jam!"

Because it was his idea, I tried to get E to pick the violets, but he didn't have much stamina on a day when it was too hot for his taste (his preferred temperature range is about 64-66 degrees) and the back flies were out in force. I picked a few, but I'm no good at tedious manual labor. Finally, when I pointed out that the neighbor would soon mow his field, along with our violets, Z went on an expedition and brought back a cupful. So I scaled the recipe back by two-thirds (seriously, who is going to pick three cups of violets???).

I let the violets steep for most of a day, and they turned the water a weird and wonderful ice-blue color, which instantly changes to magenta when mixed with lemon juice.

The jelly was pretty easy to make, once the violets were picked (turns out, jelly with pectin cooks for far less time than pectin-free jam). It's also beautiful and tastes nice, but not especially like violets. C and I cam to the conclusion that all jellies are really just sugar-flavored, with the fruit (or flowers) used as a colorant.

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