Two years ago I lived in rural Illinois and was introduced to violet jelly. On our 17 acres of land, including many acres of woods, we collected maybe 3 cups of blooms. At our current home in Tennessee with multiple acres I’ve scoured and seen a pathetic handful of blossoms. Let’s just say I’m violet challenged….but determined.
Enter the beautiful farmstead of a friend. While visiting last spring I oohed over her thick carpet of violets while she laughed. “You want to make what out of those?” I went on to explain how I made violet jelly, and yes I eat it, and yes my children do, and yes it tastes good. This year I’ve been asking her to let us know when the blooms are ready.
They are. Yesterday afternoon I took the boys over to collect blossoms. I brought their scooters along so they could take advantage of the mile long driveway, sandals so they could play in the creek, and they enjoy taking photos with my camera (photo above by my oldest son). My friend was at work, so it was a quiet violet collecting retreat.
The violets are steeping and will be canned this afternoon. We use this recipe from Herbal Roots Zine which I’ve recently become reacquainted with. Picking violets is a great warm up for the local strawberries coming in early May. I can’t wait!