So I went back and finally picked the lilacs. The old fellow on the other corner? His lilacs were far superior but I didn't. No, I didn't. I stuck with the difficult to reach wild ones at the dog meeting corner. They smell just as sweet.
I did pick even more flowers earlier in the week.
We have a lot of violets.
I had been reading up on the medicinal uses of flowers and violets caught my eye. (high in vitamin A and C) I had been outside hanging laundry and the violets were literally under my feet. It got me thinking. I'm big on 'use what you've got" these days. At the same time I kept finding blog posts and recipes everywhere for syrups and jams.
I chose jelly.
I have no picture of the gorgeous indigo infusion, as it was a very dark, rainy day and my camera did not cooperate in capturing the colour. When photography fails always blame the camera.
As soon as you add the lemon juice there is an explosion of colour and you have a jewel-like translucent magenta. ( whoa! I think I'm channelling Nigella today) This was a very easy jelly to make. I definitely have to save one jar for the fall fair.
It's colour was so captivating, so girly, it necessitated the baking of scones and getting out grandma's china tea cups. I found a violet patterned one, no less! No sturdy pottery mug this time. This is tea party fair.
And the taste? A subtle violet, a little lemon, a little honey-like. Delicate, like the flower itself.
The weather didn't cooperate for the wearing of dresses and a picnic on the lawn (amongst those violets....and dandelions!) but a girl can dream.
For the infusion:
2 cups violet blossoms, lightly packed
2 cups boiling water
Pour the boiling water over the flowers and cover.
Leave 24 hours. Strain the liquid through a cheese cloth-lined strainer to catch the flowers. You should have about 2 cups.
2 cups infusion
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 pkg. powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
Put the infusion, lemon juice and pectin in a large pot and bring to a boil (one you can't stir down)
Add the sugar all at once and bring back to a rolling boil. Let boil 1 minute.
Remove from heat, wait until the jelly stops boiling and then skim off any foam.
Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Hot water process.
Makes 4.5 cups.