Violets are edible and that got me thinking about ways to preserve them. Lucky for me, my unsprayed lawn is full of them. They seem to be especially enamored of the soil near the pines, so I’ll bet they are acid loving plants. I looked up the options for using them in canning and found both violet jelly and violet syrups. Violet cordials can be made also. At the restaurant, we use Parfait Amour in a few cocktails. The best fit for us is the violet jelly and I think it will make a lovely gift also.
So, yesterday, I spent 45 min in my pajamas “harvesting” violets from our front lawn. I needed 2 packed cups and that takes a while. I cleaned them and then poured 3.5 cups of boiling water over them. Almost immediately, they started to release their violet hue. Once the water was room temperature (I let it sit on the counter for most of the day), I strained the flowers out and stashed it in the fridge. The next day, I added 1/4 c. lemon juice which instantly turned the blue-violet liquid a beautiful rosy lavender. Bring to a full boil, add one package of pectin, boil again for a full minute, and add 4.5 cups of sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil again for a minute or two. Process in water bath canner. Yielded me around 6 cups of jelly. The big question is how does it taste? I used some of the sugar that I had flavored with Meyer Lemon zest from my lemon curd making and the product is a lovely lemony floral jelly of impossibly gorgeous color.