Monday, May 14, 2007
The Color Purple
I started out my canning/preserving for the year with a B*A*N*G by tackling two new-to-me recipes. First with Dandelion wine and now with Violet Jelly. Or at least HALF Violet Jelly.
Anne at Backyard Treasures posted a FABULOUS (easy, precise and WITH pictures-perfect for a dunce like me!) recipe and How-To for the Violet Jelly. In fact, I believe, that is how I first FOUND her lovely blog. At that time, I made a mental note something to the affect of “Self. Those are beautiful. And I love the idea of making something from flowers. And I already can can. Remember to DO this next year.”
And then I FORGOT.
Ah well. Thankfully, Anne remembered FOR me (though not intentionally) and posted a link once more. I was so excited to begin and so angry that I might have forgotten and lost my chance, that the idea began to consume my thoughts.
(For all those who may not know-I am a VERY, VERY impatient person. If I want something-I want it now. If I want to do something…I have already started and am about to finish.) It’s a flaw. But hey-we ALL have ‘em. ;-)
Pish Posh if it is has just finished torrential raining. WHO CARES if it is 8:00 pm and the moon is rising higher and higher in the sky. I NEEDED to get those violets! And PRONTO.
So, I headed out barefoot (as I always go) and ran to the edge of the woods with my colander. All I needed was two cups full and I knew precisely where they were. Easy enough.
Night creatures were already searching for food, peepers had already started their songs, and mosquitoes were on the hunt for their din-din. A snake slithered beyond my bare footsies in the tall untended fields of our sideyard, and I heard frantic steps beyond the woods at my approach. Suddenly, the conversation I had had just the day before with my neighbor, about the several sightings of BEAR around our houses popped into my head. Interesting. That gave me a warm and cozy feeling.
Now-I am a country girl. But-I am not entirely convinced I am a country girl at NIGHT. :-)
I began to talk-LOUDLY-to myself about anything just to scare off lurking animals.
“Oh-I thought you were a cat-you silly bird. You are a catbird and you thought you had me fooled.” “I wish Dutchess would stop barking-but maybe she is scaring away you bears.” “Mosquitoes-if you don’t stop BITING ME…..”
I crouched down low and as I searched I began to crouch LOWER and LOWER until my rear was skyward and my eyes were inches from the grass. Squinting, my eyes found it harder and harder to distinguish the different purple shades of violets from the weeds.
I plucked happily-until I plucked all I could see…and had about ¼ cup. How come it looked like there were so many?!?! Argh.
I ran back to the house-as it began to sprinkle again. Thunder clapped. But I had already started plucking and it would be a downright shame to have killed all those beauties for NOTHING. If I could only get ONE cup-I could split the recipe in two.
I knew of another place that had a few…so I grabbed my flip-flops (because they offer SO much more protection from snakes than bare feet!) and set off again.
I bet they have made a reality show about something like this. If not-they should. Nah-they probably have.
When all the earth in my three acre radius had been rid of their violet heads, I returned home and measured up. ½ cup.
So-I plucked the heads off of some of my pansies to supplement. I don’t know if it will work. They are both purple and they are both edible. So is SHOULD work, right?!?
Needless to say, if this foretells of my canning adventures this year-I am in for a real TREAT! ;-)
Following are a few pictures I took of the process-just because I was in awe of it. It was REALLY cool to do.
PLus-Corynn is just in *LOVE* with the PINK jelly!
This is after the flower heads had soaked over night.
The cobalt color perfectly matched my collection of bottles on the windowsill.
But then-when you added the lemon juice, it turned this funky purple color.