What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

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.



Carmichael Family said...

lol...wow, that story really had me laughing! I know what you mean about being a "I want it now" kind of person, I tend to be that way too, but I don't think I would have been brave enough to risk the bears, snakes, night crawlers, rain, and whatever else...and the jelly did turn out very pretty!

Kelli said...

I loved the story of you out in the woods, Rebecca! Phillip was out of town for a few days last week and I couldn't even take a bag of garbage out behind the house after it got dark..hehehe.

Your jelly is the prettiest color I've ever seen!! You'll have to tell us what it tastes like!


Abigail said...

I enjoyed this tale of a dark and stormy night (Snoopy enters from stage left...).

AND I love the look of that jelly. I was going to make some myself this year but didn't find enough violets close to the house, so I just munched them plain instead. Millie enjoyed the novelty of eating purple flowers, but I bet she'd enjoy this beautiful jelly even more.

I'm glad you do what I only think about doing, so I can enjoy the pictures from my seat!

Abigail said...

Oh, have you made violet sugar before? (Not sugared violets, I've made those, but violet sugar, which I've never made.)

If you give it a try, let me know what you think.

Michelle said...

My mom made this a few years ago, and it was an experience. It tasted sort of odd-hard to describe it... I am interested to see how you like yours! Maybe there are different recipes, too...?

Hmmm. Violet sugar. I will have to check that one out. It sounds like fun!

Rebecca said...

To make violet sugar do you just add violets to sugar to cure for about a week or so? Or do you add any other flavorings?? I would like to TRY it!

That brings to mind that I wanted to make vanilla sugar....

Michelle said...

I made some violet jelly and everyone here loves it! I also made some other different kinds, too. Thanks for reminding me about the violet jelly! I think my mom either kept the stems on by accident or forgot to add the lemon juice because the stuff I made tastes a whole lot better than what I remember! :D

Rebecca said...

GOOD JOB Michelle!

Glad you liked it better this time...we like it very much too.

Though, it is STILL hard to describe....