Tag Archives: violets

Hide and Seek

When I was little I loved the Where’s Waldo books; unfortunately, they always ended up being in places that I would have rather not been, like the doctor’s office.  As an adult, I still find myself scanning the kids’ books looking for Waldo while I sit and wait.

Now, I bet you’re wondering why I’m rambling on about a fictional character who wears a little striped hat.  Well dear readers, today we are going to play the garden version of that game, entitled Where’s Borecole…aka Kale (I needed a two-syllable word cause I’m a geek like that)

Pictured below is my (temporary) kale bed.  When I transplanted those vitamin-packed Brassica earlier this year, I forgot about the super invasive violets that show up mid April.  This image contains 7 baby kale plants, can you locate them?

  Have you given up yet?  If so, scroll to the bottom of the post to see their whereabouts! 🙂

Later this month I will be transplanting the kale into my front-side garden bed, once the ivy has been removed, and judging by the tangled root system that task may take years! haha

Last week, I’ve received an email from a reader thanking me for posting the Garlic, Kale & Chickpea soup.  She mentioned wanting to incorporate more odd vegetables into her diet and was willing to give this soup a try.  AWESOME!! 🙂  While I personally don’t think of kale as an odd or strange veggie, I also have to remember not everyone is a veg-fanatic like myself.  This email sent my hamster spinning on its wheel; I’ve decided to begin “featured veggie” postings where I will be sharing recipes and nutritional information about various vegetables.  Initially I wanted it to be something like a Friday’s Feature (there I go again with my alliteration nonsense), but I don’t want to stress myself out with mandatory weekly postings, especially once the growing and canning season is in full swing!  My first feature will be on, you guessed it, Kale.  So be sure to stay tuned for that!

And now I leave you with some pictures of Polonius, who decided to see for himself what all the fuss is about regarding kale!  I tell ya, if it’s not the wild critters, it’s the domesticated ones!

 

 “Why hello there little green plant, I’m going to eat you!”

 Did you find all 7?

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Filed under Micro-farming, The Critters

Tasty Purple Flowers

Did you know that those pretty little violets growing all over your yard are edible?  Well, if you didn’t before you do now!  Last Spring I made several batches of violet  jelly.  The flavor is tangy-sweet, similar to that of Sweet-Tarts candy.  It sets more like a honey than a fruit spread.  I thought about adding additional pectin; however, this being my first ever attempt at making a flower jelly, I didn’t want to mess with the recipe ’til I tasted it.  I thought it may firm up after sitting a few weeks like my grape jelly does.  This year, I have different plans for that pretty purple flower, if it ever stops raining long enough for me to pick them that is!

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Filed under Micro-farming

Violet Jelly

You heard me right and no I’m not off my rocker!  I actually made jelly from violets; you know, those little purple flowers, and it’s damn good too!  It’s sweet with a slight tartness.  Turns out you can make jelly from all sorts of things, even dandelions and roses!  My sister-in-law has had rose jelly and she said it’s amazing.  Naturally, I can’t wait to make it!

Right now violets are blooming like crazy.  My property is covered with them!  Originally, I had plans to make this last year, but by the time I remembered it was too late and all the blooms were gone!  This year I was on-the-ball and ended up canning two batches!  Let me tell you how good it felt to be canning again!  Jaime, from Our Little Homestead, is an avid canner as well.  Once she found out I was canning this early in the season boy was she jealous!  I told her I was up to something super secret and she would have to wait to find out.  I’m sure the anticipation is making her nuts, I know it would if it were me!

So without further adieu, I bring to you…

Violet Jelly

2 overflowing cups of fresh violet flowers.  Pick fully open buds for the best flavor and color.

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice

4 cups sugar

1 box pectin

2 cups boiling-water
 

Wash the violets (you do not need to dry them) and place into a non-reactive bowl.  Pour 2 cups boiling-water over the flower petals, cover, and allow to steep up to 24 hours, I left mine in the fridge overnight.  Strain liquid through a cheese cloth, it should be a lovely shade of dark blue.

Next, add lemon juice and watch the infusion morph into a stunning shade of purple. It’s like magic, I tell ya!
Combine sugar with liquid and bring to a boil.  Add pectin and return to a hard boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and ladle into hot, sterile jars, wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove jars and allow to cool, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours.

Seriously, have you ever seen a more beautifully jelly?  It didn’t set as thick as most other jams and jellies I’ve made; it has a consistency similar to honey, but then again, so did my grape jelly, which developed a harder set over time.

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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Jam & Jelly, Vegan, Vegetarian

A Tasty Twist

I’ve got something in the works and it involves these tiny beauties!

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Filed under Chatter