Wednesday, April 21, 2010

i love you mom

a gift for me, on a day that was too much.

violet jelly

Every year, around Earth Day, my little ones gather violets from the schoolyard to make violet jelly. They delicately pick each and every flower and transform it into a deliciously fragrant jelly for Bread Day. Every Friday they eat the bread they mixed and kneaded with their own hands. They spread it with Amish butter and for a special treat, Violet Jelly.

2 heaping cups of fresh violet petals (fully opened buds, from a non-sprayed field)
2 c boiling water
1/4 c well-strained clear lemon juice
4 c sugar ( i use agave or maple syrup)
3 oz liquid pectin (i use agar or kudzu root, but i don't measure when i cook to tell you how much!)

Wash petals well, drain and place in heat-proof glass. Pour boiling water over petals and let steep from 30 minutes to 24 hours. It usually takes about 2 hours. Strain through a fine sieve, reserving the clear, purplish liquid or infusion. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 24 hours. Place jars and lids on rack in pan or ot deep enough to cover them with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, keeping the jars hot until ready to fill.

To make the jelly, stir lemon juice and sugar into reserved infusion in a 2 qt stainless pan. Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add the liquid pectin and continue to boil two minutes, skimming any foam that may rise to surface.
Ladle quickly into jars to within about 1/8 in from top; clean each rim and threads of the jar as it's filled and place flat lid and ring on ea before filling next. Screw band on tightly and invert jar on tea towel for 5-10 minutes. Jars will seal and lids should pop shut as they cool. If they do not seal, place them in hot bath for 10 minutes or in fridge. Sealed jars last up to one year in cool, dark place.

You can also make this recipe with rose, lavender, lemon balm, cinnamon basil and mint. YUM!