Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Splendor in the Grass

Speaking of grass, the lawn has been growing incredibly fast in the last week. It's so lush, tall and ultra green...I really like it. All sorts of interesting things pop in the lawn when it's allowed to grow wild. As much as I enjoy the look and the smell of a tidy, freshly mowed lawn, I am also pretty partial to the wild look before the first cutting. Just when I am happiest, grazing gifts from the yard and admiring the abundant diversity of my wild plant neighbors, at the same time, a small feeling of dread begins to fall over me. When that happens, I realize that the fella who mows my grass is probably looking at my lawn in a much different way than I am. Don't get me wrong...he has been incredibly accommodating over the years. That is, if I'm here to walk him around, point things out, or ask him to change his regular routine and start on the other side of the property so that I can finish my wild harvesting. He always says 'cool' with a smile. However, if I happen not to be home when he arrives (and I never do know when he's coming-can you say 'free spirit'?) I will come home to a neatly manicured lawn, wildflowers beheaded and a sinking feeling in my stomach. Ugh, if I had only had a few more hours or another day...if I had only known. Coulda, shoulda, woulda done things differently. Well, today was the day that annual feeling of intuitive dread arrived. When I am blissed out, sitting in the above-the-ankle cool green lawn dappled with thousands of dandelions and violets and others are noticing the chicken's heads peeping out of the tall grass and asking when the lawn will be mowed, I know it won't be long. He is bound to be on his way tomorrow or the next day. When the dreadful feeling hits, I feel compelled get out and harvest with urgency. Today was the day. The violets in rice vinegar should turn a nice shade of lavender in a few days. The violet tincture will eventually be blended with some of the violet syrup I made yesterday. The sweet syrup will mellow the sharpness of the alcohol in the tincture and the alcohol will preserve the syrup just a little while longer. It is an experiment that I haven't tried before but I am anxious to try the result. I also found my recipe for violet jam. It's pretty easy so don't be afraid!. The photos of it will come tomorrow when the light is just right....Enjoy!
Violet Jam
2 heaping cups of violet blossoms
1 1/2 cups water (divided into 2 -3/4 cup servings)
Juice of half a lemon
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 package pectin
Place 3/4 cup water and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Then add the sugar and blend until it dissolves.
Heat remaining 3/4 cup of water in a small pan, stir in pectin and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour this mixture into the blender and blend for one minute, add violets and pulse a few times to chop. Immediately pour into hot sterile jars and seal. Keep in the fridge if you're not going to can it in a boiling water bath. Gosh, I just love violets....who couldn't, I ask you?

1 comment:

kansasrose said...

Maybe Blueeggbabester could whip up "violet water" for refreshing the complexion and liftin' the spirit? OHHHHHH yeah..Bustillo would buy some. She don't have those violets on the prairie. :( just dang dandylions.


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