It’s springtime in southern Ontario. Finally! I love this time of year. The snow has melted; the trees are showing signs of green leaves emerging while the ground is covered with patches of lovely and delicate purple. The violet has resurfaced like an old friend. The time of year for foraging and gathering edible flowers and spring greens is here.
Violets have been grown since ancient times. Their medicinal properties have been appreciated for centuries. They were especially popular to the Victorians who used them both decoratively as well as in jellies and syrups.
Several years ago when I still owned my home I used to go to the river’s edge with my two sons. They were small then but together we would gather a colander of the flowers making sure that they were clean and pesticide free. Then I made ‘Violet Syrup.”
Gloria’s Recipe for Violet Syrup
Gather enough flowers to cover the bottom of a kitchen sized colander.
Wash the flowers well and make sure that there aren’t any stems attached. Then dry them using paper towel.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Turn off the heat. Add the flowers to the water.
Let them sit for 24 hours in a jar and then strain the contents well discarding the blossoms but keeping the violet coloured water.
Put the infusion into a pot and bring it to a rapid boil. Use a candy thermometer and do not boil over 230 F.
To that add two cups of sugar and about two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
Skim off the foam and remove it from the heat.
Using a funnel pour it into a clean and sterilized jar. Voila you have made Violet Syrup! Try a bit on some ice cream, in a glass of lemonade, or to sooth a sore throat.
My friend Michael Sausser in
suggested that I create a Violet Vodka Martini using the violet syrup instead of vermouth. I tried it using two shots of vodka and one tsp. violet syrup. Shake. Pour into a martini glass and float an edible flower of choice. * I am a Klutz and broke the glass before a picture was taken. It tasted fine. The syrup is a really light colour. Palm Springs California
In the meantime my husband Marc made me a Gin/Tonic and Violet Syrup drink. It was refreshing and I am certain tempt many a palate.
“I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows. Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows…” William Shakespeare “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”