Well, we know it’s spring because the bloodroot has come and gone and trillium speckles the slopes. Violets are dotting the grasses, their heart shaped leaves beckoning us to take a nibble. The leaves always taste cooling to me and wet, while the flowers have a peppery bite to them. And the sight of them lifts my spirits up, up toward the sky. The children went on a walk this morning to look for morels and came back with a basket of violet flowers instead. We usually make violet syrup with such gatherings when violet’s are out in hearty profusion, which is good for coughs, colds, and headaches though it goes pretty fast in our house as a soothing, sweet tasting syrup. We use this process and these proportions:
To every one cup of violet blossoms, 1 cup of boiling water
Pack the violet blossoms in a jar and top with the boiling water. Infuse overnight. Strain the blossoms and put the tea in a pot. Boil for ten minutes. Turn off the heat and add 1 cup of honey per cup of liquid. Mix well, cool, pour into jars and store.
This year I followed the same proportions to infuse the blossoms but instead of straining them, I put the blossoms and tea into a blender along with the honey and made a smooth slurry. This has been bottled and put in the fridge . . . . a tablespoon mixed with a cup of cold water and a squeeze of lemon is very refreshing, though I intend to blend more violets into this ‘base’ over the season, play with it and see how thick will it get . . ..
For now we shall nibble on violets in the field and once the lilacs bloom, from under their branches where they grow clustered in the cool, damp earth and grow right on up into the heat of summer when they get covered by bishops weed for the rest of the season and the remaining leaves become a bit too dry for our tastes . . . . perhaps the bunnies like them then? If you set out to make some, keep our furry friends in mind, leave them lots behind!