These sweet little violets are popping up throughout our garden, a sure sign that spring has arrived. This little perennial blossom, one of the herbs the colonists found here, is native from Canada to Carolina and is adored for its sweet blossom. Now is the time to gather a jar full of these petite blooms in anticipation of making violet jelly. Gather a quart jar of blooms, with the understanding that the more flowers you gather and steep, the richer the purple color of the jelly.
This loosely packed jar of blossoms was quickly gathered one morning this week. It's best to harvest the blossoms on the morning you plan to use them. Herewith are the directions for making Violet Jelly from The Bride's Herbal, written by our mother, Bertha Reppert. "Fill a quart jar with violet blossoms; cover with boiling water. (Approx. 2-1/2 c.) Steep for 24 hours. (Note: I only let it steep for 2 hours.) Strain. To 2 cups of this liquid, add the juice of 1 lemon, and 1 box of Sure Jel. Bring to a boil and add 4 cups of sugar. Bring again to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Ladle into jars. Seal with paraffin or freeze." The end result is a beautiful jewel-like jelly with a delicate sweet grape-like flavor. If you do not seal or can the jelly, it will keep refrigerated about 2 weeks.
The Herb of the Year for 2022 is the Viola which includes violets, pansies, and heartsease. As we celebrate the herb of the year, we will be serving this jelly after our free Herb Garden Tour hosted during National Herb Week this coming Thursday, May 5th at 6:00. Susanna will guide a tour of the herb gardens, guests will create a violet pot pourri, and then we will sample some herbal treats prepared by Nancy. This event is held rain or shine, no need to pre-register.
In the language of flowers,
Blue Violets symbolize Faithfulness.
Dame Violets for Watchfulness.
Sweet Violets are for Modesty.
Yellow Violets stand for Rural Happiness.