Violets and Dandelions (BBB)

Apr
20


It’s flower jelly time! I posted about this a few weeks ago, but want to remind you again because if you don’t get the violets right now, they will be gone! Don’t let that happen! I went violet- and dandelion-picking yesterday. Let me just say upfront that this is a project. I picked both violets and dandelions at the same time, and it took a few hours just for the picking, not to mention the time spent separating the dandelion petals from the green stuff. It’s easy to separate the violet petals, but the violets take longer to add up when you’re picking, so they’re both about equal in time expenditure.

Wildflower jellies are an old-fashioned idea, and the reason for that is we don’t think we have time in our rush-rush world to pick flowers for a few hours and separate the petals. It’s a slow task, somewhat akin to stringing beans or cracking nuts.

I carried jars and scissors and an old rocking chair pad that I used to take to put on the bleachers at Weston’s football games and moved about the field, picking dandelions and violets as I went.

It had been raining and the flowers and ground were wet. I figured the flowers were pre-washed. The temperature was perfect. I was picking near the road and not a single vehicle drove by for hours while I was picking. If you get in the spirit of it, it’s a sort of meditative event. Every time I felt impatient with how slowly the jars were filling, I reminded myself to slow down and enjoy it. And I did.

I came away with a pint of violet petals and a quart of dandelion petals. (You can do this with all sorts of wildflowers and garden flowers. You can find an extensive list of edible flowers at About.com here.)

There are some excellent recipes on Farm Bell Recipes for making dandelion, violet, and other flower and herb jellies.

Violet Flower Jelly
Dandelion Jelly
Flower and Herb Jellies

I needed something that would work for me on a per cup basis, not just for these violets and dandelions, but for other flower and herb jellies where I might be working with varying amounts, so after studying the above three recipes, I came up with a per cup recipe that helped me sort that out in my mind. You can make flower and herb jellies using any amount of flowers and herbs, so if you don’t want to pick any certain amount, this per cup recipe may help you, too.

My infusions at work:

By the way, you don’t have to can the infusion right away. I’m going out of town soon, so after straining the infusions today, I’ll be stashing them in freezer baggies in the freezer until I get back and have time to make the jellies. But the time for picking–especially the violets–is now, so I got them while the gettin’ is good.

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Basic Flower & Herb Recipe for Jelly:

For the infusion, per cup flower petals or herb leaves, add–
1 cup boiling water

For the jelly, per cup strained infusion, add–
powdered pectin*
1/8 cup lemon juice
2 cups sugar

*1 package powdered pectin will set up to 2 cups strained infusion. For 4 cups infusion, use 2 packages, and so on. For 3 cups infusion, go ahead and use 2 packages (and so on–for 5 cups, use 3 packages.) There is no natural pectin in flower petals and herbs, so a lot of pectin is required.

Boil water and steep petals/herb leaves overnight, one cup boiling water per one cup petals/leaves. The next day, strain the infusion through cheesecloth to get a clear liquid. When adding up cups of strained infusion, if you’re short, add water to round up to the next cup then make jelly using the recipe above per cup strained infusion. Combine strained infusion, powdered pectin, and lemon juice in a pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Ladle hot jelly into hot jars. BWB 10 minutes.

These jellies come out in beautiful natural colors, but you can add a drop or two of food coloring for a desired effect, if you wish. You can also use this same infusion method as a base for flower or herb syrups, teas, and more.

Tip: To separate out the dandelion petals, here is how I did it. As I mentioned above, the violet petals are no problem. Dandelion petals require a little extra effort. First, clip the bottom of the flower just above the stem. (The dandelion flower is closed up because this was morning, it had been raining, and I had also been holding them tightly closed the easier to snip them.)

Holding the petals from the top of the flower, pull off the green bits.

Now you have petals only!

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes for the handy print page and save it to your recipe box.

Learn more about canning with a BBB!

***

Ball Blue BookIt’s a Ball Blue Book Project day! Today’s Ball Blue Book is sponsored by Never Yield Gear. See their stuff here.

For a chance to win: Leave a comment on this post and let me know you want it. You can just put (BBB) at the end of your comment or otherwise note that you want to be in the draw. One winner will be drawn by random comment number to receive a Ball Blue Book. Eligible entry cut-off is midnight Eastern (U.S.) time tonight (April 20). This post will be updated with the winner by 9 a.m. Eastern (U.S.) time tomorrow (April 21). Return to this post to claim your book if your name is drawn (or check the BBB Winners List).

Find out more about the Ball Blue Book Project and become a sponsor.

UPDATE 04/21/11: The winning comment number, drawn by random.org, is comment #33, Glenie. Email me at [email protected] with your full name and address for shipping!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED TO ENTRY.





Comments

  1. melody says:

    i want to a bbb! thank you for the chance.

  2. Mindy W. says:

    Very fun! BBB

  3. Kristen says:

    BBB, pretty please.

    Loved reading about the flower jellies, too.

  4. Krista says:

    BBB This is such a timely post for me as I have a bunch of wild violets blooming all over my back yard! I’ve made rose petal jelly before, but never violet or dandelion. I’m so inspired.

  5. Lindsay says:

    I know we have dandelions here, but I don’t know if I’ve seen violets…I’ll have to hunt for them. I love it: ‘pre-washed’! Haha!

    BBB Please! :fairy:

  6. Jean - MN says:

    I remember picking all those violets for jelly — the dandelions I picked were for my father’s dandelion wine — (I was too young to taste it he said, but old enough to pick them!)
    No violets here in MN — they are still under the s**w we had yesterday
    BBB please — thank you

  7. Tracey In Paradise Pa. says:

    :sun: I always learn so much here..The flowers look beautiful just being infused.lol
    Granny Trace
    http://www.grannytracescrapsandsquares.com

  8. Kathy in FL says:

    The violet infusion looks pretty. But there are no violets here where I live, at least none that I know of. BBB, please.

  9. brookdale says:

    BBB please!

  10. Jennifer B says:

    I have always wanted to try this but seem to miss the boat every time! BBB

  11. Suzanne_Arlene says:

    Now this looks interesting to try hmmm BBB please

  12. Anke says:

    I bet those jellies will be delicious! BBB please.

  13. Megan Duff says:

    BBB please!

  14. BethieofVA says:

    We have been on a kick here making these jellies the past few weeks! I would love the book.

  15. Mary says:

    what a great idea and use for the dandelions crowding my lawn! keeps them from spreading AND results in an edible item. thanks! BBB

  16. Kelly Jo Kirby says:

    Please pick me! BBB!

  17. morningstar says:

    We have so many dandelions this year. I was saying to my son on Sunday I need to find somewhere away from the road to get some. I had best get looking real quick !!! Please enter me for the BBB drawing. Thank you

  18. Andy Mueller says:

    OH OH pick me! My best friend has made Dadelion Jelly the past couple of weekends, and loves it. – I told her about it last year but we don’t have enough dandelions on our place for me to make any. Why when you want dandelions you can’t find any?!

  19. Bonnie says:

    Please add me in the drawing!

  20. Betty Jean Burchett says:

    Love to crystallize violets with an egg wash and sugar coating and use them to decorate cakes. My yard is covered in them this year! Love it! Please add me to the drawing for the BBB. Thank you.

  21. katie frances says:

    Great post. I’ve been wanting to make jelly. Your pics are very encouraging. BBB please.

  22. justdeborah2002 says:

    Makes me think of old time dandelion wine….would love the BBB!

  23. Hamp Girl says:

    BBB please!

  24. Cindi says:

    :happyfeet: I can’t wait till we get flowers growing up North here with which to try it! Thanks for sharing those recipes!

    I just came across your blog recently and have really been enjoying it. Congratulations on your duck & buck yard! :lol: I bet our ducks would like nothing better than to get out of our chickens’ coop….or is that the other way around? :?:

    BBB

  25. Gem says:

    How cool is that? Would LOVE a BBB :-)

  26. Brittany P. says:

    I recently posted a recipe for dandelion cookies. Thanks for a new way to enjoy these so called weeds! ;) BBB Please!

  27. Crystal George says:

    Love this idea, can’t wait to try it. BBB please.

  28. Glenie says:

    I would love to win BBB please.

  29. Lee in KY says:

    BBB, please. Thanks!

  30. sheepie-girl says:

    I would LOVE to win a BBB!!! Please pick ME!!!!

  31. Amy I. says:

    BBB for me, please.

  32. langela says:

    My kids have been begging me to make dandelion jelly ever since they heard it was a possibility. I will have plenty of help picking! Enter me for the BBB, please.

  33. Rockyshore says:

    Please BBB me. Thanks so much to you and the kind people who donate the BBB’s for this give away, you’re all awsome!

  34. Kelly Barnes says:

    Wgat do you use violet jelly on?

  35. TotallyCooked says:

    BBB – I would love to be included in the give-away

  36. Cindy says:

    Thanks for all the great ideas! BBB, please!

  37. judithann says:

    Gorgeous picture of yellow & purple…. Hope we get to see pictures of the finished jellies. BBB for me, please!

  38. Deb Colucci says:

    Love the jellies!!

    BBB me please!

  39. Rachel says:

    Here in norhtern MN there are no flowers growing yet… heck we still have snow in the forecast. BUT, as soon as those violets pop out this is at the top of my list!
    BBB me please!

  40. Sherie Adams says:

    I certainly have the dandelions! BBB please!

  41. ladychef68 says:

    BBB
    Thanks to Never Yield Gear and Suzanne for today’s chance!

  42. Sherri says:

    BBB pretty please!

  43. Lydia Gray says:

    Hmmm…the violet jelly sounds interesting, but I think I want to try making an elixer witht hem first. I only have a small amount to play with hahaha. Then…we’ll see! Thanks for the chance to win.

    Lydia

  44. windspiritwhimsies says:

    Sounds wonderful! BBB,please! :purpleflower:

  45. Pam C in Canada says:

    Cool! Up here, we still have snow….and flooding – no flowers anywhere yet! Maybe in a month, if there’s no snow…BBB please :).

  46. Louise says:

    Please enter me into the drawing.

  47. Lynn H. says:

    I have made both dandelion and violet jelly….my daughter just asked last night if we were going to make violet jelly again this year…its her favorite!! I would love the cookbook to make some new creations..please. BBB

  48. mammaleigh says:

    BBB please! I was out picking all the dandelions with my kids the other day I didn’t even think to save them!

  49. heidiannie says:

    I always pick the violets- sometimes I sugar them and use them on top of tarts and cupcakes- the jelly sounds like a good idea. I LOVE your rocking chair pad for sitting. I use a scoot and do garden helper (on WHEELS)- but violets are usually in such a concentrated area- just sittin’ in the middle of a patch sounds good!
    Sign me up for the BBB.
    Thanks!

  50. Nancy Stickler says:

    BBB please! I have to try the violet jelly….although it’s too early for them here. I think I saw 1 dandelion and no violets yet!

  51. BeverlyC says:

    BBB, Please & Thank You :dancingmonster:

  52. Carrie Johnston says:

    BBB Please and thanks!

  53. Jessica says:

    My 2 year old son loves to pick dandelions for me, maybe I can recruit him : ) BBB please!

  54. tea4too0 says:

    I would love to try these recipes, thanks Suzanne. sign me up for the BBB

  55. Maria says:

    I plan on doing the violet jelly this year. I have a ton of them (all colors). Thank you for the recipe (BBB)!

  56. Linda O'Laughlin says:

    BBB pretty please, I love canning and preserving. My grandmom taught me the basics a long time ago, I would love to learn more! :)

  57. Jennifer says:

    bbb please. Wiating for dandilions to come up but the snow must go first.

  58. Ann says:

    I want to learn all about canning. BBB!
    Thank you.

  59. AnnieB says:

    Oh yes, BBB please!

  60. ktlovespie says:

    Love all the pretty colors!
    BBB please.

  61. Linda Goble says:

    Would love to have a BBB please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you

  62. Miss Becky says:

    It’s going to be awhile before there are any dandelions or violets here. temps have to get out of the 30’s first! but all the same, once it warms up the dandelions will be plentiful. I did see a few violets that last time I went on a hike in the woods though. I make dandelion wine every spring, but I’ve never made anything with violets. thanks for Never Yield Gear for sponsoring this giveaway. BBB!

  63. marymac says:

    Put me in for the BBB please.

  64. Laura Newton says:

    Count me in for BBB.

  65. Terri - LA says:

    Violet jelly sounds awesome! Please add me to the BBB drawing.

  66. Barbara Thompson says:

    BBB please! : )

  67. Sharon Dziekonski says:

    Would love the BBB! Also thanks for the tip on separating the dandelion petals. I want to try making some dandelion wine this year (if it EVER warms up here in NY) and was not looking forward to picking apart the flowers.

  68. Debbie says:

    Love the way you process dandelion flowers. Do you know of anything to do with the flower buds?

    Also, I would love to win the BBB

  69. Tracy Byers says:

    BBB Please!!!!

  70. Melanie says:

    I would love the BBB. Thanks.

  71. Diane says:

    Made dandelion wine once, will try jelly. BBB

  72. Amy says:

    This looks like such a great idea! I know this may be hard to answer, but what do violet & dandelion jellies taste like? I can’t wait to try making some!

    Oh, and I’d love to be entered in the BBB drawing, pretty please :-)

  73. GrammieEarth says:

    Neither dandelions nor violets have shown up here in NS so far. Soon, soon.

    BBB please

  74. GaPeach says:

    BBB, please!!

  75. liz says:

    Newlyweds, new farm, new veggie beds….desperately need to learn how to can!!

    BBB please

  76. momof3inOKLA says:

    BBB please. Very interesting, thanks for posting.

  77. lavenderblue says:

    I have all of six dark purple woods violets in my front yard. Don’t think that is enough to make a batch of jelly. Later on, I may get some white ones in the spearmint patch. And I know this summer I will get a lot of perennial violets but they lack that lovely grape kool-ade/orange peel smell of the dark violets, or any smell at all, really. None the less, I would love a BBB. I vow I will find something to can.

  78. Amanda says:

    A BBB for me, please!

  79. Lynette says:

    I would love to be entered for a BBB. Thanks for the chance to win! :D

  80. SuzzyQ says:

    You never cease to amaze! I think you could make jam out of just about anything. I admire your
    ability and patience! Thanks for the chance to win the BBB.

  81. ann/alba says:

    who knew that a weed cold make wonderful tasting jam…. not me… but I do think it is a beautiful flower so bright & sunny.
    please BBB book please.

  82. Kelly says:

    BBB me please :o)

  83. LisaAJB says:

    :fairy: Super cool. BBB

  84. Kathy G. says:

    The flower jellies sound good! BBB, please!

  85. Denise F. says:

    Thanks for the chance to win. BBB,please.

  86. Mim says:

    enter me please…..I made violet jelly last week….Everyone thought it was kinda weird when I told them I made it but when they tried it, they really liked it…made sure that I got my violets this year because I missed getting them last year. :pawprint:

  87. Gillian says:

    Wow – these sound great. People are asking me where I buy my strawberry jam this week as I broke open one of my last jars from last summer. I’d love to try the flower jellies. BBB

  88. Mandy says:

    I just made dandelion jelly for the first time and it worked very well. Mine tastes like honey – is that what yours usually taste like? I’m anxious to try lilac jelly next! You’re lucky to have so many violets around :purpleflower:

    Mandy D

  89. Tammy says:

    Beautiful infusions! I wanna try this:o) BBB please!

  90. farmershae says:

    would love a BBB please!

  91. Lana says:

    Put me in the Ball Blue Book drawing, please!

  92. EightPondFarm says:

    I love the idea that the dandelion jelly might taste like honey. A few dandelions, no violets here yet; morels are here, though. BBB, please. Thanks!!

  93. BethAnn says:

    Dandelions already?! BBB please!

  94. Richelle says:

    Yes, BBB please!

  95. Suzanne McMinn says:

    UPDATE 04/21/11: The winning comment number, drawn by random.org, is comment #33, Glenie.

    THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED TO ENTRY.

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