Spring is here and the world is coming back to life. There are so many flowers and blossoms that happen only during this time.
Trees bloom their beautiful flowers, tulips and daffodils happen only in spring, peonies only bloom once all season, and so on.
It's sad to me that we look so forward to these beauties, and then they are gone in a blink of an eye.
Some of our springtime petals can be used for other things. I love finding new ways to use unusual or different items for something that will last and last.
Here are a few ideas!
WILD VIOLET JELLY
You will need to pick 2 CUPS of violets. Place the violets in a container that can be sealed. Cover the petals with boiling water and cover them 1/2" over top of flowers. Cover and seal and let them sit in a sunny place for 4-6 hours (overnight is ok too).
Strain out flowers. You will end up with about 2 CUPS of infused water. You can add a bit if you need to.
The water should be a light violet color.
ADD 1/4 CUP LEMON JUICE (color will change to bright pink)
ADD 4 CUPS SUGAR, heat to dissolve. Bring to a rapid boil and ADD one package of PECTIN. Follow directions (each brand is a little different).
Pour into sterilized jars seal, and water bath for 5 minutes.
This can be purchased at some specialty shops and it is very expensive - 6.50 - 8.00 per 2 oz. jar!
DANDELION JELLY (I have made this)
4 C dandelion flowers (no stems or green parts - those are bitter)
3 1/4 C water
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 pkg. pectin
1 drop yellow food coloring
4 1/2 C sugar
Heat water to simmer and add 2 CUPS of flowers (petals) and simmer for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and remove flowers (squeeze out liquid) and ADD other 2 CUPS of petals and repeat process.
Measure out 3 CUPS of infused water (can add a bit if nec.), lemon juice, pectin, and food coloring and bring to a boil. Add sugar and bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute.
Place in sterilized jars and water bath 5 - 7 minutes.
**Has a lemony taste. Very good.
PEONY JELLY (I have made this)
Gather a QUART of peony petals (chemical free and no stems or brown petals)
Boil enough water to cover the petals (5 - 6 cups water).
At this point you will second guess yourself as it neither smells good or looks pretty! Let this set for 6 hours.
Drain liquid - don't press flowers. You should have about 4 - 4 1/2 C liquid.
Add the JUICE OF ONE LEMON (or equivalent). Color will change to pinkish/orange. Bring to a boil and then add PECTIN.
Bring back to a boil and add 3 CUPS SUGAR and go till a hard boil for 1 full minute.
Ladle into jars, seal and process in water bath 5 - 10 minutes.
**Slightly sweet, slightly tart, and a bit flowery in taste.
Always make sure any petals or greens used from your yard are chemical free (and pet do-do free!).
There are so many things in our yards that we can turn into yummy goodness that can be used or gifted all year round.
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF A PETAL!!!!!!