Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shy violets

Ages ago, when i was little, i ran across a recipe for violet syrup, in an issue of National Geographic World.  I desperately wanted to try it out, but my mother (deterred perhaps by the range i'd have to cover to find enough violets around our oh-so-suburban townhouse, or perhaps by the experiences that had followed when, to keep me busy, she sent me out to gather acorns which later proved to have worms in them) would not hear of it.

So recently, when a friend posted something on Facebook about gathering some of the violets in her yard for salad, i mentioned wanting to look up a violet syrup recipe.  In one of those happy chances for which i love the Internet, another friend of hers almost immediately posted a link to a recipe.

I have lots of violets around my woodsy home, so there was no obstacle to making up a batch.
The steeping blossoms turn the water such a gorgeous color... and in the "Mr. Wizard" moment for the day, it turns out that the violet water acts like litmus paper, changing different colors when an acid or a base is added.  Since the syrup recipe calls for lemon juice, you get to see it turn a festive pink-purple shade...

The violet taste is a little fainter than i'd like, so next time i think i'll try more flowers in the same amount of water, and see what happens...

(Isn't that old Atlas jar great?  When i first made noises about canning, the spouse came home from an auction with three bushel baskets of old canning jars, so even though not all were salvageable, i've got oodles!)

No comments: