Last weekend was my mom’s…29th Birthday. Somehow time has reversed and it’s gotten to the point where I’m actually a year older than her. I’m not an expert, but I’m fairly certain those numbers don’t quite add up, but we’ll let it slide. So my family came to Brooklyn for dinner. Food is always a good way to entice visits. The problem with a late April menu is, while it’s clearly been spring for a few weeks now, Spring fruits and veggies are still trying to catch on. The menu was a bit limited–mixed greens from greenhouse gardens, carrots from last year’s harvest, potatoes (there’s always potatoes) and lamb stuffed with bitter spring greens. On the positive side, I was able to bring some brightness to the menu thanks to my new foraging skills. Over the past few weeks I’ve gone a bit crazy with violets–jelly, syrup, candies–and I might have just one more recipe up my sleeve if I can find some more flowers this weekend. I figured what best to celebrate the awakening of spring than with some edible flowers?
I’m always a little hesitant when it comes to making jellies. (A) they’re a lot more work than jam. You need to collect the juices of whatever fruit (or in this case flower) you’re using, then cook the liquid then add the pectin, then reduce it… It’s just a lot of steps. Where as with jams, you mash the fruit, cook it for a bit, and there you go. (B) I’ve had a lot of failures with jelly. It took me some time to get the hang of using pectin. The jelly isn’t supposed to be totally thick when you’re canning it, it thickens as it cools. I’ve ever ended up with over jellied jelly, so thick, it’s practically a soft candy, or under jellied where after canning, I can turn the jar over and it’s like having canned a syrup. Somehow with this recipe I got it right, a well jellied consistency that moves a bit in the jar but still holds firm.