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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sweet Wonderland of Violets


 It's a very good year for violets here in the western foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains so I gathered a few and made some violet sugar and syrup with them - there are so many ways to enjoy them...

Gathering them is fun and easy; just stoop and pluck them to your heart's content. There's no need to move around much they are so plentiful.

 After washing I drained and patted dry two cups full of petals..

 And whizzed them in the coffee mill with one cup of sugar for a beautiful cup of violet sugar to sprinkle on cupcakes or cookies.  I might even add a bit to my afternoon tea now and then.

A small nosegay of the blooms and leaves in a tiny bottle is uplifting, also.  Violet sugar in a shaker on the right.

 The sugar is sweet and useful, but I also wanted to make a syrup with the abundance of flowers.  I steeped two cups of whole flower heads in two cups of boiling water overnight then added 1 cup of sugar...

 To make two cups of violet syrup.
 (Note:  When I reheated the steeped water to add the sugar it caused the violet water to turn grayish blue so I added a few drops of red food coloring to perk it up a bit.  (Ahem, I may have overdone it just a bit. O.O)  The syrup can be added according to taste to cold sparkling seltzer water for a light, refreshing summertime drink.

In other herbal news I'm putting together a little first aid travel kit and needed a few small tubes of antiseptic/analgesic salve so I followed these directions...
To make them...

Using a straw and my homemade plantain salve that I use for insect bites and scratches. There are tons of antiseptic salve recipes online.  (I don't remember which I used for my salve.:)

Our Confederate Violets wanted to say hello, too  :)

Have a wonderfully violet scented week, Y'all!

Shared at:  HomeAcre Hop, Wildcrafting Wednesday, The Maple Hill Hop, Roses of Inspiration

50 comments:

  1. good morning, lovely post-and I love making things with violets too-ours are not up yet-and not as plentiful as yours. Last year I made up a violet jam that I canned-really enjoyed that-I love your idea of violet sugar-I am going to make that-do you keep the violet sugar in the frig? and what a cool idea for the herb salves-love that-thanks

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    1. Thank you, Kathy. There's no need to keep the sugar in the refrigerator as long as it is dry, but you can if you want to do that, of course. I think I'm going to make another batch and keep it in a covered jar as it may clump if left too long in the shaker.

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  2. What a beautiful sugar those violets make. Our wild violets are not nearly as pretty as yours. Love the idea about the straws. Very clever!

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    1. Thank you, Jane. I hope yours will be gorgeous this year.

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  3. I'm speechless! I had no idea violets could be used for so many delightful things! The sugar is so pretty and the salve is superly duperly wonderful! Thank you so much, dear Toni, for sharing this with us :) Happy Thursday!

    P.S. -Thanks for the lovely visit to my blog....I love that birds are an indulgence for you {me too} :)

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie. Violets are edible so the possibilities are endless. I'm working on some other projects with them while the abundance lasts so I'm not done with them just yet. :)

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  4. We don't have violets here, so loved your post-as always. I was trying to think if I made ANYTHING from scratch and patted myself on the back when I thought of my homemade granola:) Have a great weekend, Toni!

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    1. Elaine, if I could (read that would) quilt like you do I would be in scratch heaven. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  5. Great ideas.... we have violets, but not enough to do that with them... I will have to remember that, though, in case we ever find an abundance of them. :) Your little salve tubes are also wonderful. :)

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  6. Your violet sugar and syrup look so tasty! If we had violets growing, I would try my own. We are planning to make dandelion jelly Saturday and lilac jelly once our lilac bush blooms.

    Those salve packs are wonderful for first aid kits!

    I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving. Enjoy your week!

    :)Vicki

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    1. Thank you, Vicki, we had a great time over the weekend visiting our youngest in Virginia. Hope you had a great Resurrection Day, too (I knew you meant Easter ;)

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    2. Wow, I just noticed I wished you a Happy Thanksgiving, lol! Thanks for being so kind! :) I was excited to tell you, we do have violets growing. They are just in the goat field, and I am secretly afraid of the goats. :)

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  7. LOVE the violets! wish they grew here! they were one of my favorites from wisconsin. the salve straw things are pretty brilliant!

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    1. Thank you, TWGirl. I'm sad so many of you don't have violets, but I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  8. I have made violet vinegar. I collect the flowers and place them in a glass jar, then add a white wine vinegar. After a couple weeks I strain out the flowers. Violet vinegar is a nice ingredient in a salad dressing.

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    1. Carol, your violet vinegar sounds intriguing. Thank you for sharing your method. :)

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  9. I didn't realize those were called Confederate violets--how neat! Several years back I made violet jelly, but decided it was too much work for too little--you make violet sugar and syrup look easy!

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    1. These are very low-key endeavors, Bethany, just my type. ;)

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  10. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather...I didn't know you could eat them! I would be interested in tasting them in one form or another. We don't get many around here on the hard red clay of the NC Piedmont. See what you can learn from reading blogs!

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    1. Debby, our soil is clay, too. Sadly so, but somehow the violets thrive.

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  11. Nice thought, this violet Sugar !

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    1. It's wonderfully fun, thanks for stopping by. :)

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  12. That is wonderful! I love your sugar in the pretty little jar, so feminine.
    What an abundance of violets you have, no wonder you are thinking of ways to use them, I would be too. :-)
    It was nice stopping in for a visit.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Debbie

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    1. Thank you, Debbie, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

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  13. These are the kinds of projects I love! What a wonderful bounty of violets! I have never grown any but I sure love the looks of them :) Are yours wild? The portable salve tubes are really neat too! How about some bartering... some lunch meat for some violet goodies!

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    1. They are wild, JES, and usually grow in mostly shady spots. Our backyard is partly covered with them this year, and it's just beautiful. I love a good barter, but I'm afraid I just couldn't cheat you like that, lol. Thanks for stoppin' by!

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  14. A lovely post! I love violets and their fragrance, beautiful!

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    1. Thank you for the comment, Kerrie, and thanks for stopping by. :)

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  15. Thank You for the comment on my work !

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  16. Wow, that violet sugar is amazing! What a lovely way to use your abundance. I hope you'll share this post on The Maple Hill Hop!

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    1. My pleasure, Daisy, I'm all linked up. :)

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  17. What a lovely craft! Straight from nature.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Hi Amalia! Nature's toys are best I think, don't you?

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  18. Hello Toni and a happy Monday to you!
    I never knew there were such wonderful uses for these pretty little flowers...
    I love violets but we have so little at home - I think I will need to spruce up our garden with a few more as they add such a lovely touch!
    Much love and hugs to you!
    Kelly-Anne

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    1. Happy Monday to you Kelly-Anne! Thank you for stopping by. Our spring this year has been perfect for violets so we have more than normal. Sometimes is people pull them up as weeds, but I try not to do that. If necessary I do I like to transplant them to another spot. They grow best in a shady northern exposure location.

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  19. Such a wonderful and informative post.. I make violet salve and can't wait for them to be here .. I wonder if you added a tablespoon of lemon juice if your syrup would be the right color.. I find that helps with wild flower jelly...
    God bless.. xo

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    1. Faye, the syrup was a lavender color until I heated it too hot when I added the sugar. It was fine until that point, lol.

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  20. I love using natural products like these. Thanks for letting us know how you do it! Happy Spring! Hugs, Diane

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  21. Thanks so much for stopping by!!

    A beautiful and love the shades of purple

    Hugs,
    Debbie

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  22. I am so, so, so glad you shared this post with Roses of Inspiration! When I was choosing the features for last weeks party I was looking for this post thinking you had shared it.... I realized you shared a different one :) Anyway, I absolutely loved this post and I enjoyed reading it again.

    Thanks for sharing, sweet friend. Hugs!

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  23. I am enjoying your blog so much!! So interesting!!!

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  24. Hello lovely friend! Your beautiful post has been featured at Roses of Inspiration today. Thank you for joining the party - I always enjoy your presence. Hugs!

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  25. Yay! Congratulations on being featured at Roses of Inspiration my friend :)

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  26. One year I made violet jelly. It was a lovely pale violet color. Unfortunately I added too much pectin and it came out super stiff, halfway between jelly and rock candy! I think I'll try your syrup recipe. Thanx!

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  27. Beautiful photos! When I read the title of your blog, I felt my spirit leap for joy! I just wrote a post about my desire to move to Tennessee. I have two sons who live in the Knoxville and Lenoir City area and to me, the Smoky Mountains are heaven on earth. I'd love to settle in the Maryville or Townsend area.

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  28. I have always loved violets and I love them even more now! Thank you for all the sweet ideas!

    I've been away on blog holiday busy selling our house and finding a new one. It is good to see you again!

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  29. I love your wonderful posting on violets. How beautiful. I also enjoyed very much reading about violet syrup. Great posting.

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Thank you for your comments!