One thing that has me smiling is how many of you responded with interest for making wild flower jellies and jams.
Like purple violets (leaves make a healing tea)and dandelions. Red bud blossoms. On my little patch of heaven, honeysuckle is a useful plant, holding the hill from eroding and providing flowers for jelly.
So how about going wild in the kitchen, even if you only toss a few wild edible flowers in your salad? Or go big and bold, and make these beautiful and yes, gourmet, treats.
First, pick blossoms
Pick blossoms only. No leaves, no stems.
For dandelions, remove as much bitter green bottom as possible.
For honeysuckle, remove green tips off but leave stamens in.
Coax flavor and color out by making an infusion. Measure flowers before cleaning. (Lilac makes a golden infusion.)
Redbud, lilac and honeysuckle: 3 cups packed flowers to 4 cups boiling water
Violet and forsythia: 4 cupspacked flowers to 4 cups boiling water
Dandelion: 2 cups packed flowers to 4 cups boiling water.
Place flowers in bowl.Pour boiling water over. Weight down with saucer to keep petals under water. Infuse 12 hours at room temperature.
Strain, pressing down on solids. You should have 3 cups clear infusion. If not, add water to make 3 cups.
Infusion can be frozen 6 months.
Master recipe wild flower jelly
Makes about six jars, 8 oz. each.
3 cups wild flower infusion
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 box powdered pectin
4-1/2 cups sugar
Boil jars 10 minutes. Keep in hot water.
Keep seals and rings in hot, not boiling, water.
Place infusion, lemon juice and pectin in big pot.
Over high heat, bring to rolling boil, one that cannot be stirred down, stirring constantly.
Continue stirring, add sugar all at once and bring back to rolling boil and boil 1 minute.
Pour into hot jars, 1/8” from top. Remove foam.
Wipe rims with clean, wet cloth.
Place seals on jars, screw on rings.
Invert 5 minutes. Turn upright. Cool from drafts. Check seals after one hour. Refrigerate unsealed jars.
Keeps in pantry up to 6 months.
Process sealed jelly in boiling water bath 5 minutes. Cool away from drafts. Check seals after one hour. Refrigerate unsealed jars.
Keeps in pantry up to 1 year.
Beautiful blender violet jam
2 cups packed violet blossoms
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup plus 1 cup water, divided
2-1/2 cups sugar
1 box dry pectin
Put 3/4 cup water and blossoms in blender and blend well. Add juice. Add sugar and blend again to dissolve.
Stir pectin into 1 cup of water in saucepan and bring to boil. Boil 1 minute. Pour into violet paste in blender on low speed. Blend again and pour into containers.
Cool, seal, and store in refrigerator or freezer.
Keeps 6 months in refrigerator; 1 year in freezer.
Pick only clean, unsprayed petals.