I am joining in with Cathy’s meme at Ramblinginthegarden this week. I suddenly noticed that the bank of wild violets; Viola odorata, which has been delighting me with its elusive fragrance for days now is beginning to be more leaves than flowers. So I picked a bunch and added some lilac, pink and white ones, as well as some of my precious apricot violets: Viola odorata var. Sulphurea.
I’m afraid they didn’t stay in the vase for very long because I wanted to crystallize them.
First I snipped off most of the stalk, just leaving enough to hold them by. I washed them and put them on some kitchen paper to dry.
When the violets were dry I whipped up the white of an egg until it was foamy. Then holding the violet by the stalk I painted the egg white on with a pastry brush. I used a cocktail stick to sort out the petals which stuck together. Then I coated the violet with castor sugar. I think it is called superfine sugar in America. I cut off the stalks and I put the violets on greaseproof paper to dry. They are crisp and brittle when they are dry and you can keep them for a couple of months in an airtight container. They make lovely cake decorations. I am going to use these for my daughter’s birthday cake next month.
I have to admit it is very time consuming. Violets are quite fiddly to crystallise but you can do any edible flower. I love crystallised rose petals.
If like Shirley Conran you think that ‘life is too short to stuff a mushroom‘ you probably won’t want to give up an hour to crystallising violets. The Pianist was surprised that I didn’t have anything better to do, especially as he thinks the violets look like dead flies. Sugar-coated flies though. I like them and if you crystallise them, (violets, not flies,) you get to eat violets which is lovely.
Thanks to Cathy for hosting this meme; In a Vase on Monday. Her vase is called ‘Twist and Shout’; perhaps I should have called mine ‘Sweets for My Sweet’ in the words of the Searcher’s song. Sorry if that means another earworm for Anna at Green Tapestry.