For those of us with violets still in bloom in our yards, did you know they were edible? Here's a few recipes-
Fill any size glass jar with violet blossoms, cover with boiling water, put a lid on the jar and let sit for 24 hours. Strain the liquid, discarding the flowers. To each cup of liquid, add the juice of 1/2 lemon and 2 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil, pour into sterilized jars and seal or cap.
This is a good, light flavored syrup for pancakes. Or, pour a couple of spoonfuls over ice, add cold water and stir. A delightful, colorful beverage.
Violet Jelly is a wonderful, pretty, dainty jelly to use on English muffins or saltine crackers. To 2 cups of violet syrup, add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 package of powdered pectin. Bring to a boil, then add 4 cups of sugar. Bring back to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour into jelly jars and seal. (I used small baby food jars and I stored them in the freezer.)
Beat 1 egg white until frothy. Pour some superfine sugar into a bowl. Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Holding violets by the stem, dip the flowers in the egg white and then in the sugar. Cover top and bottom of flowers. Place on cookie sheet. Use a toothpick to straighten the petals, if necessary. Place in 200 degree oven for 40 minutes or until sugar crystallizes. (It turns frosty white.) Remove from cookie sheet and place on another piece of wax paper to cool. When cool, cut off stems. Store in airtight container, placing wax paper between layers. Sugared violets should keep in this manner a year or more. Use to decorate cakes and desserts or just serve as candy. (Lilac blossoms can also be sugared.)
Violet leaves are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. They can be eaten in salads or cooked like spinach. Gather the bright green leaves when they are young and tender. Wash thoroughly. Use any way you would use raw spinach.