Just another day… And a Jelly Recipe!
The air is cool today… The sun is bright and high in the sky. The gardens beckon…. So I am blogging from the back patio. I just hung my first spring laundry outside. I am excited. This means spring has sprung. Next weekend, I will spend my days prepping and planting the gardens. But for now, Just hang drying laundry.
Next week, I will spend some time filling these raised beds with fragrant and edible kitchen herbs. And all future laundry won’t just smell of grass and clean country air, but also like an herb garden, with hints of the adjacent wisteria flowers growing up and over the purgala…. So I sit here typing, breathing in the smell of the lemon balm, and a small number of herbs that are perenial…. Hanging laundry.
I look up to see 3 hawks flying about…. The smell of the air is clean, and even the sunshine from above is deeply appreciated after a long New England winter full of endless rain and mud… This is a nice spot to write. Or to just hang out with a cup of ice water, or tea, and just sit and think… Today, I think I will tell homesteading to go to hell and take a much needed break. I mean did you see all the jars I have canned this week?! I been rather busy…. And now, I am tired. So today is mine to recover.
But before I go enjoy some earned personal time for a few hours…. I thought I would share a canning recipe.
First pick 3 cups of wild violets. They grow all over the place should be easy to find some. Tedious though it is, take some time to remove the petals putting them in a separate bowl from the “violet hips.” Then, wash the petals, strain them, and put them in a clean quart jar. Make water for tea. Enough to fill the quart jar containing your washed violet petals. Pour boiling tea water into the jar with them. You may want to hold the jar under hot water in the sink for a couple minutes before dumping in boiling tea water. Allow it to sit over night.
Once it has sat over night it should be a blue green color, strain tea into a pot for the stove. Take care to get as much water as possible and as little flower pulp as possible in the pot. Next up, juice 1 lemon and add it to the pot of strained green/blue violet tea…. And watch! It turns from a blue green tea to a very bright purple!
Now add 5 table spoons of dry pectin and finally 1 teaspoon of dry pectin. Mix it, then put it on the stove. Bring it to boil still mixing a bit. Once it boils, turn the heat down very low and gradually add 3 and a half cups of sugar mixing them in. Once it seems fairly mixed in, turn the heat back up and bring to a boil again. Mix it as it gradually begins to boil and keep mixing and allow it to boil for about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Turn off heat.
By now, you should have you jars clean, and sterilized (heated) along with your jar lids and rims. And remember, you can NOT re seal a lid if it has already been sealed even 1 time before. You can use it for other things sure. But not for long term food storage and not for canning. Using it again could result in a poor seal which could result in botulism. It is critically important to the health and well being of anyone planning to eat canned food that you do it right check your seals, and make sure whatever you do canningwise meets up with best practices.
Take out your jars from the water bath canner set to preheat. Then using a canning funnel, and the pot, dump the jelly, into the jar leaving a quarter inch head space. Twist on prepared ring after placing on prepared lid. Repeat till all the jars are full. Put them back in the water bath canner. Set canner to jelly setting 1….. And allow nature to take it’s course. Then use the tongs to remove the jars when the cycle is complete. Set the jars on a towel on the counter and don’t touch for 24 hours. At that time, check your seals by pushing down in the center of the lid. If you don’t get that tin popping business you typically get from an unsealed jar, congrats, your jars are sealed. Allow to jelly for 2 weeks at least before trying to use your Wild Violet Jelly.
Then set it along side the rest of your jarred and canned collection somewhere dry and likely not particularly warm…. A bunch of my stuff as shown at the beginning of this post is just all over my counters at the moment. I may do some clean up later….. But for now…. I am going to read a book on the patio listening to really relaxing music with a cup of tea under a blanket, under the big sun breathing in air fresher than any I have had since my childhood. I hope your day is just as full of joy and the glory of the sun by a forest just beginning to awaken…..
Thank you for joining me on the adventure of life as a New England Homesteader
It’s fun, but what a lot of work.
Well, I am off to chill.
All my love
Amanda of Wildflower Farm