I’ve always quite liked sweet violets. They grow pretty much everywhere, and in their wild state are considered pretty much a weed, which is weird since they’re all so pretty.
Not only are they pretty, they’re also edible. Both their leaves and flowers can be used in salads, candies, jellies, and syrups. Salads are self-explanatory, and the violets will give a refreshing, springy, colorful twist to an otherwise ordinary salad.
Violet syrup is very easy to make, smells nice, looks beautiful, and has a nice, mild, sweet flavor. And it scores serious snob points if you dine with hipsters or hippies. It can be used in liqueurs, ice cream, lemonade, and on pancakes. Ancient philosophers used it to cure epilepsy, but that probably doesn’t work all that well.
First, gather two cups of fresh violets. These violets should be fresh, unsprayed, organic, and grown away from roads. The reason for the last one is that violets can absorb toxins from car exhaust.
You should wash the stems and remove them, but it’s okay to leave the sepals attached. Boil one cup of water, put the flowers in a deep bowl, and pour the water over them. Cover the bowl, and let it set for a day or so.
The water will eventually become a beautiful blue color. Line a colander with a couple cheesecloths and use it to strain the violet water. Discard, and maybe compost, the used blooms. Set this blue water aside for later.
Use one new cup of water, and either 2 cups of sugar, honey, or vanilla sugar, into a saucepan and make syrup. You can do this by boiling it until it becomes very thick. Add some lemon to the blue water. A chemical reaction should occur, turning the violet water to a purple or pinking color. Add this mixture to your syrup, and bring it to a rolling boil for about ten minutes or so.
When your syrup is thick enough, put it into a sterile jar, seal it up, let it cool, and store it in a refrigerator for up to a month. It probably won’t last that long, because you’ll eat it all quite quickly.