Wearing this season’s finest floral confections, the Cherry Trees, Redbuds and Dogwoods are in an abundant springtime expression. Walk through any park right now, ands it’s as if we have all been granted an invitation to the most exclusive Debutante Ball, with each tree in couture, branches bowed under the weight of blooms and unfurling leaves. Blink for too long and you will miss the moment.
I can’t get enough of the scented air and the carpets of petal confetti but I am also grateful for the last few days of cooler temperatures that I hope will slow down the speed of it all. As a medicine maker and wild food lover, there is much to be done before the temperature rises and the junior sized shoots become too tough to nibble or ferment. In this moment there’s still time to turn the garlic mustard leaves into pesto, the violet flowers into syrups and the dandelion roots into roasted faux coffee…My kitchen is a whirlwind of herbal activity.
Join me at the Alchemist Kitchen tomorrow to learn all about the magical violet and other wild edibles in a fun class, Food Under Your Feet, and again on Sunday when we will be talking all about Digestion and Anxiety at the Hester Street Wellness Fair.
Next weekend, I will be teaching about Allergies on Sunday at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and then again later that same day at Honey’s in Brooklyn, where we delve deeply into Dandelion. If you want to get a preview of more about this weedy warrior plant, then, please read my recent article for Garden Collage at the following link : http://gardencollage.com/beauty-wellness/natural-remedies/dont-wast-weeds-dandelion-greens-superfood-powerhouse/
Here’s a recipe for Violet Syrup.
1/2oz cleaned violet petals
5 1/2 oz boiling water
5 1/2 oz caster sugar
1 tsp lemon juice, (note that adding the lemon juice will change the violet color to magenta, so leave it out if you don’t want the color to change.
Place cleaned, but not washed flowers in a mason jar.
Pour boiled water over the petals. Cover and allow to steep overnight. The water will change color to a beautiful shade of inky purple. Strain the flowers and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can, using a muslin or fine mesh sieve.
Finally, heat the harvested liquid in a double boiler and add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved, but, be careful not to boil.
Pour the liquid into a sterilized bottle and store in the fridge. Use within 3-4 weeks, in drinks or on desserts.