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HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

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Where the Wild Things Are

To me, spring is definitely in effect when I see the wild violets. When these beauties start popping up all over the cove, I know it’s only a matter of time before rabbits will start hopping through the yard again, the ferns will unfold their fronds, and we’ll be cooking ramps into any and everything.

For now, though, the focus is on the violets. We carefully gather them up and then toss the delicate petals onto all kinds of dishes. So far this week, we’ve had them atop an Herbs de Provence (my most beloved culinary herb blend) & mozzerella frittata, scattered over blueberry pancakes drenched in just-made maple syrup from Amanda, and tossed into a garden fresh salad. I have a recipe for homemade mozzarella in my Home Dairy book and one for a frittata in Keeping Chickens, if you’d like to give a go at recreating this dish yourself. For the pancakes, we turned to our tried-and-true Pancakes of Perfection (to get them as fluffy as ours, take that extra step in the recipe to separate the yolks from the whites, and then beat the whites until soft peaks form).

From my research, all species of violets are edible. That said, if you find some in a heavily trafficked public park (where all manner of dogs do their “business”) or alongside a busy road, those might be best passed over. In a forest, your yard, a neighboring yard (with permission, of course!), cemetery or other quiet place, these babies are yours for the picking.

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