With their gorgeous deep purple flowers, violets have ties to springtime, childhood, memory, and nostalgia. But we’ve also found that—especially in this amalgamation—they are fantastic for deepening connections, and for use in combining and stabilizing individual components into a whole. A pinch added to teas or other edible workings can be especially helpful on days when you are feeling unbalanced, things aren’t coming together quite as smoothly as you’d like, or you are just needing a little extra oomph.
This is more method than exact recipe, and the amounts pretty much only depend on how much you want to make. You will need the following:
A glass jar with tight fitting lid
Organic cane sugar
Make sure to gather the violets from an area where there are no pesticides or animal waste. Give each blossom a brief inspection and bit of a shake to ensure there are no creepy crawlies being added to your recipe. If you are really worried about it, you can of course, rinse the flowers before use. Simply dunk them in a bowl of cool water, gently blot, then set on kitchen toweling for a few hours to dry completely before use.
Pour a shallow layer of sugar, perhaps a centimeter deep, into the jar. Cover with a single layer of violets. Once again pour in sugar, this time until the flowers are completely covered. Repeat until the jar is half to three-quarters full. Place the lid on and let sit, undisturbed, for 12 hours. This will ensure that the violets are well settled as they begin to wilt.
The moisture in the flowers will cause the sugar to harden or clump. To keep it from completely solidifying you will need to jostle the mixture twice daily. The best way to do this is to gently smack the side of the jar with the flat of your palm, just until the sugar breaks apart and shifts. This will eventually screw up your careful layering, but by then the flowers should be coated well enough that it won’t cause any problems.
Allow to infuse for at least two weeks, longer if you are somewhere very humid. A few things will let you know when the mixture is ready. Firstly, it will begin to sound different when jostled (less of a shush and more tink tink). Secondly, you can fish one blossom out to check for dryness. If it feels somewhat papery, and (sadly) has lost a significant amount of color, you are ready for the final step.
Whir in a food processor or grind with a mortar and pestle until the violets and sugar are one even texture (it should be somewhat sticky, similar to brown sugar). Store in a cool dry place and use within one year.