It may seem a bit odd- a whole lot of pictures of flowers in a food blog, but truly it is not. I've come to believe that the presence of violets in the landscape redeems winter beautifully, not to mention that they are the loveliest of medicines. I have posted here about making violet honey syrup- a resource we would now never be without. We have both been irritated by the abundant drenching of the whole province with pine pollen over the last month & heavily relied on the violet honey syrup to get us through the night. It is amazing for soothing a cough- instantly!
There are several places that we know we can gather wild violets locally: Ellis Wallace road, Keirunga valley- under the oaks & at the top of the Karituwhenua walkway off Te Mata road in Havelock North
And of course, you may find other treasures along the way.
The syrup, once made, is best stored in small jars in the freezer, but since Rob still had a particularly niggly cough I thought that little jellies might be useful. Useful- they are amazing!
I decided to use a simple base of soft dates & nuts- a mix of flaked almonds, cashews & home shelled walnuts. Didn't take long to come together in my little food processor. I used quite a few dates so I didn't need to add any other sweetening. I added the juice of half a lemon & a tbsp of melted coconut oil & it set to a lovely texture.
The violet honey syrup was also set with a lovely organic gelatine in the same way.
The flavours are just delicious together.
It's amazing how many edible winter flowers that there are- violets, grape hyacinths, forget-me-nots, jasmine & sweet alyssum look lovely with the violet cheesecake.
The other winter flower that is just delicious & works nicely with violets & lemon (or lime) to make an amazing natural fizzy drink is magnolia. You can find how to make Fee just here.