A taste of Spring

A few weeks ago the wild violets were poking their pretty little faces up in the yard and I took the opportunity to try my hand at candied violets. Mabel and I brushed the delicate blooms with egg white, coated them with sugar, and set them aside to dry thoroughly.

They were so pretty I asked my baking expert friend Jude to make a special treat worthy of showing off the candied flowers. The cakes definitely upstaged the delicious violets, but not because the violets weren't amazing themselves. Other sweets were topped with sugars colored with wildflower petals. 

Candying violets will be added to our rites of spring. Interested in adding it to yours? We'll have wild violets available at our fundraising plant sale on Saturday, April 18, 2015. Come out to support Little Sugar Creek Community Garden (Charlotte), leave with a gorgeous array of interesting plants ready to inspire tasty treats!

The 3 day intensive potty training approach was a little more stress than we were prepared for (M included!) so we did a little more of a casual take and had one total success! We'll get there, but just take our time with it and try not to cause any toilet traumas in the meantime.

C took off for the morning on Saturday to go bass fishing. He came home with a cooler full of fish. As he scaled and filleted them I asked if he felt more manly*. He wasn't sure he did, but while we were eating the tasty dinner of fish tacos he made, he said, "Yeah. I feel pretty manly." Without turning this into a sexist conversation about macho behavior, I'd like to state for the record I would feel pretty *strong, self-confident, and proud if I'd provided such a feast for the family, too, and I just might proclaim, "I feel pretty womanly."

I had a few free moments (that's how I work these days, in free moments) to print up an alphabet poster I made from cutting and pasting hand drawn fonts from other projects. The world may not need another alphabet poster, but Mabel needs one, so why not share, right?

Violet, you're turning violet!

Not all weekends are easy. This one was a hard one, but it had a few high points: picking wild violet blossoms in the sunshine while M napped on a blanket nearby. I gently washed the blossoms and, with C's help while I held M (who was having a don't-put-me-down weekend), preserved them by covering them in delicious local honey. Jam sounded like a good idea (or violet and orange marmalade?) but that was clearly not going to happen with M in my arms 90% of the time.

Who knows how we'll use them, but we will. Maybe by sweetening iced tea with honey, swirling the violets in for a pretty, vitamin-packed boost. Making a honey mustard dressing for a salad? Perhaps even simply taking a sweet spoonful when sickness starts creeping in. As a tasty treat on buttered toast made from homemade bread.

Violets are high in vitamins A and C, with a multitude of other health benefits.**

If M ever complains about her momma crawling around the yard picking wildflowers, I'll blame whichever childhood friend gave me Baker Smurf's Sniffy Book. I don't really remember the book, but I do remember the Smurfs eating wild violets, and the scratch 'n sniff violet.   I think I scratched that one the most.

**This is where I'm obligated to say: 1) if you try violets make sure you're picking actual violets, and 2) I'm not a health professional, just sharing info I've read in a variety of reputable places.

Did you have any fun adventures this weekend?