Posts Tagged ‘violets’

Do YOU Take Time to Smell the Violets?

May 5th, 2009

Kristen Suzanne would be SO PROUD of me!  Kristen is all about raw foods and I can certainly see why that is.

Yesterday I snipped some Dock and a few “Daisylion” leaves and blossoms for a grand meal.  Today I will feast on greens from the yard, along with VIOLETS.

Kay Young taught me about violets and the various ways to use them.  Kay wrote “Wild Seasons” which is an instruction book on how to eat from the Plains.

Of course, our yard is free from chemicals and sprays so I know these items are safe to eat.  I bring the greens and blooms into the house and let them soak in good, pure, filtered water before I give them a final rinse, pat things dry in a fresh tea towel and prepare them.

Here is Kay Young’s Recipe for WILD VIOLET SALAD WITH CREAM DRESSING:

1 cup loosely packed young viotet leaves, stems removed

2 cups loosely packed leaf lettuce leaves

20 or more fresh violet flowers

CREAM DRESSING

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2/3 cup heavy cream

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Wash the violets and lettuce leaves.  Remove as much water as possible.  Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. 

Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and sugar, stirring until the sugar is mostly dissolved.  Add the cream, salt, and pepper and stir well.  Chill until ready to use.

Just before serving, toss the violet leaves, lettuce and dressing together.  Strew the violets over the top.

*NOTE: the salad may be made using all violet leaves and no lettuce but the contrast of flavors and textures as well as the light and dark shades of green make a much more interesting salad.

YIELD; 3 or 4 servings

It is a “coffee at the picnic table” kind of day.  Come on by.  We can talk about how to work with a food budget that is funded by the SNAP program-food stamps, food commodities, and food pantries.

Speaking of food pantries, there is an EXCELLENT piece on Write As Rain about food pantries.  The author even gives great ideas about the kinds of items that are good for community food pantries to receive.  Please stop by and comment there, if you can. Rainy is providing an excellent service and her messages come from a place of love.

Of course, you are always welcome to comment by sending messages to FoodStampsCookingClub@gmail.com and we revel when you take the time to post a comment on this blog. 

If you are interested to learn more about raw foods and ways to nourish yourselves with raw foods, please visit one of our partners, Kristen Suzanne.

Connie Baum

Edible Flowers Can Make You Cook Like a Rock Star!

April 24th, 2009

Spring really HAS sprung!  We have apple blossoms outside our bedroom window and as I stand at our kitchen sink to wash the dishes and prepare our meals, I can look out over several back yards filled with the bobbing yellow heads of dandelions AKA “daisylions.”  Another feature of spring are the cheery purple blooms greeting me as I make my way to the clothesline.  Oh, yes-a neighbor graciously shared some fresh asparagus from their garden!  It was tender and DELISH an very much a piece of SPRING!

Different names are given to those purple hued posies.  I think they are violets but we had a landlady once who called them Johnny Jump Ups.  The Normanator calls them weeds.

In any case, they are some of my favorite blooms.  They spring up all over peoples’ yards and their purple “faces” seem to smile that they have succeeded in survival.  Makes me think of how some of us struggle to survive as we manage our grocery budgets, perhaps assisted by SNAP, food stamps, commodities and community food pantries.

When my mom lived with us I would pluck the sweet little purple blooms from the front yard and garnish her breakfast fruit with them.  She always delcared she was living in a Five Star Hotel with room service that paid attention to detail.  She really raved when I had pansies for her plate; she truly enjoyed the peppery flavor of pansy blooms.  She also liked nasturtiums.  She said they made her feel more alive.  These are delightful memories of my mother and as Mother’s Day approaches I find great comfort in the sweet memories of my mom.

Today I cooked some brown rice and scattered some bright, honey-sweet “daisylion” blossoms over the dish.  Then I placed some violets on the mound just to give it a little boost of style.  I can’t honestly say I cooked like a rock star-although I FELT like one, but there was an encouraging “ooh” from The Normanator, which indicates his approval. 

SIDEBAR: A positive vote from the man of the house is a RAVE for the woman of the house!  END SIDEBAR.

SIDEBAR #2: If I live long enough to learn how to post photos on this blog you will be treated to the visual I enjoy from my perspective.  I should live so long!  END SIDEBAR #2.

If you have “daisylions” or violets to pluck make certain there have been no sprays or pesticides used on the lawn before you harvest them.  We don’t want any sick people, for crying out loud!

Your precious messages are reaching our Inbox!  Thank you all for taking the time to comment and to send your ideas.  You can send messages about “daisylions” or violets or your mother to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com .  You are welcome to visit any of the partners whose banners or messages you see on this page.  They have all been selected because they can help you solve many of your life’s problems.

Connie Baum