Monday, April 23, 2012

Violet spring

I admit somewhat guiltily that I am enjoying this early spring. I really think I shouldn't. Doesn't it demonstrate with certainty that our planet is heating up? Isn't it a sure sign of global climate change? The buds are emerging a full month ahead of normal, and Madison is officially Zone 5.

I feel overwhelmed by the implications and repercussions of this change. So to soothe myself, I go outside, play in the dirt and watch the garden grow. I planted greens which are ready to be thinned, and am putting my nose far into the flower blossoms, inhaling deeply. Or I bake.

Blondie bars with chocolate frosting for my son's class
 Violets hold a special place in my heart, as I mention in my most recent Madison Magazine blog post. My mom always decorated my sister's birthday cake, for her May birthday, with the dainty blossoms. This year, however, the violets bloomed in time to adorn my son's mid-April birthday treats. Much to my chagrin the neighbors are outside with sprayers dousing violets, dandelions and other "weeds" with poisons (while the wind is blowing and my kids are outside!). I think, how illogical are we?

Delicious chocolate cake with grasshopper-white chocolate mousse filling

Violet jelly-a great experiment in acid-base indicators!

So as fast as I can I am picking the blossoms, hopefully free of residue and dog pee. I am plopping them in my mouth, on my salads, making violet jelly and lovingly decorating my son's birthday cakes with them, just as my mom did for my sister. I doubt I'm making any difference to our planet, but I am appreciating it for all it's worth. Which is a lot.

What is your favorite spring wild edible?

The blondie bars and frosting are posted in the blog link above.

The cake and filling
I made the cake from Smitten Kitchen's website, but subbed sour cream for buttermilk, and used 2 tsp baking powder, omitting baking soda.
Filling is from this site. I just added a touch of real mint flavor and green food color.
Frosting same as frosting for blondies. It really is the best.

The jelly
So pretty. Recipe is from Urban Pioneer Story via Cakewalk.