Friday, April 6, 2012

Violet Jelly Time, Fishing and other Spring Harvests


Seems there is not enough hours in the day to enjoy all spring has to offer! We did get the first batch of violet jelly done though:)


There is no problem using the white as well as the purple violets, folks!

Usual way is one cup of flowers to one cup boiling water. I just fill the jars with violets and pour boiling water over them, cap and allow to infuse about 12 to 24 hours.



But that gorgeous color you get for the final result, comes from the add of lemon juice:) Here is the link for my post on how to make violet jelly. I used a less sugar recipe for this batch and it still turned out great!

The children and I have been pressing so many flowers this spring too, for future projects..



We have been eating fresh greens like crazy, but also preserving them. Cleavers, chickweed, dandelion and nettles. All put in vinegars, oils, alcohol and quite a bit juiced and frozen in ice cubes in the deep freeze.

We’ve spent one a lot of time fishing in the Illinois River.


GEDC7034 That’s brother Eric, with a Gar. We turned this one loose. Have you ever seen their wicked looking teeth?

GEDC7033 We were fishing by the drop line method. Usually with this method you stand on the bank and throw the line out in the water and the weight you have at the end, sinks and keeps the line from going anywhere. We did it different and put a pole, (we chopped big sticks from growth on the riverbank), in the river bed, hung a bottle with our name on it, drove the boat out away from the pole, (the length of the line), and dropped the weight. This is similar to trotline fishing, only using one pole, and a short line with less hooks.


Gerald shoving a pole in the riverbed

GEDC6968  We use old window weights for our weights for our lines. See the little loops in the line. Those are spaced 24 inches apart. From each of those we hang what is called a leader. A leader is a piece of line, that have a snap swivel on the end that goes into those loops, the other end has the hook.

GEDC6974 That’s a leader in Gerald’s hand. There are others on that newspaper. We keep them all folded up in between uses in the newspaper to keep them from getting all tangled together

GEDC7005 We set out the lines for a couple of hours, to overnight and when we pull back up to them, we use a long broom stick with a big eye hook screwed in the end of it, to reach down and scoop up the line.

GEDC7016 We took a walk on the bank that runs between the river and the lake my husband duck hunts at, Clear Lake. During the winter where he is standing, is many times under water. We found one of his duck decoys that had floated off. This is where I come to harvest cottonwood buds in February/March. The fallen buds were all over the ground. They smell so darn good they just almost intoxicate me! lol!



This is also where I get my spicebush sticks for using as skewers for cooking food on the grill, and I  harvest the berries for spice, later in the year.

GEDC7026 The river bank supplies my willow for medicine also.


I forgot to take a picture of our catch. We got a mess of catfish and perch. Enough for about 5 meals for the three of us, so a good haul! Hoping we can go do it again this weekend. Nothing so fulfilling as stocking the freezer with good, wholesome food! We didn’t make it through the winter with last years catch, so been riding the guys we got to do better this year!

GEDC7042                        Clear LakeGEDC7010

                                       Raccoon tracksGEDC7015

  It sure is a bountiful, beautiful world!

Herbal and Honey Hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xx


Anke said...

I have got to try and make violet jelly, it looks so beautiful! Now I just have to find the violets...
Happy Easter to you and the family Leslie!

Rita M said...

I didn't know there were white violets,I have never seen them before.
In my herbal beds I have some blue one, but it will take some years before I can make some violet jelly. Very interesting how you are fishing. A nice fish with big teeth, the one that Eric has ... a scary fish :)
Big Easter hugs to all of you

Cooks Lane Herbs said...

Wow, that jelly looks amazing - we've got a few white and purple flowers...hope it's enough for the recipe!
Off for a country walk tomorrow, hoping to find goodies in the hedgerows. Take care and have a lovely Easter break x

Leanne said...

LOVED this post!!!
I'll be back when my violets flower.

Love Leanne

Comfrey Cottages said...

Happy Easter/Ostara to all you lovely ladies also! xxx

(Arya) Paige said...

Oh! I've been fishing too! Just in out pond though. Sadly, I was too tired to remember to take pictures, but maybe soon.

Your jelly looks divine. I wish we had wild violets here but I think that the herbicide used on the cotton fields may have contributed to the fact that you hardly ever see them anymore.

Great post and Happy Easter! :)

Comfrey Cottages said...

Happy Easter to you too Arya:) That is nice you have been fishing too. Did you catch some? That bites you don't see violets anymore. Perhaps you could get some seeds and start some in your own garden? big hugs and thanks for visiting xx

Pen at The Little Herb Farm said...

I have 2 new violet plants for the garden, so there's some way to go until I'm harvesting flowers for jelly but thanks for the inspiration. Your looks lovely. Pen xx

Comfrey Cottages said...

Oh next year you will have many more, I bet, Pen. I transplanted a few one year, and the next year they went crazy spreading happily! big hugs xxx

AnkeB said...

Sorry I haven't been actively following the blog lately...trying to mke up for it now :)

Reading this post...two things spring to mind.....
You own a fabulous amount of jars

You guys go fishing...and actually catch fish!!!
I used to go fishing all the time, and loved the time out....never brought a fish home though. Simon got me a chartered fishing trip for a birthday years ago and no one caught fish. *laughs* I think I scare them away...

Love purple jelly!!!

Comfrey Cottages said...

Addiction confession time.. i am addicted to canning jars and free standing old cabinets to store them in:) lol! We do catch fish! Have Simon send you to visit for your next birthday and we will guarantee you catch fish too:) big hugs to you dear! no worries about following closely, you have been being very busy doing fabulous things with your books, apps and herbology:) xxx