There are memories that attach itself to seasons like icing to a cake, a ribbon to a present or, maybe like the soul to a body. And those memories play each season through my mind, and my five senses relive that moment.
In autumn, I am walking to my aunt’s house, passing Main Street USA, following the sidewalk covered to my ankles in autumn leaves. The entire walk I am looking down at the leaves, hearing the crunch and swish of leaves, smelling leaf must, feeling the brisk coolness against my face.
My summertime memory is an evening at the small town pool, the sound of a handful of voices laughing, screeching and splashes, smelling chlorine and cocoa butter. The day has calmed and my mom, off from work, reclines, watching.
Or winter – that is a college memory. Returning home from the semester, rushing in, dumping my stuff in the hallway and entering the Christmas World my mom and grandmother created – twinkling lights, the scent of greenery and garlands, grandmother’s coffee cake, Perry Como singing Christmas songs on the record player, and the magical world they created of the Christmas Spirit.
But Springtime! Springtime has two memories. One is playing outside in the lingering light, catching fireflies, white azaleas and the art of sipping honey from the honeysuckle vine.
The other – violets! They are my favorite! The back yard carpeted in a sea of violets. Looking out the back window, the yard seemed a haze of lavender. One spring, we moved beyond violet bouquets to lavender jelly.
One spring, we made a batch. I tried it again the other day. And my husband gave me the sweetest gift. Since I do not have my grandmother’s backyard anymore, he surprised me. We were going violet picking – and earlier that morning, without telling me, he went to his grandmother’s farm to see if the violet patch he remembered was still there. He took me there to pick violets.
Picking Violets is very time consuming! And back-bending intensive!
My guy picked more than I did, but he’s just that wonderful way!
Just so I could make Violet Jelly, because, well, I was just missing grandmother’s house
So I boiled 2 cups of water
and poured it over the gently rinsed violets
and they sat anywhere from 2 to 24 hours, sealed in the refrigerator after they cooled down.
Then I drained the violets through a sieve, discarding the violets
Then I was only supposed to ad 1/4 cup lemon juice, but I guess it was a little more
because instead of a beautiful lavender,
I had a beautiful raspberry color
And then added 4 Cups of Sugar with my lavender liquid into a stainless steel pain and brought to a full rolling boil. I recommend using 3 oz. liquid pectin because my package of original pectin was, ahem, somewhat disappointing. I boiled it all according to my mama’s recipe for 2 more minutes.
I then poured my jelly, or at least, I thought it was my jelly, into my nicely sterilized jelly jars, leaving 1/8 inch space from the top. I tightened the lid and ring. Within the next 10 minutes, I had 5 jars of lovely raspberry-looking lavender jelly jars, with seals pop, pop, popping ready for use within the next year.
They looked lovely!
Except instead of a lavender, they had a beautiful raspberry tint
and they never jelled (review the date on your original pectin – or better yet, use the liquid pectin – I tried it later, and it worked like a charm)
So, I am thinking, that maybe my boys need a violet memory
that maybe we need to make a trip to Grandma’s violet patch
back on the farm
hidden down a path
maybe it will be an enduring memory
like when their daddy found a violet patch for me to pick violets
to make lavender jelly