June 21, 2011

The Making of Castle Corgyncombe Violet Jelly!

Gathering Violets in Abundance!
Violets that grow wild about the lawns at Castle Corgyncombe were gathered, starting with the smaller blue violets between the Corgyncombe Garden of Herbs and Corgi Creek. As the gathering progressed, bigger blue violets were found on the other side of the garden.

The violets were brought inside Castle Corgyncombe and washed in a colander.

The violets were then placed in a jar and boiling water was poured over them. The infusion was placed in the ice box overnight and was strained in the morning. The resulting liquid was a beautiful blue!

"The Farmer's Boy" illustrated by Randolph Caldecott is displayed on the art stand made by Seth Tudor, son of Tasha Tudor.

Fresh lemon juice was added and, oh my, what a delightful colour change as the liquid turned bright pink! This was so much fun! Diane could put lemon juice in violet water all day just to watch the marvelous change of colour!

The rest of the process involved adding sugar and pectin and boiling before ladling the jelly into sterilized jars and processing in a water bath canner.

The cake is iced with frosting running down like a waterfall in Scotland and topped with violets gathered from the lawns at Castle Corgyncombe. Alongside the cake is "Queen Victoria's Journal: Leaves From The Journal of Our Life in the Highlands, From 1848 to 1861", Edited by Arthur Helps, 1868. Selections from the book were read at tea time throughout Queen Victoria's Birthday week.

Ardverikie, Loch Laggan,
Saturday, August 21.
"On the 28th, about five o'clock, Albert drove me out across the ferry, along the Kingussie road, and from here the scenery was splendid: high bold hills, with a good deal of wood; glens, with the Pattock, and a small waterfall; the meadows here and there, with people making hay, and cottages sprinkled sparingly about, reminded us much of Thuringen. We drove to the small farm where Colonel MacPherson now lives, called Starathmashie, and back again, 16 miles in all. We were delighted with the scenery, which is singularly beautiful, wild, and romantic, with so much fine wood about it, which greatly enhances the beauty of a landscape."
from"Queen Victoria's Journal: Our Life in the Highlands"

Queen Victoria's birthday is May 24th, and on May 23rd Canada celebrated Victoria Day! Here at Castle Corgyncombe we started celebrating on the 23rd!
The receipt for the cake is "Becky's Birthday Cake" from the "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook".

"Becky's Birthday Cake" from "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook" served with a spoonful of Corgyncombe violet jelly with a fresh picked violet atop, was enjoyed at tea for several days at Castle Corgyncombe.
Castle Corgyncombe Violet Jelly, such an elegant treat!
Absolutely delicious and so pretty to feast your eyes upon!!!



Christie said...

Oh how glad my heart is ...to see this lovely receipt at last! Diane, it is beautiful and I cannot wait till violet harvesting time next Spring!!
I especially love..the Perfect Day...playing in the background..
It has been a perfect day here at Rose Water Cottage! You must come by for a visit and see how Miss Hopalong Bebe helped us today in the garden:)
Much joy and blessings from your dear friend,

Anonymous said...

Hi Diane and Sarah,
(Linnie from "the Butt'ry & Book'ry) I figured out that I can leave a comment this way)

That violet Jelly looks Too FUN and Yummy!!I LOVE how the color changes!!! I hope there will be lots of violets at our new home.(I shall bring some starter plants regardless)
Sending you Blessings and Hugs,Linnie
(and snuggles for those kiddels)!

Jeri Landers said...

Dear Diane and Sarah, You ladies are just too creative! Now, that was fun turning the jelly from blue to pink... hmmm, I don't know which I like best. It isn't often that one sees blue jelly. We planted many violets in the potager this year, just for culinary purpose.

I took your advice about the jelly in a cup to draw flies for the little bird. But she is a slow learner. I think she would rather I dish food into her mouth all day long... this is getting to be real chore. I am determined that she learn to feed herself THIS WEEK! Your cousin, Jeri

Christie said...

My dearest girls,
How wonderful it was to see that you had made a visit to Rose Water today...
I believe I might just need one of Seth's beautiful stands in each room of the cottage. It doesn't stay in one place very long before I find another use for it!!
The sweet little statue I believe, used to be a fountain...although now it is just a precious garden statue. We are having such a grand time planning and planting..and yes, we have worked very hard while husband was on vacation. He came home this afternoon to find our Japanese lilac trees had arrived. Ever since I saw the lilac tree in front of Tasha Tudors home...I have envisioned a lilac tree next to our front window. As they were on sale, husband suggested we purchase two of them..one for each side. The blooms will be a creamy white and are said to have the loveliest fragrance.
Our spinning wheel has found a perfect spot in the cozy sunroom..and I will be taking photographs of that room next.
Blessings for a wonderful summer,
Christie, Eliza, Daphne duckling, Shirley, Goodness, & Mercy

Natalie said...

This looks absolutely delightful! Wonderful! I'll have to try it myself next year :-)

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