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!!!