VIOLETS

In early spring the violets carpet the banks of the ditches on the farm alongside primroses and paigles.  I choose my places to pick violets, away from the footpaths where boots tread them down and dogs relieve themselves, and take home a bunch for the bedside table and a bowlful for culinary delights.

These culinary delights are mostly scattering a handful of petals over something sweet but we also eat them in salads and in a savoury dish of rice cooked with dried fruit, spices and nuts, decorated with primrose and polyanthus petals.
Each year, I make crystallised Violets to scatter over lemon trifle or decorate cakes and a jar of violet sugar for icing or whipped cream.