Flowery Friday.

LilacFPNormandeau

A gorgeous lilac I found in a school yard on my way to work…before the snowfall of last weekend.  (It looks like most gardens emerged unscathed, and the moisture – even if it was stupidly cold and in a more solid form than we would have liked – was seriously welcome).

I was digging around in my files this week and I came across this little list of gardening “advice” I wrote a few years ago. Some of you will have read it before, but it might amuse you anyway:  Burnt Casseroles.  While you’re there, check out the rest of Jennifer’s blog – her photo essays and gardening design ideas are absolutely incredible!

Also, if you’re on Facebook, love to garden, and live in Alberta or if you just want to join because you’re interested in what we’re posting about (which means you could live anywhere in the world), I started a group called Alberta Gardening.  Click here to request to join – we’d love to see as many gardeners as possible have fun with this and share their experiences.

Enjoy your weekend!  What are your plans – gardening or otherwise?

P.S. If you’ve got a bunch of lilac flowers and you want to make a lovely floral jelly from them, I have a recipe that you might like to try.

Lilac flower jelly. (Or rose or peony or fireweed or…).

IMG_6402

Well, the late lilacs are pretty much finished blooming here, and I’m just getting around to posting my recipe for lilac flower jelly, which I made…oh…nearly a month ago. Oops! Somehow things got away from me, and now the lilac blossoms are summer memories. There is a consolation, however: if you want to substitute another edible flower such as roses or peonies or fireweed for the lilacs, you can – the same amount of petals and preparation techniques apply. Have fun with it, and please let me know how your flower jellies turn out! 🙂

Lilac Flower Jelly

3 cups lilac flower petals

2 1/4 cups water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 package liquid pectin

Follow standard canning procedure and sterilize 4 half-pint jars, lids, and rings.

Remove lilac flower petals from stems and wash thoroughly.  Lay petals between a layer of unbleached paper towels and gently dry.  Place petals in large pot and crush with a pestle or the back of a wooden spoon.  Add water to pot and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat.  Strain the petals from the liquid using a fine mesh sieve.  The water won’t be a very attractive colour at this point – don’t panic!  Put the petals aside to compost later.  Place the liquid back into the pot and add lemon juice.  Stir, and notice that the colour of the liquid will appear much more appealing.

Add the sugar and stir.  Bring the contents of the pot to a boil.  Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add pectin and bring to a boil again.  Boil hard another minute, and keep stirring all the while.

Remove from heat.  Using a spoon, skim off the top of the jelly to remove any bubbles and foam.  Pour the jelly into sterilized jars and cover.

Process jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes, adjusting for altitude.

Have you ever made or eaten edible flower jellies?  Which ones are your favourites?