The Violets of March ****
by Sarah Jio
I’m joining Jain at Food for Thought, a delicious blog for readers with an appetite for the written word.
“In a mystical place where violets bloom out of season and the air is salt drenched, a heartbroken woman stumbles upon a diary and steps into the life of its anonymous author. . .
In her twenties, Emily Wilson was on top of the world: she had a bestselling novel, a husband plucked from the pages of GQ, and a one-way ticket to happily ever after. Ten years later, the tide has turned on Emily’s good fortune. So when her great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea. Researching her next book, Emily discovers a red velvet diary, dated 1943, whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life.”
This book is a blooming good read!
A page turner easily read over a weekend with lots of food for thought~
Flowers+ food+ a good book = a happy recipe for me :)
Violets have a starring role in this book~ signifying something is about to happen:
“Wood violets? I hadn’t seen them since I was a girl, when they appeared one summer in my grandmother’s garden.”
“And to see them in bloom, in March of all months…”
“…hundreds of delicate light green leaves that had pushed up from the soil in grand formation, showcasing a carpet of tiny lavender-colored flowers, with dark purple centers.”
“Many on the island, me included, believed that these flowers had mystical powers, that they could heal wounds of the heart and the body, mend rifts in friendships, even bring about good fortune. I knelt down and ran my hand along the carpet of dusty purple nestled into pale green leaves.”
“They’re very rare…You can’t plant them, for they won’t grow. They have to choose you.”
I had a few challenges with Food for Thought. . .
March came in like a lamb, going out like a lion~ contrary to the expression. We’ve had thunderstorms with torrential rains, lake wind advisories and more recently. . . hail.
Our neighbors have a Cherry Plum tree and underneath to my delight, I discovered violets ~
My plan was to picnic for FFT along with Emily, Jack, and the violets~
I had two failed attempts at picnicking~ by the time I had set up the first time, winds were whipping the water and storm clouds were rolling in. Once the weather cleared and ground had dried, I discovered the violets had been mowed!
Back to the drawing board & book for inspiration~
I decided I’d satisfy my sweet tooth with shortbread cookies, decorated with edible (organic!) violas~
I’ve wanted to try these ever since I saw Yvonne’s beautiful Pansy Shortbread Cookies ~
I planted a large pot of violas in the fall~ with lots of plans for these edible flowers this spring~
Luckily, I had picked around a dozen or so violas and brought them inside to float in a bowl of water with the intention of experimenting with sugaring them~
Mother Nature had other plans and she was not kind to the flowers~
Hail unlike any we have ever seen~ unusual for March~ pelted us last Sunday. The photo the left was taken 12 hours after our storm. Leaves and flowers were shredded and violas~ gone. They’ll rebound but not for a week or two. I was afraid to experiment with crystallizing the ones that I had picked, deciding I’d be safer using them as garnish.
I “grew” a few flowers few to go with the violas, with help from a box of Jiffy~
I had planned to use my box of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix for my cancelled picnic that Emily and Jack enjoy, along with their fried chicken & potato salad~
My Nordic Ware Petits Fours Pan that I’ve used before here helped to satisfy my craving for flowers :)
I mixed according to the box directions and baked for 10 – 12 minutes.
And a box of mix yields exactly one pan of 20 cornbread flowers!
What a happy discovery :)
My violas accompany French Toast that Emily & Jack enjoy~
I used Ina’s recipe~ with orange zest, honey, and vanilla added to the egg mixture.
I added some berries, dusted with powdered sugar and garnished with violas~
And added a bee fork for Emily’s Great-Aunt Bee :)