When violets cover my lawn in masses of white and purple in May, I have a traditional celebration where I serve Violet Tea to my young friends who live next door.
It started six years ago in the spring after the three girls moved in, and while the oldest girls have moved on to more ‘mature’ pursuits, my ‘flower buddy’ and I still enjoy this special occasion. (I felt deprived of this somewhat feminine pursuit while raising two boys who were not the least bit interested in sitting down for violet tea with their mother.)
After the first year, I decided we needed a proper tea set and by luck, came across a wicker chest containing a child’s china tea set, complete with cloth napkins and little utensils, which we have used every year since.
This year, there was a bumper crop of violets and one day after school, we had our tea party.
It is a joyful celebration of spring and it was with great gusto that we went out to gather violets and a few sprigs of spearmint to impart a minty flavor to the tea.
Eliza’s Violet Tea:
- Gather enough violets to loosely fill a small tea pot. Add three or four sprigs of mint.
- Bring water to 185F (85C, or the temperature setting for white tea on electric pot), pour over violets and mint and steep for 5 minutes.
- Add honey or maple syrup to taste and serve.
- Drink with pinkie finger up – Delicious!
Violet flowers and leaves are high in Vitamins C and A and can be eaten raw in salads, candied, or dried for winter teas. Anti-inflammatory with many health benefits; good for coughs, sore throats and colds.