a weekend mix

This week, I asked the girls to pick some of the hundreds of violets in the yard, so that I could finally candy them. Every year, I want to candy the violets, and then the time passes, or Joey mows the lawn, and I lose my chance.

So the other day, there I was, with a kitchen full of violets, a new radiolab on the computer, a little bowl of lightly whisked egg white, and a tiny paint brush. I had two hours before I had to be anywhere, and I was going to candy every one of those damn violets.

Have you ever done that? Painted each petal with egg white, then sprinkled the whole thing with extra fine sugar before laying it to dry and delicately snipping off the stem?

Don’t. Don’t do it. Unless you’re that kind of person, which I’m not. (Also bad at meticulous cake decorating, and really anything meticulous.) I did a little jar’s worth, exclaimed some exuberant profanity to the walls of the empty kitchen, and then threw the rest in the fridge for the moment when I can make this. And maybe that will happen. We’ll see.

Here’s to abandoned projects, and the joy that comes from letting go. Happy weekend, friends. Joey and I made a mix for you! Playlist is here, download here.


  1. says

    There are some things it’s ok to buy. After my experience with marshmallow making, I’m completely cool paying for them. In fact, I consider the cost a small price to pay for not having to go through the mallow-making torture. Maybe candied violets will become an “investment garnish” for you?

    • alana says

      Yup, definitely an investment garnish. But I’ve got to tell you, Anne… I just might have a marshmallow recipe for you. Are you DONE with marshmallows really, or have you just not found the right recipe? (Either one’s cool with me, you know that, but I just wanted to offer!)

  2. Hannah says

    You and Joey make the best mixes. Seriously. Whether it is revisiting old favorites or learning new ones, I am always excited when you post one. Can’t wait to check this out.

    (Does wimping out on the last mile of my run this morning count as an abandoned project? I think it must).

  3. Susan says

    Hi Alana, I just found your blog via 101 Cookbooks. It’s quite lovely and inspiring! A suggestion, I recently saw an exqusite recipe on “Lavender and Lovage” for a Sweet Violet Syrup. Maybe that’s a good compromise for the lovely violets!! Blessings!

  4. says

    I just discovered your blog and your great book! You make such terrific things, I just love your work. I hope I will soon hold your book in my hands, as it is not so easy to get in Germany.

    As for the violets: I would like to make something myself with violets, but I have the problem, that I’m living in a city and I don’t know where to find some :(.
    Recently I found this on another blog: http://diekuechenschabe.blogspot.de/2012/04/was-fur-eine-farbe.html She made violet syrup. I think that’s not so meticulous like candying them. If you need some help for translating it, I could help you of course.

    Wish you a happy Sunday

  5. Angel says

    I really don’t know how I’ve never found your blog before – it (and you) are terrific. I’ve been trolling through past entries this morning, and I love how homey and real your blog feels. Thanks for it! Oh, and I can’t wait to buy your book.

    In response to the candied violets entry, I’ve not tried that project but I’ve fallen victim to other ones too-meticulous-for-words (marbleized Easter eggs, leave shaped tuile cookies, etc.). The payoff is rarely worth it. My one huge success was the marbleized eggs, which were a major pain but are now considered heirlooms by my family.

  6. says

    Hi! I found you through Heidi’s (101 Cookbooks) post of your cheese crackers – yay! Must have your book and so happy to have found your blog. This little post on violets and abandoned projects brightened my Sunday morning. Thanks + Happy Earth Day!

  7. lee says

    This is super funny to me because after YEARS of wanting to make violet jelly (including at least one year where I actually picked the violets only to let them wither away in the fridge) I finally got around to making it this year and NEVER AGAIN. It tastes like lemon to me (my teenager said it tastes like Sprite jelly!!) without a trace of floral quality. Total waste of time. Maybe my violets are defective?

    • alana says

      Sprite Jelly! I never got to my violets (still wilting in the fridge), but now I’m not feeling SO bad about it. 😉

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