Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fruit and Flowers

It's Spring and time to preserve some fruits and flowers.     As I do every year (or almost every year).

The fruit

An "I've had forever" tutti fruitti crock

A big jar into which I put two cups of strawberries cut in half, two cups of sugar and 2 cups of brandy.    Stir and add as the fruit comes into season -- cherries, blackberries, peaches and apricots and perhaps a handful of blueberries -- alway two cups and as you add two cups of fruit, you add two cups of sugar.    Stir once a day with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved.    About a month or so after the addition of the last fruit (the peaches) -- the tutti fruitti is ready.  

To be spooned over poundcake or ice cream.    And before the next year's strawberry time, the tutti fruitti jar is empty.

The jar is a very old one -- not ancient in age but bought ages and ages ago and painted by me -- with strawberries and strawberry blossoms.    Which is appropriate, I think, for strawberries are always the start!

It lives in summer on the counter where the the fruit can be added as it comes in season and it can given that daily stir.

The flowers

Violas drying after being sugared.

Violas.    Candied.   To be used as decoration on cakes and cupcakes summer, fall and winter.    These are the last of the 100 or so that I candied this year.    (I also candied rose petals and pansies).

Sugared Violas

So sweet and sugary as if they were touched by snow or frost.    They make great decoration to white or chocolate frosted cakes or cupcakes.     The price is a little time, an egg white (or two) and some sugar (no more than 1/2 cup).    If you buy candied violets, however (and I have done that) they are $12.50 (plus shipping) for about 30 of them!  

The tin rests in the larder ready to be used when I want to add a special touch to a special dessert.

It is Friday and I'm sharing my "fruits and flowers" with Michael at Designs by Gollum and Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.


Anonymous said...

So what keeps the fruit from spoiling? Does it have to be kept UNDER the liquid? and if the liquid gets low does one add water? Sounds sooooo good... do wonder why just a few blueberries?? as blueberries are the one of two fruits we can get off the bush or trees....

Martha said...

The liquid doesn't get low -- it is just the brandy and the fruit is in the liquid -- I guess the fruit gives off its juice and that is added to the brandy? I don't know -- it works. The blueberries are not soft enough really but a handful will be okay!

Betty Stapleton said...

Hi Martha, I'm going to try this as soon as our strawberries come in. Should be another week, I so enjoy your blog, I have written out pages of recipes and put your name to them so I will remember where I got them this time. Thank you for great recipes and ideas.

Cottage and Broome said...

Sounds interesting, glad you answered Mimi question I was wondering the same thing! Love the canned flowers. Have a great weekend, thanks for stopping by, Laura

podso said...

What an interesting post! Both the fruit and the candied flowers. Two new things to me!

Anonymous said...

Thank You

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Oh, I remember when this was first popular in the 70s. I never really did it but had a friend who did and was so enthusiastic about it and I remember tasting hers.

Does the crock have to be opaque? I have a glass one I am thinking of using, but it might not work....

On Crooked Creek said...

I'd seen this done in Europe when we were stationed there...but wasn't sure with our humidity on the Prairie that one could keep them from mildew? Sounds divine over cake or ice cream!!!

Michelle said...

Hi Martha,
Do you add brandy just the first time you add fruit? It sounds really good!

Rowan said...

The tutti frutti sounds wonderful and simple to do as well. Sugared violets always look so pretty as a cake decoration though I confess that I buy them if I need them:)

william said...

Martha, you've inspired me! My mother and her best friend always used to make this just the way you wrote and I am going to start the brandied fruit today in an old glass apothecary jar on the counter! Thank you!


Shanley said...

This looks like a great decoration-- there's so much you can do with this! Thank you for sharing :)