Appalachian Food Medicinal Remedies

Using Wild Violets in Appalachia

violet jelly

The violets are blooming all over Wilson Holler. Although I know the little flowers can be invasive I can’t help but love their cheery little faces.

In my latest video I discuss violet uses, share a traditional Appalachian violet game I learned as a child and make a run of violet jelly.

I hope you enjoyed the video! Have you ever played the rooster game or tasted violet jelly?


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  • Reply
    walter mitchell
    April 16, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    I used to make the jelly,got the recipe from a euell gibbons book-great -won a red ribbon at shenandoah county fair-try it youll enjoy

  • Reply
    Gaye Blaine
    April 10, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Never heard violets called a rooster fighting but my cousins used to see who had the best violet in jerking the violet head off. Kids are kids the world over. Never had violet jelly though.

  • Reply
    Kelly Shook
    April 10, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    We watched the video, my husband and I had never heard of wild violet jelly, but my yard is full of them. The next day, I promptly picked violets, followed your directions, and made this wonderful jelly. I can’t wait to share it with others. Thanks!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2021 at 10:30 am

    I have never known anyone who made violent jelly except you. I didn’t know you could do that. Now I did play the rooster game and still do with my grandsons. I loved your video Tipper. One of my walls is old antique stuff and I have hanging on it is one of the cups like yours where you put your jelly in to go into the jar. The ones now a days are hard plastic or rubber made. Great post today.

  • Reply
    Joyce Elaine Victory Medley
    April 9, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    I have never heard of violet jelly but my mama told us how to play the rooster game when we were little!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 9, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    Never played the fighting violet rooster game nor tasted violet jelly. My loss.

    Could you sometime take a picture to share of the violet jelly with the sun shining through it? I’m curious to see if the name that leaps to mind for its color would be ‘violet’. We, of course, have already been lead in that direction but if someone saw it who did not know the backstory, what might they name the color?

    By the way, about the box of pectin, I have a dim recall of Mom using apple peels to get pectin. I want to think the powdered pectin was not around then, about 1960. But maybe she either didn’t have any of didn’t want to use it. I do recall that before there was any such thing as powdered pectin folks had to use something in the recipe that would supply it naturally. That may have restrained people from experimenting much, or as much anyway. Now I have seen, or heard of, all kinds of odd jellies; kudzu, corncob, pepper, mint and so on. Seems the box pectin has let the sky be the limit.

  • Reply
    Norma Patrick Seto
    April 9, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    I loved your video. I have never made violet jelly but I will now before the season is over using violets growing in my wildflower garden. I have a sign in my wildflowers that says, “Bay Harbor Holler”. My community is named Bay Harbor and most of the wildflowers came from the hills of Magoffin County, Kentucky. Thank you for the good information. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    April 9, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    I have never heard of either violet jelly or the rooster game,
    but then I have never lived where there were wild violets.
    I love this video, Tipper, and you taught me something new:
    turning the jars upside down. I have never done that, but
    now I will.

  • Reply
    Kelly Cannon
    April 9, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    Hey Tipper,
    My mama used to can pears and figs on the stovetop . Watching your video brought those memories back so thank you for that.
    I have done small batch figs and pears a couple of times using the same method.
    I have read your post about violet jelly and it is on my list of things I want to do one day when I find enough clean violets . Seeing the video is so much more like I just dropped by your house to visit. I really enjoyed it.
    I never heard of the rooster game till today. A good way for kids to entertain themselves.
    The mulberry tree is full of fruit and if memory serves you have a post about that I plan to review . Thanks for sharing your newsletter and videos.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2021 at 11:50 am

    I just watched the video and enjoyed it ….the violets are lovely … I’ve not played the rooster game nor eaten the jelly , as a youngster I’d most likely a joined right in to playing and enjoyed it with all it’s fun and giggles … as to the jelly ☺️ I haven’t tasted any jelly I didn’t like yet although all do have uniquely different taste …I do have favorites …blackberry, apple, grape, peach and especially strawberry freezer jam …down in Del Rio Texas we tried cactus jelly …different but tasty … my brother -n-law makes a hot pepper jelly that I love the flavor of but it’s so hot I can hardly eat much at a time …I’ve never eaten dandelion jelly either ..would like to try some ❣️

    • Reply
      Ann Applegarth
      April 9, 2021 at 2:49 pm

      I like hot pepper jelly with cream cheese — the cheese sort of tames the peppers.

  • Reply
    Sherry Thacker
    April 9, 2021 at 11:21 am

    How do you get rid of them. They have invaded my flower beds and are choking out my tulips, daffodils, gladiolas and other flowers. I let them grow as they were so pretty but then I couldn’t even pull them up when I was cleaning off the bed in the fall. The roots were matted worse than crab grass. HELP! I don’t want my other flowers killed.

    • Reply
      April 9, 2021 at 1:55 pm

      Sherry-the only way I know to get rid of violets without spraying is to pull them out and you’re right its a tough job for sure 🙂

    • Reply
      Kat Swanson
      April 9, 2021 at 5:57 pm

      Like Sherry, violets have taken over in my yard…I have hacked, pulled, tried my best to get them to leave…no luck. So I might just pull of their little flowers and make jelly! My mamaw and I made blue violet tea with the light colored violets….We sometimes gathered them as we were hunting poke salad . Never heard of violet rooster fights in Wise Co.Va…….all my fights were with my four ugly brothers.

  • Reply
    Catherine Spence
    April 9, 2021 at 10:16 am

    I have never tasted violet jelly but the recipe sounds very similar to the one I used to make redbud jelly once. I wonder if the trick of using the water from soaking violet roots would also work for other seeds besides corn?

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    April 9, 2021 at 9:39 am

    I should never access this blog before eating breakfast, as the breads, jellies and other other appetizing delights always make me hungry!

  • Reply
    Margie G
    April 9, 2021 at 8:59 am

    I think the violet jelly is beautiful in color and I’m willing to bet the flavor is light, fragrant and a bit of heaven in a jar! I got what I think are wild pansies in my yard. After watching INTO THE WILD, I am not keen on eating anything wild without firm 100% knowledge of exactly what it is. That kid died alone and in terrible diarrhea because he ate a plant he thought was something else. It’s a very good movie in my opinion. But on a more pleasant note, wild edibles are highly nutritious. People were created to forage wild plants but how the tradition has been lost. I’d like to see videos on wild Appalachian edibles, Tipper, if you have the time and interest. I hope you enjoy a hot buttered biscuit with violet jelly on many cool mornings to come later.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 9, 2021 at 7:58 am

    That Violet Jelly is such a pretty color that it doesn’t look real. I’ve never tasted Violet Jelly but I plan to correct that today. I’m thinking of dropping by for a taste after I go to the gym today!
    I love the pretty little spring flowers!

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