Viola tricolor or Johnny Jump Up
There’s nothing like a relentless winter to make me leap for joy when I finally spot a couple of tiny, familiar springtime faces in the yard.
As pretty as the flowers are, Johnny Jump Ups make a tasty little treat, too. Members of the same perennial family such as sweet violets, violas and pansies are edible as well. The most common way to integrate the colorful blooms into a meal is as a garnish or in a salad. They also make delicious spreads, jellies and even vinegar. Sweet violets (Viola odorata) can be used in tea, syrup and cakes or even candied. While the sweet violet flowers taste slightly perfumed, their leaves are tart.
Johnny Jump Ups have even been known to treat epilepsy, asthma and eczema.
For best flavor, harvest newly bloomed flowers in the morning. This is when the oils are most concentrated and blooms look their best. The more you harvest, the more flowers will grow.
(Cascade Zydeco Facebook)
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, get ready to smile.
Cascade Zydeco is a non-profit association dedicated to bringing zydeco and Cajun music and dance to the Northwest by sponsoring dances with live bands, lessons and special events.
CZ hosts weekly Cajun and zydeco dances and lessons in Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA.
No dance experience? Don’t worry, they say if you’re smiling, you’re doing it right.
Here’s the scoop:
(Cascade Zydeco Facebook)
What: Basic zydeco lessons
When: Lessons start at 7:15 p.m. with CD dancing from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. (when there is no live band)
Cost: $6 general public, $4 CZ members
Where: First Wednesdays at Alberta Street Pub, 1036 NE Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon
Second and Fifth Wednesdays at Polish Hall, 3832 N Interstate Ave in Portland, Oregon
Check out Vancouver Zydeco Sundays at the Silver Star Saloon, 6718 Northeast 4th Plain Road in Vancouver, WA.
Vancouver Zydeco is a casual evening of zydeco dancing from 7 – 9 p.m. every Sunday. Lessons for beginners are available on request. Admission is free!
“Like” Cascade Zydeco on Facebook for all their upcoming events.
919 NW Bond Street
Bend, OR 97701
This downtown hotspot in Bend, OR has authentic Cajun nuances that a Southerner can appreciate when far from home.
If you’re around for lunch, consider the Potato Chip Crusted Wahoo Sandwich. It’s a sort of an Oregonian take on a catfish poboy. The tarragon remoulade is like heaven in a ramekin and the sandwich is served with a delightful couscous salad on the side.
Zydeco has an extensive cocktail and dinner menu as well.