The Sweet Taste of Roses
It's the second week of June and my daily morning walks are becoming a habit. Edible flowers are in bloom, Herbs are growing soft and green and the evergreen and red huckleberries are promising a bountiful forage soon.
Right now, I am enjoying the scent of roses. My favorite scent comes from Rosa rugosa, often used as a hedge. Pick just bloomed flowers which are untreated and far from any parking lot or roadside. Other edible flowers I’ll be preparing this summer include calendula (Calendula officinalis), nasturtium(Tropaeolum majus), and lavender(Lavandula angustifolia).
Just because a flower is deemed edible does not mean it is automatically safe to consume. Pollen can cause allergic reactions when eaten by some people. It is important to proceed with caution because many flowers are poisonous. Identify the flower exactly and eat only edible flowers and edible parts of those flowers. Also, eat only flowers that bloom from plants that were naturally grown and never eat flowers from a floral shop.I have been enjoying this recipe from Nitha’s Kitchen. (I’ve added some options in parentheses.)
1-1/2 Cup Fresh Rose Petals (only the petals)
1 Cup Sugar
1-1/4 Cup Water
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice (or 2 teaspoons of fresh squeezed Organic Lemon and a teaspoon of the organic lemon zest chopped finely)
Pinch of Salt (I prefer sea salt)
1. Clean and pick the rose petals
2. Pat dry to remove excess water with a dry clean cloth
3. Layer the petals and 4 Tablespoons and gently rub the rose petals using the back of a spoon or wooden muddler
4. Leave it for one hour or overnight. The petals will shrink a bit.
5. An hour later or the next morning, Boil 1-1/4 Cup of Water in a saucepan
6. Add the shrinked petals, remaining Sugar, Salt, and Lemon.
7. Boil continuously on medium heat.
8. Immediately the rose petals lose their color and the water gains it.
9. The syrup gets thicker and the flavor gets stronger. Reduce to at least 1 Cup.
10. Strain the syrup. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator for later use.
Uses of rose syrup include:
A. Rose jello (3 packets of gelatin, boil 1 Cup of plain water, 1 Cup of Rose Syrup and 1 Cup of Water.
B. Rose Frosting (Powdered Sugar and Rose syrup to replace the water)
C. Rose cake (poke holes in hot, just baked angel food, pound, or vanilla cake, then drizzle rose syrup onto cake. Set aside for a day. Adding alcohol to the rose syrup is optional)
D. Save the now syrupy petals and lemon zest to drizzle over fresh sliced mango or peaches or dehydrate for candy topping.
E. Flavoring for plain or seltzer water
F. In a Malibu Summer Rose Cocktail
Other flower recipes will follow as I pick them in the Pacific Northwest summer including gluten free Peach Calendula Muffins.
Enjoy knowing and using edible flowers. May they bring you joy and hope.
To find Nitha’s recipe and search for her others which you might like, follow her link https://www.nithaskitchen.com/2013/09/homemade-rose-syrup-using-fresh-rose.html