Wednesday, October 8, 2008
When Your Roses Fade...
and look like this...
it's time to pull off the petals and place them in a paper bag or a shallow pan, like this...
and cover like this...
Stir them every day so they dry evenly, and in a week or so you will have lovely rose petals to strew in your bath, add to potpourri, make sachets, etc.
Of course, you could just use the petals to make Rose Petal Jam. This recipe, I think, came from an old Sure-Jell package insert--back in my younger days (I've been waiting for a chance to say that!) Sure-Jell had lots of different recipes in the package, like mint jelly, pepper jelly, etc.
A blog friend reminded me (see comments below) that only your own homegrown chemical-free roses should be used to make jam or any other consumable rose product. Store-bought roses are often imported and are not intended for human consumption; they could contain harmful levels of chemicals.
Here's the recipe as I wrote it down:
1 quart of rose petals (the more fragrant the better)
3 cups water
1 package Sure-Jell pectin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Red food coloring (optional, and I'd skip it, although you won't have as pretty a color. Consider adding a dollop of beet juice or cranberry juice to give the desired color without too much additional flavor)
4 cups sugar
Clean your rose petals (you can rinse them and use a salad spinner to do this) and chop fine. Mix the petals and water and heat to boiling. Steep for 20 minutes, pushing petals into the liquid occasionally.
Strain, reserving liquid, and save the petals (unless you want to make jelly instead of jam).
Measure the resulting liquid, and add water to make 3 cups.
Mix liquid with Sure-Jell, lemon juice, and coloring. In a large kettle, bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add sugar all at once and bring to a hard, rolling boil; boil for exactly one minute.
Immediately remove the kettle from the heat and stir in the reserved rose petals. Stir for five minutes to prevent the petals from floating. Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Process at today's recommended time and temperature.