In July, when the smell of roses was pretty much around every corner, I put on my pretty yellow summer dress, grabbed a large bag, and went for a walk. It was time to collect roses! It was a beautiful and sweet smelling day, but I probably should have worn long sleeves and Carhartts, because at the end of the day my legs and arms were scratched and itchy. I had a lot of fun anyway. In Anchorage, AK there are a lot of roses that grow on the side of the road. They’re close enough to get to, but far enough away from the road that they aren’t scary. I gathered a LOT of petals, in both white and pink, and had a lot of people trying to figure out what the crazy lady was doing along the roadside.
|Me in the sundress that I made! I don’t have any pictures of the full skirt.
After gathering the petals, I washed them in a bowl to which I’d added some vegetable wash. The stuff I have is all natural and made with grapefruit seed extract. It really helped. The water was very dirty after the first swish, and the bugs all died. Here are by beautiful petals.
After washing the petals I put them in a pot and added water. I boiled the petals until they rendered all of their color and aroma; I strained them out. Next I added sugar. It is really up to you how much you add. I looked online at different syrup consistencies. You can always simmer some of the extra water out too. I made my syrup pretty light. My mom said that it should have been heavier, but we used it in a punch for her birthday, and it worked perfectly. More about the party another day…
Anyway, the syrup turned out beautiful and delicious. I also made one with fireweed blossoms and one with peony petals (yes, they’re edible). The fireweed had a very vibrant color, but ended up a little bit bitter. I think that next year I will cold steep them. The peony was really interesting; it had a nutty taste reminiscent of hazelnut. I’ve yet to find a use for it. Maybe with chocolate.
I had so many rose petals I ended up drying some. I wanted to candy them, but it wasn’t working well for me that day so I let it go. Sometimes the easiest things just have a fussy day. Maybe it was the humidity or the heat, who knows.
Here are my drying petals and my syrups. I got my beautiful bottles, corks, and shrink tops at a local brewing supply store.