Looking forward to looking back with roses

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Roses. Words and pics by Jo Green, a former allotmenteer, forager, amateur herbalist, pickler and jam maker who squeezed her allotment greenery into her tiny garden

As we move towards the longest day of the year the roses are centre stage.
But nature’s confetti doesn’t last very long in these winds!
I am going to make some rose petal elixir. The name conjures up thoughts of high summer and high magic. A heady cocktail! All you do is “gather ye rose ‘petals’ while you may”.
A quick dunk in some slightly salty water and a gentle rinse. Then into a pan with honey and brandy to suit your taste. Leave to stew with an occasional stir and sieve after two days.
Then decant into sterilised jars or bottles. Cooking with brandy doesn’t sit with me very well in June, it seems such an old and heavy ingredient quite incongruent with the season.
However, I am told when it is ready in say three or four months and you open the lid and pour out a mixture it’s like a spoonful of summer! It is also said to be good for your heart – the physical one and the emotional one
When you look closely you see many of the petals are indeed heart shaped!
I have taken a few photos of the roses which I will use as part of the label to remind me of the warm light of Summer when the dark of winter creeps in. You can make this recipe with many other edible flowers such as elderflower or meadowsweet.

Words and pics
by Jo Green, a former allotmenteer, forager, amateur herbalist, pickler and jam maker who squeezed her allotment greenery into her tiny garden

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