The other night I felt inspired to make use of the rose petals in your backyard before they all fell to the ground. I poked around online, looking for some recipes to inspire me. I found several jelly recipes (with rose petals or rose hips), and many other concoctions including tea, candy, honey, and butter. Being that it was a spur of the moment idea I only had one mason jar, so jelly would have to wait. I decided to dry a few rose petals to see how they turned out. At the very least they would be pretty, and I could try steeping a few with some black tea.
Most of the roses in our garden have a beautiful but fairly mild scent, as Explorer Roses are cultivated for hardiness, not fragrance. The one I chose to pick from was John Cabot. Within a few minutes I had collected almost 2 cups of petals, and barely made a dent in the bush.
In the kitchen, I trimmed off the white tips (which is bitter) and I spread them out on two baking sheets covered in parchment paper. They could also be dried on wire screens over several days, but in our house they would just get covered in cat hair. Most directions suggested baking them for 3 to 4 hours at 200F, but I found that 45 minutes was plenty to dry them out completely. I didn’t bother washing them because they are pesticide-free and I figured any bugs would perish in the oven.
After letting them cool, I put them in a glass jar to await a future purpose. I just love how the colour turned out~ they’re a deep jewel-toned magenta.
And oh yes~ happy first day of Summer! Here is the recipe for Mojito Sorbet. It turned out wonderfully (if a little large to fit in my ice cream maker) and it was a light, refreshing complement to our fajita feast. Don’t skip on adding the rum, because that’s what keeps it from freezing to a solid ice cube.