Monday, September 9, 2013

"Make" the most out of your roses -and then give them way....

He who wants a rose must respect her thorns.
- Andre Gide

Last week I mentioned the beautiful roses my husband surprised me with one evening when I had shared my recipe for a local restaurant's yummy dish.  These red and white roses were delightful, and after adding sprite instead of water and trimming them to prolong their life - I decided I wanted to make something out of them and fulfill an even longer happiness for myself and for others before they were gone.   I found some great recipes for making rose water, a rose water facial toner, shower gel, and a great cocktail made from raspberries, rose water and gin.  Take a break for a minute or two and stop to smell the roses with me...... who knows- you might be one of the lucky ones that I gift some of my goodies to....

I love to give flowers away to friends and family -especially as a second go with something rosey and homemade from some of the neat recipes below.  To me, it is way better giving than receiving! 

"The song of a rose is heard with the nose" - Rain Bojangles

I learned how to make my own homemade rose water and it was really easy.  Rose Water has been used for generations as a natural astringent, helping to tighten the skin and reduce redness and inflammation. It's also very gentle and can be used on most skin types which is why it's often used in products such as creams and lotions. Whether spritzing it directly on your face or blending it into an emulsion, this is a great way to extend the life of your roses.   At the end of the process, Rose Water should smell faintly of roses and not overpowering. 

First, pick the petals direct from the flower, leaving the hip and flower's reproductive parts in place.  (Note that the salt included in my picture above is for a separate recipe found below for body wash I made with leftover rose water.

To make Rose Water, place the petals into a pan and then fill it with water (preferably distilled) until they are just covered-push down on them as needed.  Put the heat on low.

The process will take about a half hour covered on low until the color has faded from most of the petals.  Definitely stir and press down to ensure most petals have water on them and do whatever you can to keep the water from coming to a simmer or bubbling at all. Heat can destroy the flower's beneficial properties and color.

Once the petals have paled considerably, strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and compost the remaining rose petals. Pour the Rose Water into a sterilized jar, allow it to cool.  From what I have learned you will want to use this up within a couple of months, although kept tightly covered or even in your fridge it should last much longer- you will know if their is any odor coming from it other than roses that it is time to discard.

 Rose water can be used on it's own by dabbing it on with a cotton pad or spritzing it on with with a mini spray bottle. It can provide immediate freshness and a reduction in redness and inflammation. You can use it with or without witch hazel added in to make an excellent facial astringent and toner - I added some into mine and it works great.  (If you are using it to cook with however, leave it as is and be sure to use organic roses or ones without any pesticides used on them). 
Raspberry Rosewater Gin
This gin libation is infused with raspberries, lime juice and a subtle touch of rose water.  Then, it is topped up with club soda.  It is sweet, tart, citrussy, fizzy and has a slight floral flavor. If you absolutely cannot find or make your own organic rose water, it’s going to be okay.  You can still make this cocktail!  Raspberry + lime juice + gin is just a winning combination. The ingredients are:
  • 2/3 C Gin
  • 1/3 C lime juice
  • 1.3 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t. rose water
  • 2 C fresh raspberries
  • club soda
  • ice
Directions:  In a small bowl, combine gin, lime juice, sugar and rosewater.  Mix until sugar is mostly dissolved.  Add raspberries and smush them against the side of the bowl to release juices.  Let this mixture sit for about an hour is you can to infuse it and from time to time smush the berries some more.  Before serving, straining the raspberry/gin mixture into a new bowl, pressing the bits and pieces against a sieve to release as much liquid as you can.  Fill a glass with ice, then halfway with the raspberry gin mixture, then top with club soda.   Enjoy!
And last but not least.......
I also decided to make some new shower body wash and include rose water as well - it turned out great!  Although with this recipe I did not find that the salt was necessary or helpful as it cumped perhaps slower stirring or less coase salt would help - but you can find my recipe here.
I hope you enjoyed my rose recipes today - please leave down a comment below and let me know what you thought... what is your favorite way to savor a rose even longer?  ~ Cathy