Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Timeless Rose

This is the perfect time of year to pay homage to the ROSE.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet. — William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 scene 2
I Love roses even though I have not been very lucky growing them in my garden.It's worth persevering as David Austin proves every time.
from David Austin cat.
They have such a long and colourful history. According to fossil evidence, the rose is 35 million years old.Many are depicted in paintings on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs.  Today, there are over 30,000 varieties of roses and our love for this flower is unwaning.
Cultivated in Asia around 5000 years ago,they have been part of the human experience ever since. 
In the Medieval times it was the monks who grew roses for their medicinal properties which we still use today.
It's also the national flower of England.
Julian Alden Weir (1852-1919) 
Such a graceful topic for art,

Paul de Longpre (1855-1911)
simple displays at home, 

or decorating even the unlikeliest of items like soaps and bath creamers.

Rose Petal Jam
1/2 pound pink or red or white (they are all edible) rose petals
2 cups sugar
4 1/2 cups water
Juice of 2 lemons, pips or seeds removed

Select any colour rose petals
The colour of the petals will determine the colour of the jam
Some rose varieties are tastier than others. Fragrant red and pink old-fashioned double roses (rugosas, floribundas, Old English, damask, and so on) are often used for jam. "Rose a parfum de l'Haye", "Caprice de Meilland", and "Baron Girod de l'Ain" keep their aroma and flavor well during the cooking process.

  1. Wash them and then cut off the white bottom of each petal
  2. Before eating them or using them in cooking, they should be washed well to avoid any chemicals that they might have been sprayed with. Ideally, you should use roses that haven't been sprayed at all. Always check for insects and discard any petals that are brown.
  3. Place the rose petals into a bowl and sprinkle with sugar making sure that each petal is coated

Bruise them well with your fingers and cover the bowl with cling film. Allow it to remain overnight in a cool spot (e.g. the fridge).

  1. Get a saucepan and pour in the remaining sugar, water and lemon juice.
  2. Dissolve contents over a low heat. Including the pips of the lemon is supposed to contribute pectin, which will help thicken the jam. Some recipes do not specify their need, so the choice is yours.
  3. Stir the rose petals into the mixture and allow to simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. If you have a jelly thermometer, cook and stir until the jam reaches 221°F or 105°C (don't let the bulb touch the bottom of the pan) or until a spoonful dropped onto a cold plate jells and holds its shape. Then, if you included the pips/seeds, remove them with a spoon.

Pour it into a clean, warmed jar and add the cover and a label.

If you're unlikely to use it straight away, use proper preserving procedures to make sure the jam keeps in the jar. Store it in a cool place and indulge.

Let me know how it turns out.


Essie @ Pingere Antiques said...

Beautiful photo's Joasia.
Thanks for going to the trouble of adding the Jam recipe. I am presently rushing around like a crazy woman organising a party for my daughters seventh birthday. But when I get my life back next week I'll certainly find time to give this a go!
Hope you have a really lovely weekend,
Essie x

galant said...

A lovely rosy post! What a shame that these superb flowers are coming into bloom just when we're having the most awful wet weather!
Margaret P

Madelief said...

Dear Joasia,

A beautiful ode to one of my favourite flowers!

The rose petal jam sounds delicious. Never tried it before.

Enjoy your evening!

Madelief x

val's alentejo blogspot.com said...

What a lovely post Joasia,
I am very much a rose person, and learned something from your post today. Beautiful images, and how exciting to be able to make rose petal jam.
I found you over at Sheri's Red Rose Alley.

I like the way you write.. will be passing by again.
hope to see you my side of the Atlantic.
Happy weekend.

Red Rose Alley said...

Joasia, I'm so glad I came to visit today. How I adore the rose; especially the red, as you know. Pink is my second favorite, and white is a blessed one. I didn't know how many years that the rose went back - that is amazing. I also wasn't aware that it is England's special flower. There's nothing more beautiful to me than the rose. Thank you for this post.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Mrs. Sutton said...

Beautiful! The rose jam looks delicious - thanks for posting the recipe, and I just adore those soaps!

Zuzu said...

Hello Joasia,
I love roses, but never knew much about their history.
Lovely to "meet" you... I hope to pop by and visit again soon!
~ Zuzu