I have this gorgeous, semi-wild rose bush out my back door. I say "semi-wild" because I am not sure whether it has ever been properly pruned...I know we have never paid much attention to it. Except last year, I did shove a trelis behind it and tied some branches back (not knowing what I was doing) in hopes to train it a bit--but more: so that the thorns wouldn't hit us in the face everything time we came out said door!
So, it is a goal of mine to learn a little bit more about how to care for our lovely plant.
But in the meantime...I just needed to figure out what to do with all the gorgeous blooms!!
I always liked the idea of rose water...but wasn't exactly sure what it was or what it was for. Well, I found out and I made some...The process and the result were both equally lovely.
With all good things I seem to be making lately, it starts with a good steep! I separated about 2 cups (packed) of petals from flowers/stems/leaves...I rinsed them and put them with about 4 cups of water in a medium sauce pan over a medium heat. As soon as it came to a boil, I turned off flame--covered with lid and let sit over night. An hour probably would have been good, but I was going to bed anyway and figured a longer soak couldn't hurt. In the morning I strained out the petals and was left with a beautifully deep pink-red liquid. But now what to do with it?
As is, it makes a lovely addition to recipes. All you have to do is google Rose Water Recipes and a plethora of ideas come up. I was more thinking in terms of skin care...like my Facial Mist post (see here)
I thought rose water would make a really nice mist and it does. I combined mine with about 2 tablespoons Witch Hazel and 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel (per 4 ounces of rose water) and the end result could not be nicer. If you wanted more of an astringent toner, you could 3 parts water to 1 part witch hazel of alcohol (like vodka) and that could be quite cleansing and refreshing.
It will last longer in the fridge, but as is--around 12-14 days. If you do add witch hazel or alcohol, it will last longer. Its very important that if you do make rose water to eat or put on your skin that you only use organic roses and wash the petals well.
I loved making this...it felt like I was making an old-fashioned potion and it smells heavenly.
It would be nice to combine scent of roses with orange or jasmine too...