Saturday, 30 June 2007

a mixed june

it has been a complicated year for roses here. the early burst was wonderful, it seemed a perfect rose year, then bouts of heavy rain, followed by a period of persistant and at times heavy rain with little sun shine. but still they bloom, though some buds never really make it if they coincide with the rain. some of the warm damp weather has produced thick fragrant air.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Monday, 18 June 2007

the rose that I see from my room

a rambling bush of a rose, covered in blooms, wrapped with an ash sapling.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

from Herbal Delights, Mrs C.F. Leyel, recipes

Syllabub of Roses

take the white of a new-laid egg, eta well, and beat into it conserve of red Roses till the whole is the consistency of a thick cream.
This is excellent for sor throats.

Claret of Roses
for a strain

Boil a good handful of red Rose petals in a pint of claret for an hour. Then dip into it a piece of linen or flannel, apply to the strained part and keep it on all night, covering with oiled silk to keep in the moisture.

Honey of Roses

Infuse 4 onces of the dried buds of red Roses for six hours in a little distilled boiling water; mix 5 pounds of clarified honey into the strained liquor, and boil it to a syrup.

Syrup of Roses

Infuse 3 pounds of Damask Rose petals ina gallon of warm water in a well-glazed earthen pot with a narrow mouth for 8 hours, which stop so close that none of teh virtue may exhale. When they have infused so long, heat the water again, squeeze them out and put in 3 pounds more of Rose leaves to infuse for 8 hours more; then press them out very hard; and to every quart of this infusion add 4 pounds of fine sugar and boil it to a syrup.

Mrs Glasse

Conserve of Red Roses

Take rose buds and pick them: cut off the white part from the red and part the red flowers and sift them through a sieve to take out the seeds, then weigh them, to every pund of flowers take 2 1/2 pounds of loaf sugar: beat the flowers pretty fine in a stone mortar, then by degrees put the sugar to them and heat it very well, till it is well incorporated together; then put into gallipots, tie over with paper, over that a leather, and it will keep for seven years.

I have been making rose vinegar, with cider vinegar, it quickly pulls the colour from deep petals and changes colour to golden pink. I use flower/herb cider vinegars (lavender, rosemary, sage, elderflower) in the final rinse water when washing my hair or face. It helps restore the natural acid mantle. Also very useful in salad dressings.

for more rose recipes on the internet, I found the following site interesting:

Mrs C. F. Leyel and roses


No mortal ever knows
How to surrender to a rose;
But simply say 'Suppose
This flower should teach me how to die,
Where would I find eternity?


Botanical names: Rosa gallica, Rosa centifolia, Rosa damascena. Natural order: Rosaceae. English names: French rose, cabbage rose, damask rose. French names: Rosier de France, Rose a cent feuilles, Rose de damals. German names: Gallische rose, Zentifolien Rose, Damaszener Rose. Italian names: Rosa Domestico, Rose centofoglie, Rose di Damesco. Turkish names: Kirmizi frenk Gutee, Van qu tu, Mur Gutee. Parts used: petals, leaves hips. Natural habitat: Persian gulf. Virtues: refrigerant, astringent. Consituents: A glucoside guercetrine and quercetin, red colouring matter, volatile oil, sugar, gum, fat.

The Rosa indica has anodyne properties and is also a wound healer among the chines; and in India the Rosa damascena is recommended, as it is in Europe, as a heart tonic.

Roses are so wholesome that they have always been used in food and drink.

Roses have been made into electuaries and juleps since the time of Arabian pharmacy, and in the days of the English country house still rooms, rose water, conserve of roses, and rose butter, were made reularly through the summer months; and rose petals were dried for the yearly pot-pourri and sweet jars, each family priding itself on its own recipe.

Roses are a simple and very safe tonic for the heart.
They increase the retentive faculty and have a soothing effect on the whole body.

the introduction to the rose in Mrs C.F. Leyel's Elixirs of Life, and some extracts.

rose petal sandwiches

from Elixirs of Life by Mrs C. F. Leyel

Line a dish with red rose petals, then place in it some butter wrapped in its own paper. Cover the whole with more rose petals, pressing them closely together until the dish is full. Put in a cool larder overnight. Then cut thin slices of bread and spread them with the butter, make into sandwiches, and place fresh rose petals on the top of the butter so that the edges of the petals show outside the sandwich.

So I assume the butter stays wrapped and the scent of the roses some how gets through the paper - would not work with foil wrapped butter. I suppose one could simple put some petals into the butter as well....though the very bottom end of rose petals can be a little dry/bitter. Of course petals can be used in salad; they look wonderful surrounding poached salmon. Primroses are good in salad.

It is also possible to make cake decorations with rose petals ...and primroses and pansies, any edible flower. Take an egg white, lightly whisk it then paint it onto dry petals and dip and sprinkle it in caster sugar. Allow to dry on baking parchment. They look beautiful and taste good too.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Roses near the sea, again

a rose near the sea, and a small rose on the way there.

a cup of water and a rose on a silver plate

Francisco de Zurbaran 1598 - 1664
oil on canvas 21.2 x 30.1 cm
one of my favourite paintings.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Friday, 1 June 2007