Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just Add Water: Homemade Rose Water

On Monday, I gave myself a dozen roses for the second time in a week.  The best part? They were free because they were from yard. My rosebush this year is going nuts, so it's been fun to have freshly cut roses in my living room. They smell heavenly. What can I say? I love June mostly for the flowers.

But what to do with the other rose bouquet? It wasn't completely faded and wilted. It still smelled nice, but it didn't look all that great.  Plus, there's roses in my yard that need to be pruned.  Usually, they'd head straight for the compost bin in my yard, but then I remembered something I saw in a book of children's crafts: homemade rose water.

I wasn't entirely how I'd use my rose water, but I'd heard of it being used for aromatherapy, beauty routines, and even in food (rose lassi, anyone?). According to the book I referenced, Crafting Fun: 101 Things to Make and Do with Kids by Rae Grant (lovely book, I might add), she only said to use it as a homemade perfume.  However, after some research on the Internet, there are tons of ways to use rose water (here's just one of the links I found). Who knew? 

Since summer is officially here, I figured I would share this simple (and I mean simple) how-to for rose water. That way, you don't have to feel bad about deadheading your rosebushes.  Plus, you can only dry so many roses. Might as well put your wilted bouquet to some practical use, right?

Homemade Rose Water
(adapted from Crafting Fun by Rae Grant)

First, you'll need to get about a cup of rose petals. The nice thing about using my homegrown roses is that I don't treat them with any pesticides.  That may or may not be a big deal to you, but I thought I'd mention it.  Anyway, you want to use petals from roses that are fragrant. There really are some that aren't. Go figure. 

Next, bring about 2 cups of water to a boil. The recipe I referenced said spring water. I used filtered tap water. Again, all about personal preference here.

Put the petals in a glass or ceramic bowl and pour the boiling water over the petals.

Cover the bowl. As you can see, I used a plate. You want to really trap the steam in there so that the petals will steep in the water well.  Keep it covered for 30 minutes or so.

Quick aside: while you're waiting, you could use the extra hot water and make a cup of tea. I iced mine.  My son (yes, my 3 1/2 year old) and I love the Tazo Passion herbal tea. It this nice mixture of hibiscus, lemongrass, licorice, and passionfruit. Pour it over some ice, add a little agave nectar. Delish. 

Once the petals have steeped in the hot water for the 30 minutes, drain the water into a jar with a fine kitchen sieve/strainer. What a smell when you do that! Ahhhhhh...

You can either throw out the petals or, if you're feeling a little on the crafty side, you could make rose petal beads (the craft on the adjacent page to the rose water recipe). 

No fancy jars here. I just used a good, old-fashioned canning jar.  Store it in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. So far, I've only used it as a toner, but I like it. I'm going to try putting some in a bath tonight.  I don't know what it is about the rose water, but it just feels luxurious. Like something at a day spa. And I'm all about sneaking a tiny bit of luxury into my life whenever I can.

1 comment:

Nisha said...

You are so creative! Your last rose post inspired me to go snag some roses from Richard's rose bush :) So nice to have fresh flowers in the house!

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