Roses for Food, For Pleasure, And as a Reminder To Slow Down
Roses are feminine in the deepest sense. Their silky soft petals and gorgeously complex fragrance envelop you in gentle softness, like a mother’s hug. Surrender. Let yourself become soft and sweet.
It’s no wonder that roses have been symbols of love for centuries. The heart-shaped petals of the wild roses are but one clue - a greater one is the overall sense of love and care that all roses seem to communicate. This love is bigger than that between two people in love, a romantic feeling. It’s a compassion for self, an appreciation of the rich wonders of the world around us. Roses feel slow and gentle, and their sweetness is fleeting. “Stop and smell the roses” reminds us to slow our pace, yes, but it also reminds us to celebrate the significance of our own pleasure and our own care.
And is there anything quite so sensual as a rose? That heady fragrance, those satin petals, the buzzing of bees and other pollinators paying a visit to each golden center cloaked in silk. The ancient Romans thought so too, as legends tell of lavish feasting-halls filled with feet of fresh rose petals for guests to wade through. What an experience that must have been! Can you imagine the softness of petals on your bare feet, brushing against your legs? The perfume that must have filled those feasting halls? The visual impact of that sea of pink or red?
These recipes may not be quite so lavish, but they are pleasurable none-the-less. They bring with them a reminder to slow down, to stay present, and to indulge in your own pleasure simply for the purpose of making life that much richer. Be sure to set aside plenty of time for them, as this is not an activity that should be rushed. Plucking wild roses is an act of meditation, and one of deep pleasure. Let the sunlight caress your shoulders as your fingers feel those tender petals (only a few from each bush, please.) Let yourself get lost in the humming life around you. And definitely don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.
Rose Raspberry Apple Tarts
These treats are beautifully shaped in the form of roses and the floral fragrance of roses is tempered by the zesty bit of raspberries. They are quite easy to make, from the no-bake crust to the apple rose itself. They taste rich and luscious, the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Wonderful when served with tea!
Pink Coconut No-Bake Crust:
3/4 c. shredded coconut
3/4 c. almond flour
3 Tbs. raspberry powder
3 Tbs. butter, melted
8 large marshmallows
- Mix the coconut, almond flour, and raspberry powder well with a fork.
- Lightly grease your tart molds
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the marshmallows and butter. Heat in short 20 second bursts until marshmallows are puffy and melted. Mix into a smooth paste.
- Add the pink coconut mixture and mix well to form a stiff dough. Quickly press it into your prepared tart tins, packing it in evenly 1/4” thick.
- Let tarts cool to room temperature, then gently lift out of the molds. (If you’re having difficulty with this, try chilling them in the fridge for a couple of minutes.
Rose Tart Filling:
2 c. raspberries, divided
2 1/2 c. water
1 c. rose petals
1 Tbs. hibiscus flowers, dried
1 (12 oz) package cream cheese, at room temp.
1/3 c. honey
3 medium red-skinned apples
- Add 1 1/2 c. of the raspberries, water, rose petals, and hibiscus to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain.
- Add the honey, remaining raspberries, and 1/3 c. of the liquid (reserve the rest) to a blender and blend well. Whip the cream cheese in a medium bowl, then add half of the raspberry puree. Whip well. Taste. Add a bit more of the puree to taste until you reach a sweetness you like. Transfer the cream cheese mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Set aside (at room temperature.)
- Cut the applies in half and carefully cut out the core, then slice them into very thin slices (slices should look like half-circles.) Bring the rest of the raspberry liquid plus 2 c. water to a simmer, then add the apple slices to the hot liquid and remove it from heat. Cover it with a lid and let the apples cook for two minutes. The apples should be soft but not at all mushy. Drain the apples and pat dry with a paper towel. (Note: reserve the liquid and add a little sweetener, then pour over ice for a delicious drink!
- Pipe the cream cheese mixture into the tart shells. Place the apple slices on a sheet of parchment paper in a straight line, overlapping them slightly. You’ll use about 10 apple slices on each strip. Gently roll the strip of apples up to form a rose design, then stick one rose in each tart. Chill for 1 hour, then enjoy!
Rose Petal Paste:
This beautifully pink paste has many uses, from pastry flavoring to body scrub. Try rubbing it on cinnamon roll dough instead of cinnamon to bake beautifully floral breakfast treats! It’s also lovely as a body scrub, and is gentle enough to use on the face. The rose petals are soothing and cooling while the sugar is a gentle exfoliant and helps to tighten the skin. Just gently rub it into your skin in small circles, then rinse. Finish by splashing your skin with cold water to tighten the pores and gently pat dry. Be sure to follow up with a moisturizer, such as the coconut rose body cream below.
1c. fresh rose petals
1c. white sugar
dash of lemon juice
- Place the rose petals in a mortar and add a little bit of the sugar. Grind to a pulp. Continue to add the sugar slowly and grind until the mixture is evenly pink and no big pieces of rose petals remain.
- If you like the slight purple color, your mix is finished! If you’d like to brighten the pink color a bit more, add a dash of lemon juice and mix well. (You may have to add a bit more sugar if you do that.)
- Pour the mixture into sterilized jars and keep in the fridge for several months.
Coconut Rose Body Cream:
This luscious cream is perfect for summertime - it’s very gentle but deeply nourishing, making it perfect to use on dry or sun-damaged skin. Roses are known to be cooling, so it feels extra nice on sunburns (though do not apply oils or lotions to sunburns for at least 24 hours.) The final step in making this cream is to whip it, giving it a lusciously smooth texture. Keep in mind that this cream will melt and lose that lovely texture if it gets too warm, so it’s best to store it in a cool room indoors and not in your car or purse. This cream gets a warm coconut and chocolate scent from the butters and oils that smells lovely with the rose, but if you’d prefer a more rose-forward scent you can use deodorized cocoa butter and coconut oil.
This recipe makes enough for 4 (4oz) jars.
1 c. coconut oil
3/4 c. cocoa butter
3 Tbs hibiscus, ground into a fine powder
5 tbs rose, ground
3 Tbs. beeswax
15 rose absolute
5 drops bergamot essential oil
- Combine the coconut oil, cocoa butter, hibiscus, and rose in a plastic bag. Seal it well and place in another well-sealed plastic bag. The oils will need to infuse somewhere warm for at least 6 hours to take on the color and properties of the soothing rose and toning hibiscus. You can use a Sous Vide cooker set at 125 F, a crock pot filled with water set at the lowest temperature, or even just leave it out on a hot patio for the day.
- After the oils and butters have infused, strain them through a coffee filter to remove all of the particulates. Place it into a double boiler and melt in the beeswax. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Remove from heat and let solidify at room temperature (this will take several hours.) Once it’s all solidified, use an electric mixer to start beating it, scraping down the sides a few times. It’ll start out being lumpy but will become nice and smooth with a little beating. Once it’s a texture you like, add the rose absolute and the bergamot essential oil and mix in well.
- Spoon into a piping bag with a large star tip and pipe into small jars. Store somewhere cool, and use within 6 months.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these recipes for capturing the decadent flavor of wild roses. Always be sure to harvest carefully and sustainably. If you enjoy reading my blog, I would LOVE if you told a couple of friends about it! The more the merrier, don’t you think? Have a wonderful Sunday evening!