Every part of the rose can be enjoyed, the petals, leaves, seeds and even those thorns. I'll tell you a little of how. This picture on the left is a radiography (x-ray) of a rose, x-rays were never more beautiful, huh?
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I'm excited about the abundant amount of rose hips in my garden right now, tons of red berries hanging from branches like holiday ornaments, earrings even. Rose hips are the red pods that form at the base of the rose and they look like berries. Sometimes these are called "haws" and not all roses form these 'hips' which are red/orange flesh encasing seeds. There is approximately 1,700 mg of vitamin C in 100 gm of dried rose hip and so you know, that's a heck of a lot more than what's in an orange. I love seeing them this time of year and I suspect that some among you are thinking - what's so great about rose hips. Good question, smart a.. one - I can't make you love them but I can share why I enjoy them. When you simmer them on the stove (avoid aluminum cookware with this as diminishes the vitamin C properties) they smell wonderful like mangoes or lychee fruit, the water becomes infused with vitamin C and is makes a nice cup of tea. Use about 5 hips per cup of water steeping at least 5 minutes and you will get a tangy tart flavor and a pinkish color. Also try crushing the hips before brewing to increase flavor. Pour your "tea" into your cup through a coffee filter to catch the hairs and extraneous parts that separate from the hips. Here is how to pick them, dry them, store them.
Rose Ice Cubes
There are other delightful ways to enjoy roses besides the obvious receiving of a bouquet from an ardent admirer. For a memorable romantic evening, encapsulate spray roses (tiny ones) in ice and fill the top of an ice bucket of wine. If using the entire rose in the ice cube seems too much, a lone rose petal inside of an ice cube is certainly just as lovely. Simple place a rose petal (or pansy or nasturtian) in individual ice cube square and fill tray halfway with water, freeze, fill rest of the way. Distilled water makes for clearest ice here but any old water will certainly do. Add the flowered ice to clear pitchers as well as clear drinking glasses and even fill with colored drinks for delightful sparkle.
Rose petals soft, fragrant and completely edible providing they're free of pesticides. Be sure your roses are rinsed. They're even more enchanting when crystallized with super fine sugar. Learn how to make candied rose petals here and use them to top cupcakes, mini-cakes, float one on top of a cup of tea when you have a friend over, and on wedding cakes or any other girly cake for that matter. Add candied petals to drops of melted chocolate, ice cream or atop sugar cookies once they've cooled for girly decadence. Can you think of other ways to use the candied petals? If so, fess up and leave a comment =)
The rose leaf should not be left out of the fun! Apply melted chocolate (50 g chocolate, 1-2 teaspoons of oil) with a paint brush to the veiny backside of rose leaves and allow to dry on parchment paper or whatever you have handy. If you rest the wet chocolate leave upon a small object, it will dry with a bend in it and lend a flowing shape to the leaf. Then adorn cheesecake, ice cream or what have you with the rose. Combine the chocolate leaf with a real rose for impact. Making chocolate strawberries? Add a chocolate leaf, very small leaf perhaps, and
you have a lovely twist on something already divine.
Ear buds seem to disappear at my house, which happens to be full of men. Problem solved, these distinct rose ear drops come in 6 colors and are available for about $25, though I've only seen them online such as here .
And about those thorns, I use the rose stalks with thorns to layer around the base of plants to discourage the local critters from visiting. Painful perhaps but organic!
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