I have a love/hate relationship with roses. I absolutely adore them but am convinced that they all eventually break your heart. I grow a number of roses in the very back of my garden where I can cut them but they don’t take center stage. This is because no matter what I do, they always have pests and/or diseases so they look rather straggly. Currently, I’m only growing David Austins because they are my preferred type of rose; fragrant, blousy, ruffly and beautifully colored.
However, rarely do I pick these roses to bring inside because they don’t last long in a vase nor do I usually get very long stems. When I do pick them, I will often just put them in a small, sweet vase and enjoy them for a day or two before they shatter. More often than not, I will pick the flowers and dry them to use in culinary endeavors! They usually dry beautifully and are wonderful atop cakes, mixed in drinks or even thrown in a jar of granola.
One of my favorite things to make with the dried roses is rose sugar. Not only is it delicious but it’s beautiful as well! The roses add a subtle fragrance to the sugar making it a lovely addition to anything you add it too. It’s perfect on rims of glasses, atop a rhubarb or strawberry pie, used in jam and cocktails too! The “recipe” couldn’t be simpler.
1/2 cup dried rose petals (unsprayed)
1 cup white granulated sugar
Using a food processor, mix the sugar and the petals together. Keep sugar in a sealed jar.
A few notes:
Last year, I tried using raw sugar and I just wasn’t happy with how it turned out. The color didn’t highlight the roses as much as I’d like it too and it just didn’t work as well.
Make sure to give the roses several days to completely dry out before using them. I usually end up giving them at least a week so that I don’t risk the sugar clumping up.
Only use unsprayed roses whenever using them for food. I don’t spray my roses (thus, the pests and diseases I guess) so I’m not worried about using them in food. I certainly would not use any roses I bought from the grocery store or elsewhere, they are most often heavily sprayed and/or dunked after picking.
Pick your roses early in the morning as that is when they are most fragrant.