Who doesn’t love roses as a table centerpiece? Whether it is a bunch of antique roses in a Mason jar or a single perfect bud, this addition to a kitchen table or a fancy dining setting always seems to bring smiles. But roses are not only for smelling and seeing, there are dozens of ways they bring beauty to the table. They taste good, too! Any rose can be used as an edible offering if it is grown organically – without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. So this is definitely a homegrown project unless you know that the roses have been grown safe to eat.
Rose petals are a charming garnish. Like pansies and violas, they can be sugared and used for decorations on cupcakes. Like Calendula and nasturtiums, they can top greens for a salad.
Rose lemonade is delicious. A few petals floating in a clear glass pitcher of ice water can make memories at a little girl’s tea party.
6 cups water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Simmer the petals until all the color has gone into the liquid, about 30 minutes. Strain & return liquid to pan. Lower heat and reduce to about 1 ½ cups liquid, about an hour. Add
sugar lemon juice. Boil just until all dissolved, then remove from heat and pour with funnel into sterilized bottles or jars. Store in refrigerator.
1 cup sugar
My granddaughters and I make rose petal vinegars with red rose petals. We use clean quart jars that have been put through a sanitize dishwasher cycle. Pick several cups of petals, rinse them, and pat dry. Place a couple of handfuls of rose petals into a jar and pour either white or apple cider vinegar to within an inch of the jar top. Cover, and place in a sunny spot outside for several hours as if you were making sun tea. Cider vinegar makes a lovely rich red color, while the white vinegar will be a delightful paler pink. If you wish, you can bring vinegar to a boil to cover the petals instead of putting them in the sun. I then pour the vinegar into pretty bottles and cork. I prefer to keep the vinegar refrigerated and ready to splash over greens in a salad.