Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Subtle Power of Rose and Rosy Giveaway!

The rainclouds finally parted on Saturday morning for the seventh annual damask rose celebration. I was afraid that the water logged beauties weren't going to be dressed for the party after the previous four straight days of soaking rain. Even through the deluge, I could see buds open one day and then drop their petals the next. So discouraging!! All that rosy goodness lost, only to make a thick, fragrant carpet for my muddy, bare feet. Rather than lament the loss too much, I tried to consider it a rare indulgence fit for a farmhouse queen. The bees seemed to be happy for the break in the clouds, as well. Their comical drunkenness around the roses is understandable, even from my perspective. When no one is looking, I too, can flit from bloom to bloom and rub my nose in the warm, fragrant center, wishing only for a pair of lacy wings to transport me, giddy, towards the next one. Although the fragrance never dissipates completely when the petals get rained on, it's the sun that brings out the subtle spicy and citrus undertones that make it complete. So as the participants of Saturday's class discovered, there were still plenty of rose petals left to fill our baskets and make the day worthwhile. Some additional sunshine and laughter came to the gardens when Jen brought her young daughter Anikka to the class. The roses were certainly matched by the sweetness and beauty of this little girl! She added so much to the day. The most exciting focus of the day was setting up "Tina's Traveling Still"! Tina Sams, of the Essential Herbal, was so kind to share her lovely glass steam distiller so that we could make some rose hydrosol. The damp rose petals put out an amazing end product for us all to share. Once Kim and I remembered how to reconstruct the still, we were rewarded with the quiet hum of alchemy in action. Water, Fire, Ice and rose petals! It would be hard to describe two hours of steam distillation in a few short lines. Instead, I'll share the beauty of the transformation in photos. It was a wonderful experience. Adding to the alchemy were Orva's colorful stories of the ancient family moonshining trade, which were rich treasures all to their own! While the still worked through lunch, we settled in to making our own rosy treats to enjoy at the end of the day. In one kitchen the ladies prepared tiny rose petal scones while in the other kitchen the rest prepared Alex's chocolate macaroon recipe with the addition of powdered rose petals, rose water and rose liqueur. Holy Roses!! They were heavenly! To drink, iced rose hip tea sweetened with a splash of pomegrante juice. Later there was the passing of the rose tea cup filled with rose petal liqueur.
Sublime! There were enough rose petals left to make 2 quarts of rose infused vinegar for my Burn Spray and a new batch of Rose Liqueur. I think by the end of the day, our rose bones were satiated, at least temporarily. Sunday morning brought more sunshine with a whole new round of buds opening so I took advantage of the freshly cleaned still and my memory of reconstruction and ran a second round of rose hydrosol. While it hummed away, I decided to do a little extra hydrosol research, since specialized study of aromatherapy is not my forte. I checked in with two well-respected women friends via their websites who are much more knowledgeable since aromatherapy is their business! Roe, from Sunrose Aromatics and Marge from Nature's Gift both have detailed write ups about the therapeutic benefits of rose hydrosol. After studying up a bit and brainstorming a bit more, I've decided to utilize some of this rosy distillate into an extra special, limited-time product to commemorate the gifts of the roses during the whole month of June. ((Secrets revealed as I experiment!)) On the Summer Solstice, I will give away a whole small collection of rosy products made right here on the farm. I'll throw in some rose petal jam, rose soap, Burn Spray and a little taste of all the yummies that we enjoyed on the weekend. If you might be interested in this little giveaway, please add your desire to the comments on this post and follow along through the next two weeks as I experiment with the hydrosol until I come up with something extra special!!

It's not over 'til the last petal falls............

27 comments:

Tina Sams said...

no matter what, same me a rose petal jam! I'll pick it up when we do the lavender distillation :-).

Patricia said...

Oh what I wouldn't give to be able to get to one of these classes. You can almost smell the roses through the computer. My still jar is still a long way from having enough coins to get my own little glass still. But one day I will have one! Thanks for sharing the fun,
Pat
Patricia Rose-A Potpourri of Fabric, Fragrance and Findings
www.patriciarose-apotpourri.com
www.patriciarose-apotpourriof.blogspot.com

SW said...

Beautiful roses Sue and I love the pictures of the distiller. I got one and it is still packed in original box....I have got to get it out and learn how to use it...your blog has been an inspiration for me to do this!!!

marmee said...

*She who would have
beautiful roses in her garden
must have beautiful roses in her heart*

I don't know who to credit the quote to , but I think its lovely, and lovely of you to offer such a rosy gift. Thanks. Margaret
Aromasage@atlantic.net

Marge said...

What stunning pictures, Sue. I can smell the roses right through my screen. You do lovely work.

And it wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit to win that goodie box. True rose products are the most pampering thing I know of.

Thanks for sharing your work so generously!

Wishing that we had the fresh, organic botanicals here at Nature's Gift to distill our own. Reading your adventures makes me envious!

Suzy said...

Gorgeous photos, and such a lovely thing to offer as a give-away! I'm crossing my fingers tightly! :D

Beth said...

Sukie, I enjoyed reading through your blog. When you write, I can see, hear, and smell everything you describe.

I absolutely love old roses, and would have been thrilled to be there for your rose adventure. If I won the rose giveaway, I'd be a happy girl, indeed. :-)

Beth Byrne
beth@soapandgarden.com

Mary Himmer said...

Wow, Sue, that is so inspiring. I have one rose bush, but it is aa nice one, a native rosa rugosa, and I am getting plenty of blossoms this year for the first time. I put a quart into ACV this morning, and hope to do an oil soon. A rose hydrosol sounds wonderful. I will have to create a homemade distiller one of these days and try that with the roses.

Your garden is so changed from last spring with the raised beds and the fence. (Those poor chickens though, but I bet you aren't feeling too badly for them.

Mary

Kay @ The Rustic Cottage said...

The pictures are stunning! I could almost smell the beautiful rose scent. How nice of you to have a giveaway. Anything scented rose is my favorite!

Aunt Jenny said...

Oh my....I would have loved to be at THAT class...or heck, ANY class at your place! What a wonderful giveaway. My fingers and toes are crossed for sure...wow!
I love anything rose scented! The picture of the roses with bees is just lovely. All your photos are.

Anonymous said...

Glad to have "seen" the class online, and happy to hear that Orva had a good time. Of course, I'd love to be included in your rose give-away if you are so inclined to be so generous Susan!

PatriciaN

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

I wish I lived closer! I love roses and June is my bd month so please enter me in your lovely giveaway and hopefully I'll get lucky! lol Great post!

ikkinlala said...

I'd love to enter your giveaway, please, if Canadians may. The wild roses have just started blooming here, and they smell so wonderful.

stellaglo said...

the roses are so lovely, it makes me want to run out and plant wild roses all over my yard! (which i may just do...at least one!)
i would be thrilled to win your giveaway, there is nothing more perfect than roses.

templarlady said...

the flowers look awesome - would have loved to be there! Would really enjoy your products. thanks for having the giveaway.
Jane in CT

seanymph said...

I adore anything rose! How lucky you were to have a day of roses. I would love to be entered in the giveaway. I am a rose freak for sure....always grow them wherever I live. Cant live without them.

La Tea Dah said...

Everything looks and sounds beautiful! I look forward to future posts as you tell us more about using ROSES with purpose and for leisure.

LaTeaDah from Gracious Hospitality

Patti Eder said...

I don't know what is more delightful, your monolog describing the roses and the activities of the day, or your most beautiful flower pictures. Kudos to all of the above and a very merry summer solstice celebration to all of you.
I would love to be entered into your give away contest.
Patti of Patti's Potions at pattispotions@wi.rr.com

kansasrose said...

Throwin' new dawn petals at ya babe! Rose swooned by your rose mojo goin' on here! Breathtakin' beauty you captured....reminds me of this saying...

How to measure the pleasures of extravagance: not in acres, not in numbered swiss bank accounts.

Take your measure in an armful of blooms.

please put my name in your 'still' drawing hon, you know I be rose touched in the head! Bustillo:)

Anonymous said...

HI Sue! Your roses are heavenly and I am always in awe of your classes. One of these days I coming, I promise!
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of standing on the side of a mountain just after a rain storm and smelling that wonderful scent of wild roses and honeysuckle just beginning to bloom. If I ever smell another thing as good, I am certain it will come from the Farm at Coventry! Happy distilling and I would feel most priviledged to be entered in your drawing. Thanks, Bramble

Janiece said...

It's all so lovely! I've lived here for almost 20 years and never had a single rose bush - I think it's time to right that wrong!

Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway offer! Hope I'm lucky!

kansasrose said...

Hon...I still got a smidgeon of dat rose spray ya sent a few year back! It has kept THAT well in the fridge! I also use just a few drop of the rose liquer on my vanilla ice cream...ohhhhhh what a treat it is! You've inspired me to use my petals again to make some linen water. Have you ever heard of Hungary Water for the complexion? ( wishin' we was neighbors) We could swap rose petals! hehe. ;) bustillo

ps I love your pics..you use that new canon like a pro!

Ann Downey said...

I just love your rose pictures sue. I will have to post some of mine on the website. They are so beautiful this year. I'm so proud of them. You can smell them as you walk up my path. You are definately my inspiration. I speak of you often when I get into herbal conversations and roses.

Anne said...

Hi Sue

I was sorry to have missed the rose class. I have never made anything with roses other than potporri. Please enter me in the rose giveaway.

Anne Gayl

Betsy said...

Hi Suzan,
I just subscribed in Google reader to your blog (via the Essential Herbal) and will spend some time catching up - it looks like good reading. I love roses, my first to bloom shrub roses are just beginning to bloom here in Michigan. One herb I can't do without. Would love a distilling set-up someday, but will enter your rose giveaway for now.
Betsy

Lisa said...

Hoping I'm having a streak of good luck.I came pretty close at the rose class.

Marge said...

The solstice has come and gone... who is the lucky winner, Susan?

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