The very first Valentine’s letter I received went something like this:
Roses are red, Violets are blue, Cashews are nuts And so are you.
As you can see, my formative years were full of romantic gestures. Maybe that’s why I always sympathise with all those roses left standing in the shops the day after Valentine’s and feel like rescuing them. Not because it’s the cheapest day of the year to buy roses… However, if you were lucky enough to be given a bunch of home grown or spray-free roses, you can make rose water.
The uses for rose water
Rose water is my favourite facial toner in the world. It is great for people like me who are prone to having wrinkly, pimply and sensitive skin. Also, I have been mixing it in this homemade face scrub. That’s all without mentioning, how divine it is to cook with rose water. It is beautiful in lots of cakes, jams, fruit compotes and desserts.
It’s actually pretty straightforward to make
The problem with instructions for making rose water is that it all sounded really confusing. I think because I was obsessing over the idea that you put a stone or a brick in a saucepan. That’s right people a brick in a pan was my cognitive unravelling. This is not the recipe for your darling Teflon pot unless you have a fancy pants stand to sit in the saucepan instead of said brick. My pot has some kind of stone non-stick and it was fine afterwards. Basically, it took me ages to realise that making rose water is boiling some water with rose petals and trying to collect the steam. This little making rose water movie helped me find my way.You will need:
Petals from a spray-free bunch of roses Big pot with a lid Stone, brick or stand that fits inside the pot Bowl that fits inside the pot Ice
How to make
1. Wash the rose petals. 2. Place the stone, brick or stand inside the pot. 3. Fill the pot with water until it almost covers the brick. 4. Sprinkle the rose petals in the water.5. Place the empty bowl on top of the brick (this is where the rose water will collect.)6. Put the lid on the pot upside down. The steam will collect on the upside down lid and drip off the handle into the bowl.
7. Place ice in the middle of the upside-down lid. This is not essential, but it helps the steam to collect in the centre of the lid. 8. Turn the heat up until you have a good rolling boil and keep it going for about an hour. Check the water level in the bottom of the pot every now and then. You will need some very serious oven mitts on to do this, as it all gets stupidly hot. Turn the heat off when you can no longer smell the rose fragrance in the steam. 9. Let it cool. 10. Pour the clear and heaven-scented water out of the bowl and into a bottle. You should get about 2 cups or 450 ml worth. I put a ‘Store in fridge and best before three months’ date on mine.
Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine