Tagged: roses

Jul 08

Crystallised rose petals


Everything’s coming up roses just now, so let me show you something magical to try with roses from your garden. Yes, more thrifty edible flowers! I’ll get back to textiles again soon, honestly, but you have to make hay when the sun shines.

I worked on Claire Kelsey‘s ice cream book Melt last year (more of that to come in another post) ensuring that all the recipes were put through their paces. My task was to assign them to a happy band of volunteer testers and collate feedback. Some recipes were harder to place than others, perhaps because they seemed time-consuming and/or fiddly, required expensive/hard-to-find ingredients, or the testers just didn’t fancy them.

In the time-consuming/fiddly group was a recipe for Raspberry and Rose Pavlova which involved making a meringue nest, and crystallising some rose petals. Time-pressed testers spotted a time-sink and declined, so I tried it myself. We were well into autumn, but I still had some late-blooming roses in the garden. I found a couple with good fragrance. If you’re trying this at home, just be wary of using roses which have been sprayed with anything noxious, or are growing close to a main road.

Garden roses

The process really wasn’t so hard, or that time-consuming. All I had to do was detach the petals from the roses…

Red and white rose petals

…dip them in lightly beaten egg white, then into caster sugar, then lay them on an oven tray lined with baking parchment…


…and bake them in a very low oven for less than an hour before allowing them to cool completely.


It was really surprising to see those bright orangey-red petals turn a deep rose in the oven — not what I expected at all.  Mine tasted of rose too and the final frozen pavlova won over my family completely. Crystallised roses will keep for about 3 months too if you pop them in an airtight tin, separating the layers with greaseproof paper or baking parchment. You can use them to decorate cakes, desserts and confectionary, or (might I humbly suggest) nibble them decadently during a long soak in the bath. Because you’re worth it.

I tested a handful of recipes but this frozen pavlova was definitely the crowd-pleaser of the bunch. It didn’t hang around long.


We all agreed that it would make the perfect summer wedding dessert; the final dish, topped with crystallized rose petals and ice-frosted raspberries was quite spectacular to look at: as if Titania herself had sprinkled it with fairy dust. And, best of all, it was heavenly to eat.


Melt by Claire Kelsey is published by Simon & Schuster, RRP £18. It may also be available in your local supermarket.


Jun 03

Laundry & roses

It’s been a frustrating week of half-term and half-completed to-do lists. But in between the chores and the childcare I’ve had glimpses like this.

Roses & laundry

Roses & laundry

Rather appropriate in the week that DH & I celebrated twenty years of marriage.  Passing that particular milestone makes our relationship vintage — at least by Etsy‘s criteria — roses, thorns, laundry and all. What a thought! Have a good weekend. I do hope the sun shines on you.


Jun 03

A Rose in the Hand

This week saw rather a big wedding anniversary; nothing with a round number, but sobering all the same: my husband and I met when we were just 19 and have now been married as long (with a few extra years packed in between).

I have little or no wisdom to impart on the longevity of relationships, but with the substantial benefit of hindsight I’d heartily recommend this time of year for a wedding. You can guarantee that the garden/window-box/local park will be at its most bountiful and optimistic for each subsequent anniversary, and you may even be lucky enough to give/receive a home-grown rose as a gift. This might seem cheap (I’d say “thrifty”) but life is messy and cluttered; someone or other is bound to forget now and again, and a rose in the hand is worth two in the filling station.

This sampler was stitched by my mother, probably in the 1940s, most certainly in Pennsylvania. Alas, she’s no longer with us, so I can’t verify precisely when she put needle to fabric. The cheery spirit of it always brings her happily to mind and makes me smile. I love the perky attitudes of the characters, conveyed with wonderful economy in the restrictive cross-stitch format.  I’m guessing that it was designed to look rather older, judging by the nineteenth century dress of the couple (his hat and stick/sword, her coy fan). This was, after all, the era of Gone with the Wind‘s Civil War nostalgia; imagine an older Scarlett & Rhett who still do give a damn. Do click onto my Flickr photostream to see the rest of the sampler with its quaint and cheery message.

Lady & Gentleman

A charming detail from my mother's sampler

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