I’m an Anglophile and I’m fairly shameless about it. If I’m looking at recipes, I am twice as likely to cook or bake something if it’s common or well-liked in England. For example, my favorite Christmas food? Mincemeat pies (though my mother is partially at fault for getting me started on those).
I’m also twice as likely to love a television show if it’s out of England (Top Gear is hilarious, btw). After Rome, I want to visit England the most. My favorite actor? A Brit by the name of Tom Hiddleston. If I’m depressed, I watch BBC’s Pride and Prejudice (you know, the one with Firth).
You get the idea.
So, is it really that surprising that I love roses? Nothing brings to mind England like a spray of gorgeous pink roses (especially if they’re painted on a white teapot). I love my roses. They are my babies (as if it wasn’t obvious since they were what my last post was about).
I’ve been trying to think of other uses for my darlings other than looking beautiful (which they do quite well). Then, one day, it hit me: rose petal jam.
Making it taught me a lot, though, about cooking, so, to my fellow Anglophiles/rose lovers/cooking nuts, allow me to share some pieces of advice I picked up along the way.
Don’t use store-bought roses.
As you plan on eating said jam, you don’t want roses that have had all manner of pesticides, fungicides, and whatever else kind of -cides sprayed upon them. This also, in a way, applies to your own garden. If you use chemicals to control bugs or even to fertilize, don’t use those roses. Find organically grown roses.
Pick in the morning.
Morning time is the best time, because the oil level is high in the rose petals. They are fresh and happy, so that is the best time to pick them.
Select full bloom.
Leave the buds alone and reach for the roses that are fully opened, but not to the point where you would want to dead head them. Also, avoid roses with malformed or otherwise imperfect petals.
Caster sugar is just super-fine sugar.
Also, you can make super-fine sugar by taking regular sugar and putting it through a food processor.
Don’t be sad if you don’t make a lot.
I had two cups worth of petals and made three four oz jars of jam. Don’t expect to make a lot. In a way, this is good, because it means you’re more likely to appreciate it for longer.
If you’re still interested in making rose petal jam, click here for the recipe I used.
My next big cooking project will be making mint jelly. I have a superabundance of chocolate mint, right now, and I’m looking for any use for it. Seriously. It’s more than a little ridiculous. I would be proud of myself if mint didn’t grow easy enough to be considered a weed.
Got any favorite jams/jellies or other recipes?