Dried roses preserve the sweet, seductive perfume of the fresh flower, and there are many ways to use them. Pick up a package at a Middle Eastern grocery, or check your local supermarket’s bulk tea section for organic dried rose buds. Then see where inspiration takes you. You might infuse the buds into tea. Or crumble several buds and add them to your next batch of granola. You might even infuse some into vodka.
Rose Petal Tea
Tea, the cup that cheers but does not intoxicate. Nothing can be simpler to make. Add a small handful of dried rose buds to the teapot, along with your favorite loose tea, and allow it to infuse. Strain, sweeten and enjoy. Some recommend combining dried roses with Earl Grey tea and some say that the more delicate flavor of green tea allows the roses to come through. I love the flavor of jasmine green tea with dried roses.
Or you can put a healthy handful of dried rose buds into the tea pot all by themselves, and enjoy a pure rose tea. Don’t expect much pink color, but the fragrance will be divine. Adults appreciate subtle rose bud tea, but it also captures the imagination of children. Drinking roses!
Rose tea soothes jangled nerves and is an excellent hot drink for unwinding in the evening.
Granola With Dried Rose Petals
4 cups rolled oats
1-1/2 cups wheat germ
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried rose petals
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/4 teaspoon rose water
Combine oats, wheat germ, walnuts, raisins, rose petals and salt in a large bowl.
Melt together the brown sugar, honey, and oil over low heat. When the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is smooth, remove the pan from the heat and add the rose water.
Pour the rose-infused syrup over the dry ingredients, mixing well to cover everything.
Pour the granola onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading it out evenly. Bake in a preheated 150°C oven for 30-40 minutes. Stir twice or three times during the baking and check after 30 minutes to make sure the granola isn’t about to burn.
Separate any big lumps and allow the granola to cool completely before storing.
I can’t promise that this won’t intoxicate. Use a good vodka, one you already know and like. No amount of flavoring will disguise the raw taste of cheap booze.
1 bottle vodka
3-4 tablespoons dried rose petals
Have ready a Mason jar or other airtight glass container.
Measure the vodka. Allow 1 tablespoon dried rose petals per cup of vodka.
Combine the vodka and the rose petals. Stir and cover tightly. Store away from the light for 1 week.
Strain into a clean jar or bottle.
Combine the infused vodka with tonic water or fruit juice for an ethereal cocktail.
Photo of dried rose buds by Edward Terry via Flickr.
Photo of dried roses in Jerusalem shuk by Mandy Goldberg via Flickr.