Two ideas today, both of which, happily, make use of the millions of roses we've inherited.
For both, the roses you choose must be unsprayed. Cannot stress this enough, people. Tempting though it is to give another life to the petals from the bunch your beloved came home with last Friday, they have, unfortunately, been mercilessly poisoned along the way. They aren't right here anyway. Can't remember the last time a bought rose actually smelled like a rose. Fragrance is all important. Instead, you'll have to grow your own (roses are fairly drought-tolerant, and one or two won't ask for much of your attention) OR you'll have to befriend a paranoid-about-poisons gardener. Like me.
Though inordinately proud that for once I have a finished picture of a recipe to share, I'm not convinced that this salt is as good as Silvena Rowe's beautiful Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume suggests. Good with fish, she says, but I wouldn't go out of my way to make it again. The fragrance improves after a week; prior to that, it has a grassy, earthy smell, one not entirely unpleasant, but not exactly inspiring either. Still blogworthy for its edible use of roses.
Gently pull the petals from 1 large, unsprayed red rose. Wash and dry the petals with care. Using fingers, rub the petals with 2 tblsp of sea salt crystals, keeping things a little chunky. Store in a lidded jar and allow a few days for the flavours to get to know one another. Keeps for at least a couple of weeks at (cool-ish) room temperature.
Best added to dishes at the table.
This, on the other hand, is every bit as magic as the words rose and sugar suggest. Frances Bissell's The Scented Kitchen is surprisingly handy to own given that I've carnations, lavender, violets and roses ahoy. Her flower sugars are treated as a basic throughout the book, and there's something lovely about having a jar of this around.
A two stage process. Drying, which takes a couple of days, then whizzing in a food processor with sugar. A warm, pottering-about sort of weekend task.
Gently pull the petals from at least 6 fragrant, unsprayed roses, red or deep pink for preference. Wash them very carefully, give them the gentlest of shakes, then spread in a single layer on a clean, dry tea towel. Leave - undisturbed - until completely dry. They will dry more quickly when hit with a little morning or afternoon sun, but not all day.
Next day (or two), pack them into a measuring cup. Take note of the volume, then measure out 2-3 times as much caster sugar as there were petals. Whiz in a food processor until the petals are, mostly, obliterated. Poured into a clean, dry jar, the rose sugar should keep indefinitely.