One of the best things about the garden here at Songaia is that it also doubles as a large snack pantry. Just about anywhere that you turn there is something ready to harvest. But in addition there are several other plants that add aesthetic appeal to the garden with their beautiful scents and colors. In my mind roses always fell into this second category.
We are very lucky to have many rose bushes planted along the pathways here in the garden, given as a gift years ago from a rose expert, that add a magical feel to atmosphere. Yet, to my surprise on a trip to Pikes Place Market, Laura and I had the opportunity to taste something new to both of us, rose petal jam. It was as delicious as it sounds and we both instantaneously thought of the rose bushes here at Songaia.
We eagerly sought to replicate the taste of the jam from the market and fortunately Patricia had some practice in making rose jam and highly encouraged us to learn how. This was a daunting task for us that began with picking two pounds of petals. There was something bittersweet about plucking those petals; it was a shame to see the roses go, but good to know they would be used well. At the end of collection felt like a flower girl on steroids with a gigantic bowl of rose petals, the scent was overwhelmingly sweet ( we enhanced this even more with a good dose of sugar).
After a day of the petals resting in the sugary concoction and a couple hours later we had boiled the rose petals with even more sugar to over two hundred degrees centigrade and developed a lovely sticky sweet jam to put in nice little jars. All the while we brainstormed different ways we could enjoy this treat and followed through with some buttery scones the next morning. It was a satisfying treat that was well worth the work.
I am a true believer that it is always important to stop and smell the roses. It is important to take joy in the small experiences that come along your path. And I think it is safe to say we over achieved that in this scenario. We not only stopped to smell the roses, but also tasted them too!
by Caroline Schier, 2013 Summer Intern
Garden bloggers are community members, volunteers and interns at Songaia.