Honestly, a bouquet of roses has never impressed me. I saw them as an “oops, I forgot” gift and while I love gifts, my greatest love language is quality time – true quality of remembering and deep intimacy.
That was until I fell in love with wild roses – rosa rugosa, the beach rose. Fragrant, delicate and feminine, I remember them from my childhood, lining the walkways down to the beach in Cape Cod. I never really noticed them when I was younger, but years later, when I landed in Maine for the first time, it was a scent that immediately brought me back to my childhood. The fragarence mixed with the salty sea air that danced with the humidity hung in the air… sigh!
Now, as I become more educated in flowers, herbs and plants that have medicinal and energetic benefits, rose has been one that’s come up over and over. So much so, that I’m ecstatic that we have a row of them on the property that I use in my baths, to dry for tea or to infuse in honey or oil. Energetically, they soothe the nervous system and are an excellent heart remedy for trauma, heartbreak, grief, depression and anxiety. This reason is honestly how I first landed on a rose tincture that tasted delicious. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, rose tea is cooling to the body. I love making it iced with lemon, honey and sea salt as my own “Gatorade” in the summer months, but because of this, it’s also wonderful to soothe cold or flu symptoms, reducing cramping or digestive pain, calming inflammation on the skin.
This recipe is a sweet, summery version of enjoying roses with fruit or in a s’more, which is what I’m about to do. you’ll make an infused honey simple syrup before adding it to gelatin and watching in bloom. you can make the syrup with other florals like lilac or violet, but gosh, these are delicious and a slightly elevated way to eat your favorite childhood campground dessert.
Now on to make gluten free graham crackers…
½ cup water
5 teaspoons grass-fed gelatin
¾ cup rose simple syrup (recipe below)
¼ cup maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dust a bowl or 8×8” pan lightly with arrowroot starch. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water to let it bloom.
In a small pot with a candy thermometer, add the rose simple syrup and the maple syrup over medium low heat. Heat the mixture until it reaches 240 degrees, or “soft ball” stage.
Once it reaches that temperature, turn off the heat and turn your mixer on a low speed. Very carefully, stream the hot sugar syrup into the mixer bowl with the gelatin. Turn the speed up to medium and continue to whip until it has grown in size, is a glossy white, and softly folds over itself if you were to take the whisk out and turn it right side up. Whip in the vanilla.
You can use it immediately for a dessert or pour the mixture into your dusted pan and smooth the top. Dust the top lightly with arrowroot and let it sit out overnight to dry.
Cut into shapes the next day, using more arrowroot as needed to keep them from sticking together. These are great with berries, in a s’more or to top your favorite warm beverage.
To be a little fancy, blend 2 teaspoons of dried rose petals (the ones you’d use for tea) with 1/3 cup arrowroot starch in a coffee grinder or high speed blender. Use this as your starch mixture to coat the marshmallows, giving it an extra note of rose and a pretty pink color.
4 ounces (by weight) water
4 ounces (by weight) honey
1 cup (one large handful) fresh rose petals, rinsed
Combine the water and honey into a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until the honey has completely dissolved into the water. Add the rose petals before turning off the heat. Let the petals steep for 45 minutes before straining the mixture into a heat proof, airtight container. Cool before storing in the refrigerator.