Every once in awhile I like to use rose water. Either for my skin or cooking. I prefer red roses. I love their fragrance and colour. I also like to add a concentrate of it to a bath and then dry out the petals afterwards to fill out some potpourri I have.
“Why would you do that?!” Well the potpourri already has a strong scent and it’s just a way of expanding the amount I have. I’ve found no “watering down” effect at all and it’s become quite handy when I make sachets of it for drawers. After learning about adding a few drops of essential oils to my potpourri I’ve found the scent lasts for weeks or even months. Something about the oils going into the dried leaves just makes it extra pleasant and I find it merely needs a shake to bring the smell back stronger.
Anyway I’ve always hated boiling rose petals for their scent and I don’t like to waste rose petals. My pots need replacing and the lids are not only not well secured, but they are more or less dangerous. Steam pours out the sides and I get burned often. It’s that one thing I’m very particular about. Last year I bought a multi-cooker which has a main function of being a pressure cooker. I bought it because of the circumstances at the time and it’s been over 6 months since I’ve cooked with anything else. So this morning I was like “Why not make rose water in the pressure cooker?”.
The whole point of using a pressure cooker is how it extracts flavour and nutrients which has made me consider creating turkish delight again. It’s rare that I make turkish delight with it these days and the main reason was the method of getting rose water.
I don’t like rose extract. I’ve found it to be either bitter or very fake. I don’t like those overly manufactured rose smells or flavours it actually makes me gag. It probably has to do with my Nana. She adored roses, but a little too much. Rose powder, soap, toilet spray, room spray, deodorant, perfume and a garden filled with an assortment of roses. You’d no sooner walk into her house and be almost knocked down by the smell of roses.
For the longest time I hated that smell because when we’d visit her, the overwhelming scent would make me sick. And I mean sick! I’ve always been sensitive to smells and several times it caused me to be nauseous. In the last few years I’ve looked up why which was what prompted me to look into air cleaning houseplants and air purifiers but that’s a whole other story.
She’s been gone for a few years now and the scent has brought back a variety of pleasant memories of when I was little and would visit. She had a lovely garden and we have only two of her roses bushes left. They are still growing strong.
They’re both over 6ft tall because I never prune them and that’s just how I like them. Though I do trim and shape them from time to time.
When she passed away my mother dug up and brought all her roses home because her house was being sold. Then we were kicked out and we took the bushes with us but most of them died in the poor and almost clay like soil.
It was only last year that I learned about Rose Hips and I am only now starting to realise how many were eaten by the birds which would explain why I never noticed them growing before. Rose hips and rose water were two things I’ve used and imagine my surprise when I found out that I’d been growing them all these years. I’ve used rosehip tea for years for migraines and I’ve always wanted to try it fresh. The only downside is how long it seems to take for them to ripen, though I’m glad I got that food dehydrator when I did.
Anyway, since I was about 18 or so I’ve been using rose water. I’ve used it mostly in tea or to make a sort of iced tea. I also use it in place of oranges or limes for a cold remedy though I don’t feel as though it’s as effective and today I really felt like drinking some and I thought about using the pressure cooker.
So today I plan to pressure cook some rose petals. I also wanted to do it to smell scent the air all through the house.
I had two full bloom roses. One red and one pink. I think it was the pink one that was smaller but had more petals. I also noticed three new dark red rose buds. Hopefully they will bloom soon as well.
I put three cups of water because I know with the amount of petals and being pressure cooked the flavour will be not only strong but to the strength I like. My roses were very large. I don’t know what variety but they were enormous. It was probably about 2 and a half cups of petals. I removed any diseased petals and some only had some blackened edges but the rest of the petal was fine so I tore off the yucky bits and plopped it in.
It worked perfectly. But the lid wasn’t as clean as I thought it was and some residue got into the water. So all in all it was a successful failure.
The petals extracted much better in the pressure cooker than boiling. The hardest part with boiling is that you can over boil it and destroy the flavour. The dangerous part about trying it with steam is not having the appropriate pots and getting burned. Slow cooking is fine if you have the time and patience to do so. I’d say if you want really tasty rose water try pressure cooking or slow cooking it.
I washed the lid several times prior to this but the safety hole sometimes hides residue and is difficult to clean. So next time I’ll use the steam function and steam clean it with some bicarb.
So, I will be updating this post later with some photo’s and details about it. Wish me luck!