As a student of herbalism and natural medicine, I’ve been experimenting with making tinctures, syrups, decoctions, teas, fermentations and other slippery, startling, sweet, harrowing or lilting flavors and textures for several years now. It’s been a riot at times, but mostly it’s been a lot of widened-eyes after first tries and glad smiles for new flavors. Most of my herbal undertakings come from aged recipes from well-known herbalists, or my own teachers at my medical college.
This recipe, however, came to me through that great, but not always trustworthy instructor: the internet — in particular, this gulqand instructible. Still, as wild as “rose petal jam” sounds, and as random as the information source, I know that roses are a friend to humans, and are regarded as a potent but safe medicine in many cultures. Also, I thought, why NOT work with rose petals if you have a chance?
Indeed, aside from enjoying the jam itself, harvesting and washing (and lucky for me — photographing) rose petals was the loveliest part of this exotic, yet backyard, homegrown simple project. It was easy to throw together, taking less than a half hour to harvest, wash and layer the rose petals with an equal amount of sugar. After this set-up, the jar is to be left in the sun for ten days. Only a haiku can describe each of those ten days:
Rose, sugar, sunlight
Fermented syrup escapes
Enraptures the ants
You may be enraptured, too, when you try gulqand. It is exquisite on plain yogurt, with a comforting rosy aroma and a sweet syrup that is balanced by the agreeable bitterness and firm texture of the petals. In line with their popular association with love, roses are regarded by some in western herbalism as a heart and circulatory medicine. They’d make brilliant wedding favors, don’t you think?
I divvied the final product into sample-sized jars from Specialty Bottle, and to reveal just how precious the jars’ contents are, I adorned them with Lemonade Stand style labels in red in the small rectangular shape and scallop shape (sizes 03 and 23).
- Fresh rose petals, the more fragrant the better
- A jar with tight fitting lid
- Weigh the rose petals and then rinse them and set aside.
- Weigh out an equal amount of sugar. Layer the sugar and petals in a jar, packing them down.
- Cap the jar and place it in the sunshine for ten days. Store your delicious rose petal jam in the fridge.
- [url href="https://www.evermine.com/labels/LS-12/"]