Featured Garden Herbs and Spices

Roses and Rose Water Know Your Herbs and Spices

rose drawing
Drawing by Cindy Kerschner.

Throughout the ages, men and women have used flowers as symbols to convey love, faith, grief, congratulations, remorse and even as warnings of danger.
In books such as Le Langage des Fleuers 1818 (the Language of Flowers) by Charlotte de la Tour, different flowers and plants, as well as their variety of colors stand for different meanings. Individual cultures and geographical regions also apply their own meanings.
If you want to say, “I love you.” nothing more universally conveys love than a red rose.
If you want a snack, color doesn’t matter.
Roses have a sweet but floral, a bit perfume-like flavor. Persian and many middle eastern cultures use rose scented water in cooking.
Candy the petals* for desserts, float petals in drinks or toss in salads.
Rose water is made by distilling water steeped in rose petals. Use rose water in cakes and cookies. Add it to mixed drinks, or tea. Remember a little goes a long way. Rose water is used as an astringent in face creams and a scent in perfumes.
Here’s an easy recipe to make in your ice cream maker.
Rose Ice Cream
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon rose water
1/4 cupped chopped rose petals*, whites removed
Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and cream colored. Add milk, cream and vanilla. Mix well. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 2 days.
*Flowers MUST have been raised pesticide-free and individuals should be aware of any possible allergies. If in doubt, do not use.
Always remember that herbs have medicinal qualities and can cause allergic reactions or interfere with medications. Always research any unfamiliar herb before consuming for possible side effects or drug interactions.

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Cindy's Recipes and Writings

As a professional cook, I love creating exciting new recipes on the job as well as at home. Assisting in teaching low-income families how to buy, store and prepare healthy food through Penn State’s alliance with Pennsylvania’s Supercupboard Program was very rewarding. During my 11 years with the Master Gardener program, I taught horticultural therapy to assisted living patients using healthful, fr
esh grown food as a focal point. . My hands-on programs and instruction helped hundreds of children and adults learn about where their food comes from and how important fresh food is for your body.
Currently I’m a cook at a college in Pennsylvania. We prepare everything we can from scratch, including our potato chips that tout the seasoning of the day!
Of course I write about food; it's in my blood!

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