A Mother and her son fell asleep in the light of Spring, tired but happy she dreamt of pretty things...
She dreamt that she stirred and laid the child down in his soft bed, smiling. She stepped into the bathroom to wash and draw the tub water to relax in a bathroom fit for a Queen...
It is soft to wake and find a faerytale dream's sparkle still resting on my cheeks... To dream of Briar Rose, the Sleeping Beauty, the waking of potential, thought stolen and dormant, but reclaimed by love... that is a sublime thought to ponder... Sometimes one needs to steep to, to be still, to dream, to have one's gifts come to fruition like
Rose petals into jelly... with the help of water, juice from two lemons, and sugar..."Pick one liter of scented roses...English rose Noble Antony (David Austen), Tuscany Superb, Gloire de Dijon, and Compassion. I don't spray my roses, ... so they're okay to eat. I had no idea what a litre of rose petals looks like, so I went out with a colander which I half-filled. Too many, it turned out, but no matter, they'd have needed dead-heading soon anyway. You want them blousily open, but not over. Check for scent as you pick, because some roses become more scented as the flowers develop, others lose their scents quickly. Pull the petals off the stalk, and loosely fill one litre measuring jug. Check for insects--I put several earwigs back into the garden, as well as, a couple of small grasshoppers. Put the petals in a stainless steel saucepan with a litre of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. They will completelyl lose their colour, and the water will turn a murky shade of reddish-brown, deliciously scented. Strain this into a glass bowl and cool.
Next you add the lemon juice, and a magical thing happens--the murky brown suddenly becomes a beautiful and bright pink. Pour this back into the pan, and add one kilo of sugar (I used preserving sugar because I happened to have it in the house, but ordinary sugar would do just as well, it would just take a little longer to dissolve.) When the sugar has disappeared, turn up the heat a little and bring to the boil. It will take 10 minutes to reach setting point, or you can use a sugar thermometer.
Leave it to cool a little before bottling-- if you do this, you'll find that much of the scum disappears. I never bother to skim the scum, because I don't enter my jellies in the produce show, and because it's perfectly edible-- it disappears if you're heating up the jelly later (the main reason I make jellies is to liven up sauces.)
Bottling isn't too much of a palaver, although you need to sterilize the jars..." ~ Joanna
Then pour in and let them sit and run the tub, soak away your cares and change into your "softests."
So, there you have it, in less than an hour you have brought roses into your world. You have treated yourself to a walk in the garden or to an organic farm with roses and generous owners, the feel of rose petals in your hands, heady scents wafting in and around your corridors, the sense of accomplishment at doing something divine for yourself and ahhhh... the magic of the lemon added to the potion to bring back a youthful, vibrant pink to your jelly.
(Princess Joanna of the Kingdom of Joannasfood.blogspot.com ever so graciously instructs us how to step out into the garden, make rose jelly for a mini repas of scones and tea after a long soak in the tub. Go see for yourself.)
The photos of the tub and the Kohler "Tales of Briar Rose" sink are from the magazine Beautiful Baths by Michael Partenio. The painting is one of mine.
Do something special and magical for yourself today, even if it is just in a dream...