Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Looking through rose colored water

I posted a little while back about taking leftover roses from church and handing them out to ladies in the community.  It was so wonderful!

But in my previous post, I left out one more wonderful aspect.  Once it started getting a little bit late, we ran out of flower delivery options but had some roses left over.  Since roses can never be put to waste, my friend and I divided up the roses and took some home.  I just love having flowers to look at :-)

The other day all my flowers were showing to be a little worse for the wear, so it was time to throw them out.  I decided to take the left over roses along with some that I already had in my room to make some rose water.

Rose water is really good for your skin and can also be used in cooking.  I wanted to make some rose water to use as a toner.  I really try to do a good job of using natural beauty products.  I just don't like the idea of putting a bunch of chemicals on my body so Lush, Whole Foods, and my own kitchen are where I tend to go for my beauty regime.

I searched the internet and found out how to make rose water.  I don't actually remember where I got the instructions I used, but I would like to get to the point of using this method.

Disclaimer: this was my first time making rose water.  I am not saying that I did it right.  This post is pretty much about sharing my journey - because I enjoyed it :-)

First you remove all the petals from the roses - but just the petals.  No stems or leaves allowed:

Rinse the petals:

So, when making rose water, you are supposed to be sure to use flowers that have not been sprayed with pesticides.  Quite honestly, I did not know if mine had been or not.  Some of them came from Trader Joe's and some of them came from those leftover from church.  So I got a bit experimental.  I know that you can use vinegar to wash chemicals off fruits and vegetables, so I tried it with my petals.  I let them soak in the vinegar for a minute or so, working my hands through to try to make sure every petal got clean.  Then I rinsed them really good.  They did not smell like vinegar, so I moved on.  Like I said before, this was an experimental process.  Next time I will get flowers from a farmer's market or Whole Foods.

Next was the boiling process.  I used two cups of water for each one cup of rose petals.  You are supposed to use distilled water.  Trader Joe's did not have water labeled "distilled", so this is another area where I might have gone wrong (time will tell).  I figured since I was not planning on using my rose water for cooking that it would not make too big of a difference.

Once the water boiled, I poured it over the rose petals that where now in a ceramic bowl:

You leave the rose petals soaking until the water has cooled.  The water starts taking on the color of the roses and the rose petals begin to pale:

Then you take out the petals, squeezing them of all their liquid.  My rose water sort of looks like wine.  It smells wonderful :-)

The squeezed out rose petals:

Unfortunately, I did not think too much about where to put all the rose water, so I resorted to using my Nalgene and another plastic container:

But after a trip to the container store, my rose water is now more properly contained ...

... and being used twice a day :-)  Today, Katie told me that my hands were soft - I blame it on the rosewater :-)

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