I shrugged off the travel time at first when I began interviewing for jobs in New York City. It’s a non-issue in a way because finding work that relates to what I do, feels meaningful, and still allows me to keep my weekends free to be with the girls is not an easy reality where I live. Commuting to the city became a necessity, and something I chose to block from my mind.
Ultimately, I feel thankful to have this choice, but it does come with some growing pains. Six hours a day round trip, three days a week is a lot. I walk in the door fatigued, ready to start round two, knowing how important it is to give the girls my time and attention, when all I really want is to curl up on the sofa and zombie out in front of the television.
Watching movies downloaded to Netlfix is one way to pass the time on my hour and 45 minute train ride, each way. While making a frittata to leave the girls for breakfast one morning, a few thoughts all floated into my mind, all with a related theme. For some years the idea of we before me has been food for thought. How did we evolve from prehistoric humans that understood the value of safety in numbers to the me-first faction so clearly dominating our human landscape?
I’ve been watching the Cave of Forgotten Dreams during my commute, about the world’s oldest surviving paintings, dating back 30,000 years, discovered at Chauvet Cave in France back in 1994. What was life like back then for prehistoric man? Was the distribution of power more even? Was putting we before me part of our natural instincts? If so, is losing it a consequence of tens of thousands of years of evolution?
Stepping back, looking at the bigger picture, it’s tempting to say we’ve always been fighting for our survival, it’s just now mankind’s soul is at stake. What does it mean to be human now compared to back then? I watch the news unfold daily, and find myself constantly confounded by this question, wondering if we’re devolving instead of evolving.
Of course, none of this has anything to do with this recipe for Homemade Rose Syrup. Just the thoughts swirling in my mind, and shedding them here leaves me room to take in more to contemplate.
While coming home, and donning an apron to tackle kitchen projects might not seem the most sensible decision, there’s a certain satisfaction to cooking now that I didn’t have when my professional life revolved solely around it.
A couple of months ago, I tried a new natural repellent to spray around the garden in hopes of deterring the deer from eating my roses, berries and vegetables. I’m fearful putting this in print, lest I jinx it, but the spray works wonderfully! Now I can enjoy watching my David Austin Roses grow, and just as they’re magnificent blooms begins to fade, ready to surrender their petals from the stem, I can collect the petals to make my own Homemade Rose Syrup.
Truthfully, I was never a huge fan of floral scented syrups and waters, especially rose, ironically. I always found them to be too strong, and reminiscent of cheap perfume. Still, I wanted to give making it myself a try, and used Giulia’s recipe as a starting point. I scaled back her ratios down to match the amount of rose petals I had available, and increased the sugar ever so slightly.
Before you scream, yes, the recipe is in grams. I don’t really feel like I should apologize for this as many of you know by now that I much prefer the metric system when baking and cooking. It’s easier and more reliable. So, before you ask how many cups 58 grams of rose petals equal, the best answer I can share is two to three handfuls based on my recollection when I was collecting them.
I’ve so far used the syrup in a Strawberry, Honey & Rose Jam. Yes, it’s as lovely as you’re imagining. It also makes a wonderful homemade soda, and I intend to make some Raspberry Rose Jam with it, too.
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Eight Years Ago: Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes, Grilled Pizza, Roasted Chicken Salad
Seven Years Ago: Simple Marinara Sauce, Why I Cook
Six Years Ago: Roasted Rhubarb Jam, Parallel Lives, Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Five Years Ago: Roasted Strawberry Basil Sauce, How to Cook Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs
Four Years Ago: Simple Strawberry Pie, Strawberry Blood Orange Jam
Three Years Ago: Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie
Two Years Ago: How to Poach Salmon, Stuffed Cheeseburgers, Italian Cadillac, Fried Chicken Bites
One Year Ago: Strawberry Ginger Crumb Muffins, Cherry Strawberry Pie, Raspberry Violet Jam, Creamy French Dressing
Homemade Rose Syrup
- To make the rose water:
- 58 grams rose petals
- 300 ml (1 ¼ cups) boiling water
- To make the rose syrup:
- 300 ml (1 ¼ cups strained rose water
- 200 grams sugar
- 12 drops (about ⅛ teaspoon) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Gently rinse the rose petals under cold water to remove any debris or unwanted insects from the garden. Add them to a glass jar.
- Pour the boiling water over the petals. Using a wooden spoon, smash the petals a bit to release their essence. Let the water cool to room temperature, then cover the jar, and store in the fridge for at least 24 hours, and up to 3 days.
- When ready to make the syrup, strain the petals from the water, making sure to press them down and draw out as much of the water as possible.
- Combine the collected rose water (you should have about 300 ml) with the sugar in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice. Let the syrup cool completely on the counter top. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 months.