Tuesday, June 10, 2014
I have a beautiful rosebush that is going gangbusters right now. (OK, how often do you get to use the term 'gangbusters'?!) I have memories of making rosewater when I was an industrious adolescent. We had some wild rosebushes growing nearby and I followed the directions in The American Girls Handy Book. The book was originally published in 1887 and is full of all manner of fun old-school DIY projects. Weaving a net for lawn tennis, anyone? The recipe for rose water involved cooking the petals in water, letting them steep, straining them and letting it sit uncapped for a few days. It worked great. Fast forward a few years (imagine the 'few' in air quotes, OK?) and I wanted to make it with the kids. My daughter was game because she likes things that smell beautiful. The 8 year old boy, not so much. My youngest is 4 and he was very excited about this project because he wanted to make perfume for his Auntie Rachel. I decided to go all high-tech and do the 'modern' version which supposedly makes a superior product, bla, bla, bla. I'm telling you, people, it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel! It they say it works in 1887, it still works today, and probably better. I used some fancy method where you basically catch the steam from the simmering petals. It involves lots of ice, lots of supervision, and results in a bowl of water that smells like....water. Twas a bust. Next time I will stick to ye olden methods and see how it turns out.