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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rose Water

Last summer with all the rainy weather I felt like I missed out on a lot of the perks of living in Alaska. Mostly the berry harvest. This year the warm sunny weather is bringing the wildflowers out not only much earlier in the season than previous years, but in bountiful numbers as well.

(I didn't pick these ones, they are lining the edge of the trail at Creamer's Field)

Of course I am hoping that all these flowers will bring on a bountiful berry harvest as well. To make up for last year I decided that I am not going to let anything go to waste, so when I saw all of these wild roses in bloom I broke out my book from the University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service called Collecting and Using Alaska's Wild Berries and other Wild Products. This book has been my go to for most of the berries I have been finding, it is always a good starting place. The Cooperative Extension also has an extensive collection of free handouts at the Farmer's Market as well. It also appears that they have a pretty useful website that I am ashamed to say that I have not looked at until today. Since it looks like the starting point for any good rose petal recipe is rose water, I decided to start there...

Rose Water

1 cup of rose petals rinsed (if necessary) and dried 
1 tbsp honey
1 cup of waterBoil rose petals, honey, and water for 10 minutes, or until rose petals lose their color. Let steep up to 48 hours. Strain and keep in a covered container for up to two weeks.

I also decided to dry some rose petals in my dehydrator as well. I highly recommend doing this even if you are not going to eat the rose petals. The whole house smelled wonderful the next morning as I left the dehydrator running overnight.
I recommend putting a screen over the exhaust for your dehydrator. The petals are so small that they fall through the grates and eventually get blown out the bottom. I woke to dried rose petals scattered all over my kitchen, the majority of which blew all over the dog and his bed. Luckily, I was able to salvage a few that stayed in the machine.


  1. It's all so pretty! Do you know if the roses are native or not? Just curious. There are oodles of non-native ones along our road and it never occurred to me to DO something with them.

  2. As far as I know this is Alaska's native Rosa acicularis or prickly rose. I know the same species grows in Michigan as well. As far as I know you can use any sort of rose petal, even ones from your garden or store bought ones for that matter. The only concern is what they might have been sprayed with or road dust. I also have a recipe for rose petal wine from a book called Alaska's Backyard Wines. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the rose water...

  3. Thrilled you like our publications, but it looks like your link went awry. Here is the current link to Cooperative Extension's "Berry Book"


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