Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summer Roses & Limes

May was rather mild this year, but it would seem that we're jumping straight into summer: it's going to be 109 this weekend, which is unusual for this area (usually it caps at 104 or so--it usually only reaches the 108-110 range for one spell each year, if at all). The lows are still in the 50's, though.

I find that I'm welcoming the summer. Walking outside today and feeling the combination of the heat with the breeze--it feels familiar and comforting.

Lately I've been thinking about how I want to make more use of my gardening and I want to make more things out of what I do grow. So I've been making plans and trying things out. I'll try making oregano oil later this week, I want to keep some lavender and rose hips for floral/herbal teas, and I need to put the zucchini blossoms in omelets. Today I tried two things: rose water and a margarita. The roses were from the yard but not the limes.

And it's very intriguing to me how easy these two things were to make--yet I had never made them before, or even known how to make them. There are different methods, of course, but here is basically what I did.

For the rose water, I used two methods to see which I like better. I placed fresh rose petals in a pot and covered them with water and put a lid on the pot, then let it all simmer on the stove until the petals lost their color. Strain the petals out and you're done. For the other method, I used petals that had somewhat dried on the plants. I heated water (not quite to boiling) and mixed in an equal amount of petals to the water; once that cools, you strain out the petals. These are supposed to keep for about a week but a bit longer if you add a teaspoon of vodka, so I did that--I hope it does make it last longer because a week isn't very long.

The resulting water (I used red roses) is deep in color, like a rich and dark purple. It's also deep in fragrance, like berries. Fascinating. I'll have to try out using it in different ways.

For the margarita, I added to a cocktail shaker some ice (less than halfway filled), an ounce of tequila, about the same amount of fresh lime juice, and half of the (already squeezed) lime. Shake that up, take out the lime, pour it in a glass, add some salt, and that's it. Fresh and simple and quick. A summer drink.

And maybe tomorrow I'll make some watermelon water . . .

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