ROSE PETAL BEADS
Can never have enough roses!! when you think your blooms are about done...pick them!!! It is nice to pick them when they are still new, but for this project, you can use older blooms too..just be sure they are not near dead!!! when you are done with your rose petal jelly, rose water....and drying the petals for winter....make beads!!!!
Pick 4 c petals , pack a measuring cup well..I use a glass Pyrex one. You want to pack full, a cast iron frying pan, I use the 12" size, but any size you have, or want to use, is fine. This recipe is very forgiving, and is a "make what you have.." For the 12" you would need 8 c petals..but, if you only have enough for 4 c..then that is fine too. Cover the petals with distilled water, just to cover. Set on medium high heat, and bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour. Turn heat off..leave pan sit until the next day. do the same thing again, over medium heat, then to a simmer- only do not add any more water..simmer and stir 1 hour. You will do this boil, to a simmer , process for 3 days. Now..IF, on the second or third day, the petals seem a little too dry, add just enough distilled water to keep the petals from scorching. what you are going for is a black paste.....the petals are not the most pleasant smelling when cooking down, but it is not that bad either.....The petals will really shrink down- the cast iron helps them to turn color, so it does not matter if you use red only, or mixed colored, petals.
When you have the petal paste, you now begin to roll your beads....roll them the size of a medium pearl....and roll them tight! after each one is rolled, stick a long straight pin thru the center......and turn it around a few times, and "pin" that bead onto a pin cushion. and continue making your beads. They will dry rock hard...and shrink a bit..but do not make them too big, as they will never dry. Once you have them all pinned on a pin cushion( leave a little space between each one for drying), set it somewhere you will see it everyday....sunlight will not bother these. Every day, pick each bead up, and rotate the pin- you have to keep the hole open, it can shrink closed on you, or the pin can become "glued" to it!
It will take about a month for them to be completely dry, and hard. Pull the pins out, and now you can thread them! Use a silk thread, most hobby stores have the type that has a needle attached to the thread, use black, and maybe get some other beads to use in-between them....I get close to 45 beads, when I do the 4 cups of petals.....I double knot between each bead- the double knot allows for spacing, and even if you intersperse with different beads, still knot between them. After they are all strung, I use rose oil on each bead, just a drop..and then hang it to dry for a day.....and it is ready to wear, or give. They sort of smell "rosy" after they dry......When they are drying on the pins and you are turning them each day, do not panic if they get a little musty looking..it will go away, it is NOT must. What I do if they seem that way, once dried, and strung, I rub a little mineral oil on each one with my fingers, and hang them to dry...maybe 2 days, then add the scent.
This is a very organic project..and a fun one too....imagine telling your friends you are cooking down rose petals! My friend KNOW I am goofy!!!
Now, stories have always been told, that Rosaries, used by the Catholic church, were originally made from rose petals..but I do not know the truth on that...what I DID find out, about 2 years ago..there were some nuns in another State..cannot remember..and they were making rose petal bead rosaries...to sell...So that is interesting. I have been making them for 30 plus years and never knew another person to make them!
An easy butter....PARSLEY AND CHIVE BUTTER
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh chives
8 oz. softened butter
1 T lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste.
Mix all together well....til creamy- put in butter molds, or just put in a container and store in the fridge.....A new flavoe for dinner rolls!!!