Rose beads.


Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 23:14:44 -0400
To: The Culinary Herbs & Spices List <HERBS.HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: Mary Curtis <mary12.ONE.NET>

Date: Tue, 7 May 1996 09:53:21 -0400
From: Kacey Levesque <Kcl58.AOL.COM>
To: Multiple recipients of list GARDENS <GARDENS.LSV.UKY.EDU>


First thing to do is collect the rose petals in a brown paper bag so they don't get crushed. Optimum time is in the morning just after the dew has dried. I guess early evening wouldn't hurt either but I don't know about that. You can use petals that have dropped on the ground, i.e. after a rose has 'exploded' as my kids say, but don't use any brown edges of the petals. I just snip these off with scissors.

Second, The way I used to do this was with mortar and pestle but now I use a mini chopper. Take the rose petals, you can mix colors as they are all going to turn to a dark shade of ebony anyway and you can mix scents too if they are compatible, and put them in the chopper dish and chop until very fine. Take out that bunch and put in a glass jar and continue chopping the rest of the petals a dish full at a time. Put them all in a glass jar and cover loosely.

Third, the next day you can chop more fresh or slightly fresh petals then add them to what is in the jar and process the whole bunch again. Continue doing this for the next few days until you get at least a cup of rose petal paste. Then start the process over with a new jar. This takes a lot of paste.

Fourth, once you've got the paste to the consistancy of playdough take a small amount and roll it in your hands to make a ball the size of a green pea. For this step you will also need a large sheet of cardboard, I cut up sides of cartons from grocery store, and some rustproof straight pins. Once you have made the 'pea' stick a straight pin through it and stick this into the cardboard but don't let the bead touch the cardboard.

Fifth, put them in an out of the way place as they have to dry until hard. This time varies depending on the amount of humidity in the air but we have AC in the summer so it is usually no longer than 3 or 4 days for me.

Sixth, once they have dried polish them with a soft lintfree cloth, actually I have found that baby diapers work well, until they have a lustrous shine. They will be dark, depending on the color of the petals some are very black and some are a little shade of black but I have always mixed my Duets, (very pink) Don Juans, (very red), and some smelly yellow ones that I don't remember the name of.

Lastly, I use beading thread and a small eyed needle and string them in long enough strands to go over a head, as I make them for different people, knot the thread well, put a small dab of hot glue on the knot and you are off and running. Every once in a while I polish them up with another rub with a cloth, perhaps once or twice a year, and when you wear these in the summer months the fragrance of roses is pretty strong, not like being doused with perfume but you can tell they are there.

My girlfriend's grandmother got some made by her mother when she was a girl of 7 or 8, she is now 92, and you can still smell the fragrance of the roses.

A wonderful side benefit is that as you are making the paste your kitchen will smell like roses for most of the day until you cook something with a strong odor.

Good luck

BTW: If you are driving through your neighborhood at the crack of dawn collecting fallen rose petals from your neighbor's gardens, you are on litter patrol.

From: Chris Reeve <CReeve.BANYAN.COM>

I made rose beads last year, but I cooked them in a cast iron pot to get them to turn black. Kacey didn't mention anything about cooking them, how did she get them to turn color?

Chris (a cup of rose beads at home, still unstrung - one of my many unfinished projects!) :-)

From: "Mary Jane Horton, DC" <ipsco.POSTOFFICE.PTD.NET>

Not to beat a dead horse, but I've been sporadically reading the posts regarding rose beads and finally decided to try it; when I opened my latest issue of "Birds & Blooms" and ta da... there was an article on rose beads. Very similar direction, they spread the paste in a cast iron skillet (the cast iron helps to darken it) for 4-9 days to dry. The article says moisture content is the key. I liked the suggestion of rubbing rose oil on your hands before you roll them, and roll them about twice as big as you want them since they shrink to half the size as they dry. They can be "revived" by rubbing them with rose oil.

Sounds fun, can't wait to gather those blossoms.

From: arien kismet del'tai <arien.BLEGGA.OMNIGROUP.COM>

After squishing up a couple of rose heads with my little mortar and pestle and sticking them in a jar to sit 'til I get that cupful, my question becomes: how do you keep the goo from growing mold? Mine developed gossamer white fuzz and I had to toss it out. (I live in Seattle, which is currently fairly humid.) Any advice would be really helpful, because I don't think putting it under a layer of olive oil would do the trick... ; )

From: Esther Czekalski <E.Czekalski.M.BULL.COM>

> how do you keep the goo from growing mold?


From: Maria del Giudice <spider.RT66.COM>

I just had a strange thought reading all this about rose beads and basil - I wonder if the recipe would work with basil or other soft-leaf spices?!

From: Jan Gordon <jrg14.CORNELL.EDU>

Hmmm, interesting, I really love basil a lot, but I don't know if I want to wear that delicious aroma around my neck.