Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Sugared Rose Petals
1 cup miniature rose petals, various colors
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
Wash organically grown miniature rose petals in clear water and dry on wire racks or paper towels. Trim away tough, bitter ends.
Combine sugar and water in saucepan and boil until mixture reaches 234 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Pour the simple syrup into a bowl that you've set on a bed of cracked ice.
As syrup begins to harden, hold petals with tongs or chopsticks and coat evenly with syrup. Dry sugared petals on waxed paper.
Dust with sifted confectioners or castor (fine grained) sugar. The sugar can be colored with food coloring to match the hue of the petals.
Serve sugared rose petals over ice cream, creme brulee, as decorations on cakes, or as garnish for dessert plates.
Roses For Dummies
Roses for Dummies (Wiley Publishing, 2000; $21.99) is written by my friend Lance Walheim so of course I would recommend it! Lance and I worked together at Sunset back in the good old days. I find that his book is an excellent reference for the advanced rosarian as well as the novice. His recommendations for which rose to plant and, more importantly, which not to plant, are invaluable.
There is a section of color photos of the different types of roses: hybrid teas, shrub roses, climbers, floribundas, grandifloras, and miniatures. There also is a section on what makes roses fragrant, which is very interesting reading. There is a large section on the cultivation of roses in containers, as well as the basics, such as pruning, fertilizing and watering.
Over all, Roses for Dummies is a great source of information to keep on hand if you love roses!