A rose by any other name

My mother, many years ago, planted a lovely rose bush that you would only know is a rose bush because of the way it smells. Most roses you buy from florists smell like.. well..not roses. They look lovely, sure.. but smell like ass.. you know it.. I know it… but no one will admit it.

When I moved to Albany, one of the first things I did was put in a rose bush in the front yard.

The rash of storms we've had lately have really smashed this down

It promptly took over.

Seriously, it grows like mad. Two years ago I cut this sucker down to 6 inch stumps. No Lie. My neighbor was so upset she came running out of her front down screaming “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” I told her to not worry… it would be back.. and it was. I think it liked it.

The roses from this bush are so simple and lovely

Complicata rose

They are also incredibly fragrant.. I usually let them go until they are just about done blooming.. and then I harvest the petals. If I feel ambitious, I harvest the hips in a few months too.. but to tell the truth? My dog eats them right off the bush..

One very fragrant jar of rose petals

Why would I want a jar of petals? for Jelly of course.

I know .. I know.. it sounds really really weird.. and I admit, it’s an acquired taste.. but on some scones? Man you are gonna feel like the Queen… so stupidly elegant that it’s ridiculous.

I first stumbled upon the idea of Rose Petal Jelly in my Herbal Treasures a few ok 20 years ago

I have done other things with the petals.. I’ve made beads… and that was cool.. and messy. But now I just make jelly in tiny jars and give it away.. and watch people’s expressions go from “What the fuck am I eating?” to “woah.. this is kinda wild” to “Ick I hate it” OR “OMG Divine!”

I can’t begin to describe the taste.. it’s .. well.. Rosey.

If you want to try some, you could make your own. It’s simple enough if you are into canning.. but you need organically grown roses which means you need to grow them yourself… and they need to be roses that don’t smell like ass.

But, if you don’t want to make your own, I’m planning on bringing a few jars to the next From Scratch Club Food Swap

Rose Petal Jelly on Punk Domestics
5 from 1 reviews
Rose Petal Jelly
Serves: 5 pints
And unusual and floral jelly that is actually quite tasty on scones or crumpets.. or with a spoon.
  • 1 quart jar of fresh, fragrant rose petals
  • 4 cups water, just off the boil
  • 1 package dry pectin (like Sure-Jell)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups sugar
  1. Prepare your boiling water canner and 10½ pint jars or 5 pint jars
  2. Rinse the rose petals in cool water very gently and put into a quart mason jar
  3. Pour the water over the rose petals just to the top of the jar and cover with a plate or something to keep the heat in but still allow steam to escape.
  4. Let steep for 20 minutes
  5. Strain.
  6. Measure out three cups of infusion and put into a saucepan on the stove. (Just add water if you are shy of three cups)
  7. Stir in pectin and lemon juice.
  8. Bring to a boil over high heat
  9. Add the sugar and bring back to a boil. The sugar may clump up when it hits the pectin. Just get out your whisk and gently bring it all together. Don't whisk to hard or you will create a lot of foam.
  10. Boil hard for one minute.
  11. Turn down the heat to low and skim foam (I hate this step)
  12. Pour into jars and allow ¼ inch headspace.
  13. Process for 10 minutes in the boiling water canner.

About Pirate Jeni

As a child, Jeni fell in love with the Little House on the Prairie books, mostly because of all the wonderful things that were made at home from the simplest ingredients. Most weekends, Jeni can be found in her kitchen creating the basics for future meals. Culturing cheese and yogurt, breaking down larger cuts of meat into usable portions or for future grinding, fermenting cabbage, preserving fruits and veggies or dehydrating snacks of any variety keep her busy pretty much all weekend. When not involved in culinary pursuits, she enjoys knitting, crocheting, spinning and sewing as hobbies.


  1. I’ve heard of rose petal jelly, but I’ve never tried it. Maybe I will

  2. Have one heavily scented old rose, look forward to making this in the spring! Thanks!

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