Tag Archives: Butter

Wild rose

Rose petal butter – 3 methods

Recently, I was interviewed for a Time Out article about city foraging. As the journalist and I discussed the merits and perils of city foraging, I mentioned how underused roses are. Very soon Amsterdam should be dripping with fragrant blooming roses. Most petals simply tumble to the ground and at times make a soggy rotting mess on pavements. I urge you to find roses in healthy locations, ask the owners if they would mind you harvesting very sparingly and get ready for lots of rose tinted recipes!

Many Roses will bloom by mid May and the season will hopefully last right throughout the summer months. Our rooftop Rambling Rector is not in good shape, following the late cold weather, so I’m on the hunt for local neglected roses.

Rose petal butter
Here are 3 methods, all make a fragrant, eye catching and somewhat romantic butter. The first method are very simple, the third method is traditional but well worth the extra effort.

Please note:
Roses from a florist are not to be eaten as they will surely have been sprayed with chemicals. Likewise, roses from sprayed gardens must be avoided, as should those from unknown, unclean or suspect sources or those with no scent. If you gather petals in the morning, just after the dew has evaporated, you will have petals of a higher oil content and these will make the best butter.

Method 1. Simply chop, or tear, upto a cup full of fragrant rose petals and mix throughout a block of softened butter. It can be mixed until the butter becomes creamy. Shape the butter – petal mix as you wish before refrigerating for about 2 hours prior to use. and leave in refridgerator for two hours, prior to use.

Method 2. Allow a block of butter to soften so that you can shape it as desired. Cover it with lots of petals and place it in a glass container. It should ideally be completely drowned in petals, beneath it, all around it – really packed in petals. Leave the container for a good 24 hours, to allow the fragrance to penetrate the butter. To use, remove the butter from most or all of the petals, use petals as mentioned in 3 below and refrigerate your butter if you wish.

Method 3. Over the bottom of a glass jar, spread a layer of softened butter then cover it with a layer of washed and blotted-dry whole rose petals. Place a cut to size sheet of baking parchment over the petal layer and cover that with another layer of butter and a subsequent layer of rose petals. Make several layers in this way before sealing. Store for several days, at room temperature or in a refrigerator. Finally, separate the paper, petals and butter. Reuse or recycle the paper, shape the butter as desired, set the petals aside to use a garnish or sandwich filling. Butter and petal quantities, required for this method, depend upon how much you would like to make or have access to.

Rose butter is versatile, you may like to try it on sandwiches, hot breads, crumpets or cakes.

I posted a Rose cupcakes recipe last year, more rose recipes to follow over the coming months.

(There are no photos for this posting as I didn’t take a photo, the last time I made rose butter. When the rose season arrives, I’ll add a few.)


43 Uses for Calendula (NL:Goudsbloem)

Calming, cooling, cleansing. Calendula officinalis (Pot Marigold, NL: Goudsbloem) is one of the easiest herbs to grow and perhaps one of the most useful to Urban Herbologists. It is a hardy annual which does very well in containers, can flower throughout the year and self seeds readily. It is beautiful, tastes good and has gentle astringent, anti-inflammatory, cooling, detoxifying and antiseptic actions. If you only have space to grow one herb, this has to be one to consider. Many of the remedies mentioned here are very easy to make, if you prefer to buy them from a reliable source, I recommend Weleda products (some links are included in the list). N.B. Calendula is not to be confused with French marigold (Tagetes patula). Calendula is very gentle but when trying a new herb it is always wise to use very small quantities at first or to do a skin patch test.

43 uses for Calendula

Medicinal uses
1. Sprains
– make a compress from infused flowers.
2. Gum infections –
Mouthwash from tea or a few drops of tincture in water.
3. Sore throat pastilles – Powdered dried flowers, blended with honey.
4. Mastitis & sore nipples – Calendula Cream can help strengthen nipples and prevent mastitis in nursing mothers.
5. Cold sores – Calendula salve is helpful to many cold sore sufferers.
6. Acne – Lotion made from Calendula tea can help speed healing and reduce scarring.
7. Nappy rash – Infused oil, lotion or Calendula Cream can prevent and speed healing.
8. Athletes foot – Calendula cream or infused oil, anti fungal.
9. Ring worm – Calendula cream or infused oil, anti fungal.
10. Period pain – Many women find regular use of Calendula tea helpful as a menstrual regulator.
11. Digestive inflammation – Calendula tea can often gently reduce inflammation.
12. Scar reduction – Often Calendula Oil, cream or salve can help to reduce existing scars and prevent scars.
13. Lowering mild fever – Drinking Calendula tea at first signs may help.
14. Skin softening – Massage using Calendula infused oil.
15. Eczema – Calendula infused oil or cream often calms red, hot eczema conditions.
16. Dry chapped skin – Calendula salve or infused oil.
17. Varicose veins – Calendula salve or cream.
18. Chillblains – Calendula salve or cream.
19. Post operative recovery – Calendula tea. Gentle, cooling, nourishing, speeds healing, reduction of scarring.

Culinary uses
20. Herbal ice cubes/wands – Freeze petals in ice cubes for summer drinks.
21. Salad flowers – Pretty and tasty, sprinkle on top.
22. Soups Add dried or fresh flowers or petals to soups. An ancient broth without Calendula was incomplete, hence the name Pot Marigold.
23. Saffron colour substitute – The taste is different but the colour is very similar.
24. Risotto – Adding whole petals livens up the appearance of risotto.
25. Soft cheese –
Blend in whole or chopped fresh petals. Previously used to colour cheese yellow.
26. Yoghurt –
Mix in fresh petals or spinkle on top.
27. Butter –
Mix in finely chopped fresh petals. Can be frozen.
28. Omelettes –
Add fresh petals for colour and taste.
29. Cakes –
Use calendula butter or add fresh petals to cake mix.
30. Milk dishes –
Add to rice pudding, custards and similar dishes.
31. Sweet breads –
A little like saffron.
32. Vegetable bouillon – Add to mixes of dried herbs and vegetables.
33. Source of Vitamin A

Other uses
34. Fabric/Wool dye –
Boil flowers, yellow dye. Suitable mordant is alum.
35. Pot pourri – Whole dried flowers retain colour and mild scent.
36. Alter decorations – Used since ancient times to adorn spiritually significant objects and buildings.
37. Skin toner – Cooled tea.
38. Eye make-up remover – Infused oil.
39. Face cleanser – Infused oil or cream.
40. Lip balm – Soothing and calming, beeswax and infused oil.
41. Hair rinse – Tea, to brighten blond hair.
42. Companion planting – Useful for deterring pests in organic gardens.
43. Year round colour – The Romans noted this plant tends to be in bloom on first day of each month (calends), hence the latin name.