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summer magic

Recipe: wild rose honey

I know you guys will understand when I tell you that food blogging has been ranking low on my priority list this month. It’s summer. My parents are in Colorado. My niece came out to visit my parents and us! We’re spotting loads of wildlife. The wildflowers are exploding everywhere in the high country. And there’s work, of course.

mom and dad cooked a seafood feast for us

my wonderful niece

we took her for a hike

and she got to see her first moose!

this bear trundled through our yard the evening she stayed with us

We are wrapping up a week of hiking and trail running and flower peeping in Crested Butte. The flowers may be a month late, but they are in fine form this year – filling hillsides and meadows with colorful splashes. If you can ignore the constant swarm of mosquitoes and flies, it’s exhilarating. Neva and Yuki have enjoyed their daily adventures of hikes, bike rides, and swim-fetch sessions.

back a year later to one of yuki’s first real hikes

enjoying the view or looking for squirrels?!

tuckered out (yay!)

I’ve been photographing the wildflowers in Crested Butte for the past decade, and I think this year might be one for the books. We had a feeling it would be good after that snow-filled winter and spring, but we didn’t know it would blow our dang minds.

standing in flowers as tall as me

painted hillslopes

larkspur and mule’s ears

a mix of showy fleabane, american vetch, and wild roses

Our wild roses are normally done by the end of June, but they are popping up everywhere at the moment. I love to pause and pluck a wild rose petal and inhale the lovely scent as I continue along the trail. Gather enough of these petals and you can make some incredible treats like wild rose petal ice cream or wild rose petal jam. Do you have to use wild roses? That’s my preference, but if you use domestic roses, please make sure they are not sprayed with chemicals. My latest wild rose project (which I made last year) is wild rose honey. It’s super easy and a nice addition to a summer pantry.

you will need a jar, honey, and wild rose petals

I don’t wash my rose petals because getting them wet turns the petals into a clumpy mess. My usual method is to pluck the petals from the rose and shake all of the dry petals in a large colander covered with another colander or a tight-fitting plate. I shake the petals about for several minutes over a white poster board to see what shakes out – mostly debris and some bugs. Clear the poster board every minute or so and stop shaking the petals when nothing more appears on the white surface.

warm the honey

gently fill the jar with petals

pour warm honey into the jar

Once you’ve filled the jar with rose petals and warm honey (warm honey will extract better flavor than cold honey), give the mixture a stir to coax the air bubbles to the surface. We want to minimize the volume of air pockets in the jar. Top the jar off with more honey and seal it for 3 days.

stir out the air bubbles

top off with more honey

seal and let infuse

it should be ready in 3 days

The original recipe says you can store the honey on the counter or in the refrigerator (especially if you live in a hot climate). I keep it on the counter for up to a week, but any longer than a week, I pop it into the refrigerator. My wild rose honey is mild to moderate in strength and I think that has to do with how strong the rose scent is in the petals. Still, I find it to be a delightful addition to tea, cakes, yogurt, and baklava. A jar of homemade wild rose honey also makes a sweet gift.

wild rose honey

drizzled over fruit and yogurt

add a delicate floral sweetness to anything

Wild Rose Honey
[print recipe]
from Learning Herbs

a clean jar with lid
enough clean* wild rose petals to fill the jar (not tightly packed)
enough honey to fill the jar

* I put the plucked wild rose petals in a colander, cover the colander tightly with another colander or a plate, hold the two pieces together and shake the petals vigorously for 5 minutes. It helps to remove any lingering bits of vegetation or bugs from the petals.

Place the rose petals in your jar without packing them tightly. Gently warm the honey in a small saucepan until it flows easily and remove it from the heat. Fill your jar with the warm honey. Stir the honey and rose petals together, releasing any air bubbles from the jar. Add more honey to top it off if there is space in the jar. Seal and let infuse for at least 3 days. Store on the counter or in the refrigerator.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

wild rose petal ice cream wild rose petal jam rose water lemonade pistachio rose shortbread cookies

13 nibbles at “summer magic”

  1. Bette says:

    Do you strain the petals out of the honey after the three days?

    The flowers are amazing and your photos beautiful. Looks like a fabulous summer all around!

  2. Jill Hyde says:

    Happy you are enjoying a family summer. The bear sighting is a real treat! And those wildflowers!!!! WOW. Keep cool.
    xoxo, jill

  3. Karen Whipple says:


  4. Mary Karen Euler says:

    Be still my heart…Those wildflower photos are stunning! I look forward to trying out this delicious-sounding honey on my morning ricotta, fruit & granola. Also, that window sill doggie chin rest is brilliant! Thanks for your heart-warming communiques, Jen!

  5. jenyu says:

    Bette – No, I leave the petals in. You can eat those, too! :)

    Jill – Hope you’re staying cool, too xoxo

    Karen – Thank you!

    MK – It’s a truly spectacular year for our wildflowers (as opposed to last year’s drought). Let’s hope the rain keeps coming :)

  6. Steph says:

    Amazing pictures and family as always :) Just curious, how often do you have bears nonchalantly stroll in front of your house?

  7. Lisa says:

    I’m glad you are having a great summer

  8. Marissa Drake says:

    I love all of this, every single picture. what a lovely place to live. What an amazing spread and the happiness and joy all around. Hope you are well. xo

  9. hungry dog says:

    Happy summer, Jen! Glad you are enjoying your beautiful surroundings and your family, too. Such a treat to have a sweet niece. Our two nieces are coming to visit next week and we can’t wait. Hugs!

  10. sarah Lewkowicz says:

    That is the most beautiful post of incredible beauty! sweet dogs and a surprise amazing honey recipe. Love it all

  11. jenyu says:

    Steph – Not often enough :) This is the first one we’ve seen go through our yard, although I’m guessing if we put a wildlife cam up, we’d see more!

    Lisa – Thank you!

    Marissa – Thanks xxoo!!

    hungry dog – I hope you all had a great visit together <3

    sarah - Thank you.

  12. AMY says:

    Jen, your photos never disappoint, nor do your recipes! I tried rose petal jam when I was a little girl when my parents took me to the retaurant, Omar Kahyamm’s in San Francisco, where the jam was served with flatbread and other Armenian delicacies. Your honey photos reminded me of that amazing jam, and I can’t wait to try this delicious recipe. The only thing I’m missing is Colorado roses – Cascade roses from northern California will have to suffice. Thanks for your ever-beautiful and inspiring posts. Here’s a link to a short tribute article to the owner of Omar Kahyamm’s, George Markidian: Cheers!

  13. jenyu says:

    Amy – Thanks for the link, Amy. And I think wild roses from anywhere should do just fine!

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