Monday, 25 July 2016

Time for Roses and a Cuppa

Time to prune the Roses. As usual I left it right to the last minute!  Every year I do that, Despite that I still get a magnificent display.

So, I setting off out into the garden to do my overdue pruning before the predicted storm arrives, I do need to get the pruning done as the buds are starting to burst forth.

I have made a fig and fruit loaf to have with my tea, as I will need something to look forward to as the afternoon is cold and windy.

I love Roses, always have, although I am not so keen on their thorns!  But that is like life isn't it.  Beauty often has a downside.  But then, that is not true all the time, God's Word has a beauty that is pure all the way through. I suppose he gave Roses thorns to remind us to have a care about accepting beauty at face value.

One of the things I like to do with Roses is to make Pot Pourri with the petals.  Nowadays I have to put the mixture into covered containers or into a sachet.  My big boy Ambrose (Cat) is addicted to pot pourri.  I use 
to wonder why every mourning the mixture was spread over the table.  I discovered the reason one day when I came into the lounge and he was sitting on the table beside the bowl looking dazed with rose petals scattered all around him. Then he put his head into the bowl and sneezed and more was scattered over the table.  He’s a pot pourri junkie! 
There is a recipe for my favourite mix below.  There is a upside to Ambrose's addiction I now make pretty sachets to put my mix in!

Well I have pruned the Roses out the back, time for a cuppa well actually a mug as I have built a great thirst.  The mug is my favourite as my

sister gave it to me when she moved to Perth in Western Australia.  I miss her so much, that whenever I drink from it I think that she is here with me having a heart talk.  Not forgetting a slice of loaf. Yum!  I love figs, my Grandmother at Xmas always had dried figs and walnuts as part of her Xmas table, and now whenever I eat dried figs I think of the lovely Xmases we had together.  Think I will have another slice, do you want some?  The recipe is below, do try, it it is really delicious and different.  The tea is Gunpowder tea, a mix that is similar to Irish Breakfast.  You need a strong cuppa when working in the garden on a cold winter's day!

Sigh! Time to get back to the pruning, the front this time about seven more Roses to do.  But then I have got the prize of planting a new Rose 'Peace', the Rose that lead me to become an avid Rose Grower.  When I living in England my garden there had a row of them and an elderly friend gave me a copy of “For the Love of Rose” by Antonia Ridge.  It tells the history of the creation of the Peace rose.  A beautiful story and treasured book.

Now Sharon stop using delaying tactics back to the Roses!

Recipe for Fig and Fruit Loaf
1 cup sultana or raisins or mixed,  ½  cup dried cranberries, ½ cup chopped dried figs, ½ chopped walnuts, ½ cup sugar, 1tablespoon golden syrup or light treacle, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup boiling water, 2 cups of plain flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder or use s/r flour.

Put fruit into bowl, with sugar, butter, syrup, and salt in bowl.  Sprinkle Baking soda over and add water.  When the butter has melted sift in flour and baking powder,  Mix quickly and pour into 22cm loaf tin (9inch).
Bake at 180 degrees C for 40 minutes or till loaf springs back when lightly touched.  Leave in tin for 10 minutes and turn out.  Actually tastes better the nest day when you can cut very thin slices and have it with butter.  But I am greedy and like it thick and fresh. Enjoy!

Recipe for English Rose Pot Pourri

4 cups dried rose petals, 2 cups dried lavender flowers, 1 cup dried rose geranium leaves (any scented geranium leaves is good) 1 cinnamon stick broken up, 1 tablespoon allspice berries coarsely crushed, 1 tablespoon cloves bruised, 25 gm (1oz) orris root powder, 3 drops of rose oil essence, 1 drop of rosemary oil, 1 drop of geranium oil, ½ cup tiny dried rosebuds (opt).

Put everything into large bowl except rosebuds and mix together.  Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 – 2 weeks stir every day.  Put into preferred containers and add rosebuds if using open container, as they are more for show.