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Recipe: Rose Petal Jelly

Makes 5 half-pint jars

Wild Nootka roses inspired this specialty, but if you do not have access to wild roses, use any unsprayed, fragrant garden rose, or look for food-grade dried rose petals in the bulk herb and tea section of your favorite food store. Whole cloves provide a spicy back note, but use them sparingly or they will overwhelm the rose scent.

3 cups water

1 cup fresh, fragrant rose petals or 1/3 cup food-grade dried rose petals

2 or 3 whole cloves, optional

Juice of 1 lemon

1 (1 ounce) box powdered pectin

4 cups sugar

1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan and stir in the roses, and the cloves if using. Remove from the heat, and let the mixture steep for 10 minutes, as if you were making rose-petal tea.

2. Strain the "tea" into a deep preserving kettle, discarding the solids. Stir in the lemon juice and pectin and continue stirring until the pectin is dissolved.

3. Over the highest possible heat, bring the mixture to a boil and add the sugar. When the solution returns to a hard rolling boil, time it for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. After 2 full minutes, transfer the jelly to hot, sterilized glasses and seal according to manufacturer's suggestions.

Greg Atkinson, 2006.