Planning a ritual, I was thinking about what sort of drink to offer to specific gods, and listening inwardly to see if my plans were acceptable. Freya said she wanted rose.

I had gotten into the habit of smelling the pink rose in the front yard for Freya. It's an antique breed with a wonderful scent. I clarified: Did she want more of that? Yes, that rose. To cut the flowers and bring them inside? No. To eat.

By eat she meant consume as food, so either actual eating, as in gulab jamun, or drinking, as in a beverage with which to toast, would work fine.

I found a recipe online for rose water and made some. The pink rose petals turned blue after their essence was boiled out of them. The rose water turned out fine, but I realized that picking all the roses to make rose water with would make it so that I would not be able to smell the rose for her every day, and the living rose growing on the rose bush was better than the rose water. So I looked for another alternative.

On one of my trips with Tom to visit his old city of San Diego, we discovered that the country market in Baker that has all the unusual sodas carries rose lemonade. I toasted Freya with it, and she liked it, so whenever we pass through Baker I always buy some for Freya. I tried to get local grocery stores here in Nevada to carry it, and they eventually got in some blossom water that has a rose lemon flavor, but it isn’t the same. 

I continued to experiment in the kitchen with the roses from Freya’s rose bush, hoping to be able to create a rose drink from just a few roses rather than having to pick the whole bush as one does for making rose water. I wanted to try making rhodomel, that is, rose mead. Recipes I found for it required more roses than one bush would provide, though. So I decided to try infusing rose petals in already-brewed mead. I just washed the petals and put them in a small bottle and poured mead into it and let it sit until the mead turned dark. The extract rhodomel turned out excellently. Freya liked it.  I plan to make more next rose season. 

Image: wild roses in pine by Kim Newburg via publicdomainpictures net