Although these are modern recipes, some are so basic that I'm sure they are virtually unchanged from time immemorial, especially for things like candied rose petals. Please remember: NEVER use any rose products from bushes which have been sprayed (yet another reason to grow old roses like Gallicas--they don't have to be sprayed and you can actually use them in recipes!)
Don't forget that you can always toss a few rose petals in salads for an interesting addition, along with the pretty blue flowers from borage. Daylily flowers are also very good in salads and add a crunchy texture a little like cucumber.
You will recall reading about Rose Vinegar, here is how to make it:
Take one bottle of white wine vinegar and 2 cups of fresh, fragrant (Gallica) rose petals. Lightly bruise the petals and add them to the vinegar in a large glass jar. Let sit for 2 weeks, then strain. If the flavor isn't very strong, add more petals and repeat. Strain and fill a clean container, and add small rosebuds. Use for salad dressing (1/4 c. vinegar + 3/4 c. oil) especially on seafood salads or cold meats. After a few weeks, even the rosebuds can be eaten, like capers.
Candied Rose Petals: Coat fresh, clean, dry petals with well-beaten egg-whites (a small brush works well for this), then use tweezers to dip in extra-fine granulated sugar. Place on wax paper to dry (does not work well in humid areas). You can keep these for a long time in the freezer, or in a sealed jar.
Rose Water: Fill a glass 2qt pan with fragrant petals ('Celsiana' or 'The Apothecary's Rose' are particularly good for this) and pour boiling water over them. Let steep for 15 minutes. Strain and then pour the still-warm water over a second batch of petals. Cool and then strain. Keep in the refrigerator.
Pound Cake: Take your favorite pound cake recipe (or even a white cake) and replace 4 tsp. of the liquid with rose water, and add 7 tsp. of rose petals. Serve with a few candied petals sprinkled on top. If you use a cake mix that doesn't require any other liquids besides eggs and oil, then simply add the 7 tsp. of rose petals. It won't have quite the same rosy flavor, but it will still have a slightly different taste. You may also replace the oil with an equal amount of applesauce "doctored" with rose water which is yummy with a white or yellow cake mix and reduces the fat!
Rose Hip Tea: Clean rose hips by washing them and then cutting them in 1/2 and scraping out the "hairy" seeds. Bring water to a boil and pour over rose hips. Let steep for 15 minutes (generally, you can use 1 c. water with 2 TBSP hips). Strain and add honey to taste. It is also excellent if you steep part of a cinnamon stick in it and a touch of lemon juice.
Rose Hip Sauce: (Can be used in place of raisins or other cooked fruits in recipes or to fill dessert tarts) 4 c. water 3 c. fresh, cleaned rose hips (see above to clean) 1/2 c. sugar or 1/4c. Honey Boil water, add hips, simmer until hips are very soft (2 hours or more). Strain and mash the hips through the sieve to get as much pulp as possible. Sweeten to taste. Let cool and store (up to 4 weeks) in the refrigerator.
Rose Hip Jelly: Make this after you make the Rose Hip Sauce, from above. 3 c. rose hip juice made by boiling 2 c. of rose pulp left over from making sauce, with 3 1/2c. water. Boil for 20 minutes then strain through double-folded cheesecloth. This should make about 3c. of juice.
Combine the 3c. juice with 2Tbsp lemon juice and 1 package of Sure Jell or fruit pectin. Mix and bring to a boil, stirring until it reaches a steady rolling boil. Add 3 C. sugar and boil for 1 minutes. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Pour into sterile jars and seal. Refrigerate after opening the jars.
Marmalade: Clean your rose hips, cut in 1/2 and remove the hairy seeds inside. Soak one pound of washed rose hips in water for a couple of hours to soften the skins. After soaking, bring to a boil in the same water and cook for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid into a smaller pot and for each cup of juice, add one cup of granulated sugar. Stir well.
Boil the sweetened juice until it reaches a thick syrup consistency. Add the boiled rose hips. Boil syrup mixture until the hips are very tender. Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Refrigerate after opening.