The Rose Family
“The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But now the theory goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose
But were always a rose.”
~ Robert Frost
Perhaps we are all part of a global rose family as the rose is such a beautiful metaphor for so many emotions. Most of us can’t help but smile when we think of roses. I remember being given a wonderful bit of wisdom from a photographer when I first started out modeling, fresh out of high school, many moons ago, and that was right before the picture would be taken to pretend I was smelling a rose. Those words would be helpful to ease the stress one could feel while sitting under the hot lights as the camera people would get everything set up. I could sneak into my own mental rose garden and do that quite easily.
Today I find just about anything to do with roses to be comforting. I dedicated one of my Celestial Musing blogs to the rose here on Care2 entitled, The Essence of the Rose.
I don’t need an occasion to enjoy the scent of a rose or a cup of tea. These two simple gifts have been offered for all manner of occasions. The old adage “tea and sympathy” is found to be helpful to people most often when something may have gone awry in their life. But why not just enjoy them anytime? In that spirit, let’s put these two divine elements together!
We can always enjoy a little tea ceremony with or without an occasion and take it for what it is, just a little indulgence, once in a while. We all know that something decadent goes beautifully with a soothing cup of tea!
I admit I am usually very particular and careful about what I eat and what I buy at our local health food market. My husband and I grow our own herbs and buy locally grown, organic produce and nuts, grass fed/pasture raised meats, free range poultry and wild caught fish. We buy raw milk and raw dairy and stick pretty close to home for our meals, choosing to eat in, rather than eat out. We also love to re-create the recipes that we find in my cookbooks or online, to suit our “conscious omnivore” persuasion and you of course should feel free as birds to tweak the recipe I provide below and have it your way, as you wish. My recipe does include butter so try something that is acceptable for a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, if that is your path, like coconut oil or a nut butter and see how it works for you. The fun is not just in the playing with the recipe to suit your taste buds and philosophy, but also in the playing in the dough itself, as you shape and roll out these little delicacies!
My husband and I absolutely love our afternoon tea. He comes from London and it is just something we enjoy together and we, for the most part, like to have our afternoon tea in the comfort of our own home as we enjoy inviting both old and new friends over, who like seeing our home Celestial art gallery and what is new on our walls. Art and tea become a lovely combination especially if your guests bring a poem or a music selection or an instrument. Or he and I are happy for it to be just the two us with our kitties (even though they don’t get a morsel of this indulgence – chocolate anything is a no-no for both cats and dogs).
Here I want to share with you my favorite tea time delight, my Rose Chocolate Chip Quinoa Scones, so that the next time you want a little gluten-free treat with that afternoon cup of tea and/or you feel like celebrating the coming of spring or anything you wish, you can try this rose theme!
Rose Chocolate Chip Quinoa Scones
1 3/4 cups organic quinoa flour (you can sift it once but it is not necessary)
1/3 cup coconut sugar (plus a bit extra for sprinkling on top of the scones when formed)
2 teaspoons organic baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Crystal salt
5 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup miniature organic semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons rose water or more as needed for flavor or the dough’s consistency
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with nonstick organic coconut oil spray. You can put parchment paper down on the baking sheet for easy removal but be sure to spray it, too.
In a large bowl, whisk together the quinoa flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and salt. With a pastry blender or a large fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips. Mix in the rose water to form a dough.
Turn out the dough on a floured surface. A bread board works great. Pat or roll (with a floured rolling pin) into a 9 inch circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out 12 scones, by cutting the dough like a pie to form wedges, pushing the dough scraps together for the last few, if necessary. You can also use a biscuit cutter to achieve pretty shapes, perhaps even a rose. You may need to moisten the dough with more rose water or some plain water, but be sure it is purified, not tap. Sprinkle some extra coconut sugar over the top.
Transfer the scones to the baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Move to wire racks to cool.
If it all seems too daunting, here is a helpful video to demonstrate how to assemble and bake scones but the presenter is using a basic recipe, not this one, of course.
If you have company over (or not) you might wish to decorate your tea tray(s) with doilies and with rose buds if they are in season and use your prettiest tea pot (I have one with little rosebuds on it), and mix or match your cups and saucers as you wish! If you have some pretty tea things why not break them out and use them? If you want to make your tea time more of a complete meal you can include tea sandwiches, too!
Tea time is also the perfect time to put on some lovely music that you and/or your guests might enjoy. My choice are harp CDs, as I play a little and really find it to be the most soothing and stress reducing sounds on the planet.
To go with the scones, you could use any number of delights, such as rose jelly, jam or preserves, (all fruit organic raspberry preserves also go well), with that British favorite, cream! I make my own facsimile of “clotted cream” by making whipped, raw organic cream, no sugar is needed, just a bit of rose water or organic vanilla makes a yummy indulgence. Some markets do sell the imported Double Devon clotted cream..or if you prefer the dairy-free option, then just skip this tradition.
I make a nice pot of organic black or Darjeeling tea to which I add to the infuser some dried rose buds that I get from my local tea purveyors. You can also add a bit of rose water to the pot. Rose water and the rose preserves can be found most easily at Middle Eastern markets or on line.
We love our tea with organic raw milk, but again suit yourself. The important thing is to not debate on the use of dairy but to just relax and enjoy your tea and scones, the way they suit you. The beauty of The Rose Family is that we are all different and have different belief systems. Respect is the operative word and above that is pure unconditional love! That is why it is a tradition to ask people before you pour their tea, “How do you take your tea?” However you wish to indulge and pamper yourself is your choice, just be happy and grateful with every single bite and love the moment you are blessed to be in and the people you have the pleasure of enjoying it with!
Why not make tea time a personal ceremony to simply pause and smell the roses!
“The Kissing Roses,” artwork courtesy of Nazim Artist