|The Rose Jar|
I don't know how long ago someone concocted this pot pourri, whether Minnie or her mother Kittie, or one of Minnie's daughters, but I found a recipe for a rose jar in Kittie's book of household hints, The Queen of the Household, and decided to refresh this old one with this summer's bloom. As the recipe indicates, "It is said to remain fragrant in open bowls for two years if occasionally stirred, but in the closed pot pourri it will remain fragrant much longer."
From the pages of The Queen of the Household:
"An old recipe, warranted to be good, and which calls for great care in the gathering of the leaves. It is said to remain fragrant in open bowls for two years if occasionally stirred, but in the closed pot pourri it will remain fragrant much longer. Pluck the rose leaves early in the morning; with them have an equal quantity of lavender blossoms, and put them all in a large earthenware bowl; add 1/2 pound crushed orris root, and then to every 2 pounds add 2 ounces each of bruised cloves, cinnamon, allspice and salt; let the whole stand for about 2 weeks, thoroughly mixing it every day with your hands, and then it will be ready for use. As pot pourris are charming gifts, it will be wise to arrange a number in order that one's city friends may have odors of the land of roses."
Making the Rose Jar
But I had never heard of orris root and had no idea where to find it. My research revealed that it is a term used for the roots of the iris flower, which bloom profusely in my very own backyard. When dried, the root of the iris plant is used as a fixative for perfumes and pot pourri. I tried digging up a rhizome from one of the iris plants in my flower bed and left it to dry on a rock. The next day, it was gone, probably a dessert for one of the wild creatures that visit my domain at night.
The results give off a heady fragrance of rose, lavender, and clove. After enjoying its scent in an open bowl for a time, I will pour it into the rose jar at the old homestead to freshen the aroma of the antique rose jar.
|Rose pot pourri|