Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Little Rose a Long Way

Walking home from work today, I passed a cottage that had rose beds for the entire front lawn. Every last bush was in full, glorious bloom, and I thought how nice it would be to get out to the local arboretum to enjoy the rose gardens there.

So I called the Renaissance Man and invited him to a picnic out among the roses, a suggestion he readily accepted. And then I took myself into the kitchen to prepare dinner:

The last of the asparagus from last week's farmers' market made a good addition to whole wheat pasta elbows, with amaranth leaves from my garden, feta cheese, and crushed walnuts added for texture. The little carrots, scrubbed to a fare-thee-well, also came from the market -- the last of the bunch I bought from the Spelt Baker.

We almost had an added flavor in the meal as the crabapple tree under which we dined persisted in dropping very small fruits on us. (That's a very crabby crabapple!)

After a leisurely meal, the Renaissance Man eyed my basket and asked if there were any more biscuits. (He's fond of them.) I informed him that yes, there were, but he couldn't have them until dessert.

That, you see, is because I had made biscuits from scratch specifically for the purpose of serving strawberry shortcake -- using those juicy berries from this week's CSA pickup and the remainder of the rose-petal-syrup infused whipped cream. And he very quickly agreed that this was, in fact, worth the wait.

After we packed up the picnic basket and folded the blanket, we wandered around the gardens, enjoying the sights and scents of the multiple varieties of tea, damask, and climbing roses. (It's a gorgeous place, and if you're ever in the area in June, you must stop and visit the arboretum.) While I would not, of course, forage for edible rose petals here (I suspect the groundskeepers spray the roses), I certainly can get plenty of ideas for the kinds of roses I would love to grow!

I don't get out to the arboretum very often, and it's a shame, because every month there's usually something different to appeal to the senses. But when I do get out here, even a brief visit can refresh me and feed my soul.

Especially if a picnic dinner is involved.

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