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10
Aug

rose petals for sale 1 copy

As you know, my friend Charles Perry guest posts here on a regular basis. When I recently asked him what he would like to write about, he suggested a post by a friend he had just met who’d sent him pictures from Azerbaijan together with a story about rose petals.

Now, I have a weakness for Azerbaijan because my nephew is married to a young woman from there and he invited the whole family to Baku for the wedding. It was a great trip, on a private plane chartered by my brother-in-law, which I expected to be luxurious but it turned out to be more like a charter flight on one of those cheap airlines. Still, the arrival into the VIP lounge, and the special treatment on the ground were fun.

All this to say that I was well disposed towards receiving a guest post from a stranger because it involved a place I enjoyed visiting, and a favourite ingredients, both to look at and to eat. The main picture is of rose petals that were for sale in the souk of  Aleppo in May, whilst Katy saw hers in the mountains in August. From her description below and from the picture of the roses in the bucket at the end of the post, her roses seem to be different from those in my pictures but I cannot tell for sure.

Katy-Robin Garten:Six weeks into a seven week adventure filming a documentary project in Azerbaijan, I was up at dawn at an Albanian Temple near Seki. The morning light was beautiful, and I was all smiles as I squinted into my viewfinder. The temple courtyard is lush with beautiful rose bushes, and I was filming a woman water the roses.After I was done, she began collecting the deep red, fuchsia, and ornage tinted pink rose petals in a bucket, just as she had the day before and each day before that in order to use the petals to make the homemade rose jam she served in her café across the street.

I have grown accustomed to a few things while traveling in Azerbaijan, one of which is the custom of sitting down together for cay (tea) throughout the day. Each time I wrapped up filming in this lovely country many think of as a gateway between the east and west, I joined my hosts the at the local school, restaurant, mosque, or home for a few cups of cay. This day, we sat down in the courtyard amidst the rose bushes and indulged. With the cay the women served rose jam, and with the jam came rose water, both of which we soon added to our cups. The taste was incredible, as was the sight of the rose petals! I loved spinning the spoon in the cay and watching the petals twirl about. It made me smile like a child to think something so simple could be so blissful. Could this get any better I thought? Well actually, yes- as I sat there twirling petals, the women brought out a bowl of  sugar with the most vibrant yellow and pink cubes I have ever seen.  If I saw these sugar cubes at home in the US, I would be in fear of artificial coloring poisoning- that’s how vibrant they were. I’m visually oriented and I’m obsessed with color, probably why I love being behind the camera, so I asked, ‘where did these colors come from’ (ok my translator asked) assuming of course it was natural and produced with local ingredients. The answer? The yellow color was from lemon and the pink- from leaves mixed with concentrated rose water. Just speaking these words brings happiness to my lips.

rose petals diptych

rose petals for sale 2 copy

rose bucket

I hope you enjoyed Katy’s post as much as I did. And I, for one, will make sure to bring back some of the psychedelic sugar cubes when I am next invited to Azerbaijan.


There is 9 comments on this post


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    love the sugar cubes!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    reminds me of the rose ice cream in which were found small cubes of rose lukum… and the rose petals we used to prepare for Marc Meneau at l’Esperance to serve with desserts…


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Sounds lovely. I love rose jam. Should have given a recipe.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    This is the most fascinating post! Love it and happy to find you. Will visit again. Best from Santa Barbara


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    all these flavours are so new for me and i just adore them! lovely post! very aromatic!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    thanks pity. must tell katy to look at the comments.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    what a pleasure to read your comments…I’m now back home in Montana but I can still taste the rose petals in my tea. I couldn’t help but post this video…

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150258500505595&saved


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    p.s. i’ll get in touch with some sources and see about that recipe!

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