When I was a little girl my mom taught me to make rose perfume in the summers. She’d guide me into the backyard with a clear jar filled with water and let me pick as many roses from her rose garden as my little fingers could hold. I’d pluck the petals and add them to the water, tighten the jar and leave the jar in the warm summer sun on the back steps. If you left it for just the right amount of time, the warm sun would infuse the sweet smell of roses into the water, creating “Rose Perfume” a scent appropriate for one happy little girl.
When I moved to India just a year ago and spied cool bars with coolers full of a pink milky liquid, it’s glass bottles stamped with a rose, my curiosity piqued. Just one sip of this Indian treat, called Rose Milk, and I was instantly transported back to Pacific Northwest summers and rose perfume. Though I never drank the perfume, it is common here to cook, bake and drink rose water, and it is made by steeping the petals of roses in warm water. To treat my children and myself as temperatures begin to rise here in Chennai, I made up a batch of Rose Milk ice cream with my new ice cream maker. A hit for my family, for a hot afternoon or just to treat yourself to a little bit of fancy.