The Resilient Rose

August 26, 2020

“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore.”
~ André Gide

My resilient rose plant, being resilient.


André Gide’s quote above would seem to be made for our current challenges. It can often seem as if we are lost at sea, without any idea of when we may reach the shore and what that new land will look like when we finally arrive. At times, I have felt like Tom Hanks’ character in the movie Cast Away, floating on a makeshift raft in the middle of the ocean, exhausted and struggling to stay afloat after battling the repeated slaps of salty waves. Circumstances call for patience, resilience and perseverance. Many days, I feel lacking in all three.

Just when I think I am all out of hopes to give, I remember a miniature rose plant that I purchased from Trader Joe’s on a whim, over 5 years ago. It has withstood aphids, caterpillars, grasshoppers, heatwaves, freezing temperatures and more. I have lost count of how many times it has seemed dead and gone, how many times I have almost said goodbye to it. Then, just when all appears dry and finished, a baby green leaf will sprout from the last piece of green stem; eventually followed by a single tiny rosebud that soon opens into glorious and resilient red triumph. A choir of rose angels seems to sing out in magnificent tones, audible only at the level of fairy ears, “Still here!”

If a $4.99 miniature rose plant can survive through so much difficulty and uncertainty, so can we. On those days when the future looks especially bleak or blurry, take a deep breath and exhale it all out. Drink plenty of water, get some sleep and wake up to bloom another day. Maybe you won’t be ready to bloom tomorrow either, but eventually, like the resilient rose, you will be back.

For those times when you would like to let go of the noise of the day and focus your thoughts in the beauty of the moment, you can click on this rose image to print out and color:

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I want to be.”
~ Lao Tzu


You can also lose yourself in the moment by enjoying a scoop of Rose Vanilla Ice Cream. No ice cream maker is required for the recipe.

Rose Vanilla Ice Cream
with Pistachios and Candied Rose Petals
Rose water is available in the Mediterranean section of a well-stocked grocery store or online. This recipe is easily doubled to make a quart. I added 2 tablespoons of rose water to 2 cups melted ice cream, for a subtle hint of rose flavor; complimenting, but not overpowering, the vanilla base.

I used Sadaf brand rose water. If you use a different brand, begin with 1 tablespoon, then taste and add up to the 2 called for, if more rose flavor is desired. Natural food colors are available at Whole Foods or online. You may need to use a few more drops of natural food color than you would use with the standard/artificial type of food coloring.


For one pint:

2 cups premium-quality organic vanilla ice cream, softened
2 tablespoons rose water (or to taste)
A few drops of red food coloring, if desired
For extra fanciness:
2 to 4 tablespoons of unsalted pistachios for garnish
Candied Rose Petals (recipe follows)


In a 1 quart-sized bowl, mix the 2 cups of softened ice cream with the rose water and a few drops of red food coloring, if desired. Mix with a large fork and incorporate the mixture on the bottom and sides with the help of a rubber spatula, until thoroughly combined. Cover bowl tightly or transfer to a pint-sized, freezer-safe container and refreeze until firm. Serve, topped wit pistachios and/or candied rose petals (recipe follows).

Serves 3 to 4


Candied Rose Petals
Be sure to use roses that have not been sprayed with pesticides.

2 organic roses, petals removed (do not wash until right before use)
1 large, very fresh egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons simple syrup (vegan alternative – instructions below)*
1/2 cup sugar (superfine sugar, if you have it)


How to make them:

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Add sugar to a small plate or bowl

Gently wash each petal, gently dab with a cotton swab or with some paper towel and let dry completely.

Using a clean artist’s paint brush (you could use a tiny piece of paper towel if you don’t have a clean brush), brush both sides of each rose petal with beaten egg white and dip to coat both sides in the sugar. Vegans can use simple syrup in place of egg white (instructions below)*

Let dry on the wax paper.

These will keep for a few weeks, if stored in a dry, closed container.


*Simple syrup, which is used to sweeten beverages and baked goods, can be bought online or at specialty shops, but is easily made at home by heating equal amounts of sugar and water (1/2 cup each or 1 cup each, for example):

Combine equal amounts of sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium, stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Leftovers can be refrigerated in a covered glass jar for up to a month.

One Response to “The Resilient Rose”

  1. Francesca

    Finally got caught up. Thank you and I will so enjoy painting my rose picture!

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