This year's rose crop was excellent (even the deer thought so :P ); it was a very good year for rose petal jelly. I took photos this year during jelly making, as the transformation is fairly striking.
The roses I use are primarily 'La Ville de Bruxelles', my favorite of my Damasks:
I remove the petals from the calyces, measure,
soak to rinse and remove rose beetles if there are any (none this year; the beneficial nematodes were a success!),
When the color and flavor have been extracted,
(and how glorious the house smells while this is happening!),
I strain the petals, pressing the marc to extract the flavor.
and add lemon juice which revives the roses' color and corrects acidity for jelling.
There is a merest shimmery rainbow of essential oil floating on the surface, I tried to catch it in the photos but my camera (my mp3 player!) couldn't see it.
Then I finish the process with pectin, sugar, lids and rings, water bath and when cool, a pretty topper and label. This year I found little satin roses to add for a whimsical touch, and to help color code my jams and jellies.
As I believe gardening, and life really, should be about joy, and this was a great rose jelly year, I kept a couple of jars for my own pantry and for gifts; the rest I'll sell at market.