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Right after lunch, my daughter and I set out to pick orange blossoms outside just like my mother and I once did together. I climbed on two stacked bricks to reach the branches; Maya held a glass to collect whatever blossoms I managed to get. It was a risky business.
I endured a few thorn scratches and competition from the bees buzzing all around us claiming territory. Mind you, these are wild bitter orange trees we’re dealing with and though fair looking and heavily pregnant with budding flowers and plump oranges, they’re no easy feat to flirt with.
My little helper and I headed back home proud of our work, triumphant over danger, our glass filled to the brim with beautiful flowers, our hands sweet-smelling.
What a ritual was it to collect our own blossoms. One that fills the heart with joy and envelops you at the moment making you forget about everything else.
This is the stuff that memories are built around. Our satisfaction continued as we made tea with a small handful of blossoms and transformed the rest into orange blossom water.
It’s one of those pleasures such as making pasta or butter that though may seem unnecessary can be the source of so much joy.
Distilling Orange Blossom Water Using a Coffee Machine (or espresso machine)
(Yields 1 cup)
- 1 cup freshly picked organic orange blossoms or rose petals, washed
- 1 cup distilled water
Step 1: Place a filter in the basket of a coffee maker and add orange blossoms.
Step 2:Fill the reservoir with water.
Step 3:Place the carafe in the machine.
Step 4: Turn on the machine.
Step 5: The water will heat up and stream through the orange blossoms and into the carafe. When it’s done brewing, remove the carafe.
Repeat the operation two or three times reusing the brewed orange blossom water for a more concentrated scent.
You may use an espresso machine if you wish, following the manufacturer’s directions for use and placing orange blossoms where the coffee goes.
Step 6: Place the orange blossom water in a clean jar with a lid and store in a dry, cool pantry.
P.S. Be sure to run the machine on the water a couple of times before starting to get rid of the coffee odor.