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Antique French Rose


A la Rose
Annie is my friend who was born in Texas. "When I was three years old, my Father wanted to return to Greece so we left America... I never learned to speak English."
Annie is 86 years old. I like talking to Annie, she often puts her hand on her hip and flares her fingers out.
Two of the many tricks I've learned from her are how to make rose jam and feuilles des vines, (stuffed grape vines rolls.) She has a large bag full of tricks!
When Turkey invaded Greece, Annie's parents escaped with her and her three sisters, plus their great Grand-Mother's icon of; "The Rising of Lazarus," and a sewing machine.
Annie's Father was concerned that her mother, should hold onto their daughters hands, and not take the sewing machine during their escape. Annie's Mother sharply replied, "Escape or not, live or die, my daughters are not going to look like orphans!" The girls held on to their Mother's dress!
Her Mother planted an antique rose bush, on Rue Moulin many years ago.
Annie was a hat maker, a modiste, in Marseille, her boss use to take her uptown each season, to see the new collections, in the chic shops. Then she would return and re-create the chapeaux, the hats, and sell them in the downtown shop. "I had an eye for detail."
The rose bush is Fuchsia in color and renders a hypnotic perfume!
During the second world war, when Annie's Mother heard, that our village was deporting Jews to a concentration camp, she ran out the door with her apron still on...She went right up to the Officer-in-Charge and started screaming at him, begging him, to at least leave the children! Annie remembers being terrified. The officer barked back at her Mother, "If you say another word we will throw you in with this lot too!" Annie slapped her Mother hard, knocking her to the ground. She didn't want her Mother to die.
Annie is sweet and tough, not mean, not fragile. She is neither bitter nor regretful. She is like a rose in full bloom, with a few thorns for protection, and a few that hurt her sometimes.
Annie, use to live on Rue Moulin. Two years ago she left the rose bush, left her childhood home and left her husband. The judge questioned her, "Madame, why do you want to leave your husband? Does it really matter at your age, if you are happy together or not?" Annie replied, "Yes! Even at my age I deserve to be happy."
Two years ago I had every intention to make rose jam, but in the end I made à la rose vodka instead. It was divine.


rose vodka, thats sounds divine

A wonderful story - beautifully told!

An old friend of mine once said "Sometimes you have to crush a grape to get its sweetness" ... one of my favourite quotes. That thought came to mind when I read your description of Annie ... what an amazingly beautiful character.

Yes please ... rose jam recipe!

What a woman!
She reminds me of my darling adored grandmother who was Greek...
Great stories, I love to hear them :)

oh ! I want to meet Annie! she sounds alot like me and I do hope I grow up old to be just like her.
there is something about old fashioned roses and their perfume. Make sure you get a cutting of that rose! any chance of a recipe for the rose jam? sounds delish :)
thank you so much for sharing a wonderful story

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