Floral Flavors

The wild rugosa rose thrives in the dunes of the East End. It is tolerant of salt, resistant to many of the diseases that plague other rose varieties and a trouble-free ornamental plant. It’s also edible.

“I can’t wait for June,” says Mary McGuire-Wien, a yoga-lifestyle teacher from Jamesport. “It’s the time to celebrate the wild roses.” The flowers are a part of McGuire-Wien’s vegan/vegetarian diet, a regimen that includes as many local living foods as possible.

“What I do,” she says, “is pack a jar with the rose petals and then fill it with local honey. I leave it on the counter for a few days, turning it over like an hour glass every time I walk by.” Be sure the roses have not been sprayed, she adds.

Soon the honey is infused with the flavor of the roses and the petals turn colorless. McGuire-Wien will then spread it on toast or use it to make a vegan ice cream that also uses another June staple, the strawberry.

“Vegan desserts can be some of the most decadent there are,” she says. “And they’re so easy to make.” For the ice cream she uses concentrated nut milk—from cashews or almonds—she makes herself, plus pureed strawberries, a little coconut oil for mouthfeel, some vanilla, a teaspoon of rose water and one drop of Bulgarian rose essence. “Two drops make it bitter,” she says. Blend and pour into ice cream maker.

As part of her business, American Yogini, McGuire-Wien works with clients to help them take their yoga practice “off the mat” and integrate it into their lives. She runs retreats that feature cleansing juice fasts and will provide the juices for people to cleanse at home. The process is outlined in her new book, The Seven Day Total Cleanse. “It’s more about yoga,” she says. “A system of eating based on the chakras, color and the energy in the body.”

An energy she says that is fueled by the seasons and the ground beneath our feet. Which is one reason she has modified her diet since moving to Jamesport, she now will eat dairy and eggs. “Because we know the chickens and the goats,” she says. “I love that it’s so close to me. Not only does it taste better, it’s so nutritious and better for the planet in so many different ways. As I say, ‘If it’s not good for all, it’s not good for y’all.’ ”