Friday, August 22, 2014

Oh, Honey

"Once the worker bee returns to the hive, it will regurgitate the nectar solution and pass it on to one of the house bees, who remain in the hive. The house bee will continue the process the worker bee started – for up to 20 minutes, it will regurgitate and re-drink the nectar, continuing to mix it with enzymes and breaking it down further. Whilst some sucrose will remain, the majority is broken down into glucose and fructose."

It's August now. There are slim pickings for nectar seeking bees. In fact, this has been the story all summer long in our region here in on the coast.

Bee keepers are worried the bees will not have enough to eat this winter because there has been so little nectar for them to make honey. It's been an exceptionally dry summer.

honey in last year's honey comb
So I was heartened to see our bees on the bit of fireweed growing around our place. I'll be collecting seed from this and spreading it to some other less trafficked spots off the paths. The more wild flowers, the better. They take no special care and bees love them.

Here's an interesting read about the chemistry of honey and why it doesn't spoil.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Garlic Scape Salt

Salt. Garlic scapes. Blend together in a food processor. Hello winter soups. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dandelion Lentil Soup

If it were up to me, grass would never be cut - anywhere. Instead of manicured lawns we'd have fields of wild grasses and dandelions anywhere they'd grow. A friend of mine told me a wonderful story of how his aging mother's lawn was left to go to seed because she'd just given up on it. The trade-off for her was the tremendously increased bird life she then got to enjoy!

Even here on Hornby, the sound of lawn mowers just depresses me. Let the grasses be ... And, enjoy what grows for free! I found a recipe for dandelion lentil soup in Savour magazine on-line and decided it was time to harvest some of ours. Trouble was I couldn't just stop at dandelions, not with the sage, thyme, garlic greens, and kale glistening in the sun.

I used mostly dandelion greens but also added a few other leaves just because. The only ingredient I left out of the recipe was ginger. Thought I'd try it without just to see - and it's a much more savoury soup than I think it would be with the blessed ginger root. I'll try that version another time.

A little of the spicy salt I made in the fall and - yum! A bit of wild, a bit of import, and a taste of the green garden to grown in the several months ahead. I love spring.