O, Honey! - GadgetGals Gazette Blog at Allrecipes.com - 232317

GadgetGals Gazette

O, Honey! 
Apr. 18, 2011 8:29 am 
Updated: Apr. 19, 2011 7:06 am

By Nan 

My husband Wayne has been a beekeeper for as long as I’ve known him (and longer than I care to ‘fess up to!). I’m convinced that he has the best employees in the world—thousands of bees who literally work themselves to death making the best honey I’ve ever tasted. They do “bite” back once in awhile, but over the years he’s become pretty immune to their stings.

Most of Wayne’s honey is extracted, which means the liquid honey is separated from the honeycomb and bottled in jars or squeezable bears like you see in the grocery store. He also “hires” his bees to make comb honey, circular discs of honey encapsulated in natural honeycomb.  

I’m concerned that we may not have our own honey much longer because it’s getting harder and harder to keep bees healthy and alive. As you may have heard or read in news reports, bees in the U.S. are in trouble. One day they are busily working, the next day they have disappeared and never come back. Scientists have some theories about this condition they call colony collapse disorder or CCD, but as yet there are no firm findings, no solutions.

The loss of bees would be a disaster for farmers (bees are needed for crop pollination), and a tragedy for food lovers. Honey, especially comb honey, rates as the most natural food in the world. Bees miraculously condense floral nectars that they collect into the viscous sweet syrup we call honey, then seal it for safe keeping with beeswax that their bodies manufacture. Squares or rounds of comb honey have never been processed or touched by human hands in any way. Amazing! 

Comb honey is becoming more popular because of its back-to-nature attributes. Purists take their cues from bears, eating both the beeswax comb and the honey. Scoop up some of both with a kitchen knife and spread on any bread of your choosing--toast, a hot biscuit, a bagel. The comb is nearly flavorless; chew it like gum or the peel of fruit. If you prefer to forego eating the comb, slice off the comb “lid” and let the honey drizzle out. 

Here are a few more easy ways that I like to use and serve comb honey:

--Sweeten your oatmeal or other hot cooked cereal by topping with a piece of comb honey.

--Place a single-serving-sized chunk of comb honey atop a side salad of mixed greens, sliced or shredded apple, and goat cheese.

--Garnish pureed squash or pumpkin soup with a piece of comb honey; sprinkle with cinnamon.

--For an appetizer or dessert, serve a square of comb honey on a tray along with 2 or 3 cheeses (such as blue cheese, brie, and aged cheddar), fresh fruit, and nuts.

Where can you buy comb honey? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to find as it once was. Your best bets: track down a local honey producer, check a specialty or natural foods store, or do a google internet search (there are several mail order sources). In late summer or early fall, a honey producer at your local farmer’s market may sell it, too. 

Comb Honey
Photo Detail
Apr. 18, 2011 8:46 am
Hi Nan: I am a honey lover too! My sister and her husband have bees and supply our whole family with amazing honey every year. I couldn't start my day without honey on my toast and I use it frequently for salad dressings and marinades. The dressings made with honey are so SMOOTH and tasty - all my guests love it. I buy two cases of it every year because it NEVER goes bad. We are concerned here in Nova Scotia as well about the health of the hives. Lots of blueberries are grown here and bees are a necessity for pollination. Thanks for the "comb" suggestions - I will ask my sister to save me some next season.
Apr. 18, 2011 9:49 am
I love honey and am also very concerned about the loss of bees. Interesting blog.
Apr. 18, 2011 10:11 am
Great blog! I love learning about stuff like this. I use a lot of honey in our cooking, as a condiment and even in our homemade soap. Remarkable stuff!
Apr. 18, 2011 12:21 pm
Keeping bees is one of those things I've always wanted to do. I love honey, and like anything else it would be great to know exactly where it's coming from, but the overall picture is so important. Maybe some day!
Apr. 19, 2011 6:27 am
Great to hear from all you honey lovers! Well-done tv documentary about beekeeping struggles called The Last Beekeeper. Hard to watch but very informative. Trailer and video available @ http://search.ovguide.com/?q=the%2Blast%2Bbeekeeper&ci=101

Apr. 19, 2011 7:06 am
I too love honey. A cool fact. Did you know that honey is the one food on the planet that properly stored, will never go bad?
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About Me
We are GadgetGals-tm, a team of two women who love food and write about kitchen gadgets at allrecipes and at our own website www.kitchengadgetgals.com. The website provides news, reviews, and know-how about all kinds of kitchenware and small appliances. We have been writing about kitchenware since 2003. Nancy lives on a farm in Iowa and Jan lives in an apartment in New York City. Nancy is left handed and Jan is right handed. Good for testing the comfort of many gadgets. We love to help any and all with food questions gadget advice and concerns related to food prep.
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We both like to bake. Nancy lives on an apple farm, so she is more of the expert for all things apple related. Since we both have families, fast daily cooking is a concern to both GadgetGals-tm. Jan loves to entertain and tries out new menu ideas on her guests. Nancy never knows who will drop in at her farm, so she always has a cup of coffee ready to serve with a "treat."
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We both celebrate the holidays, through the year, from New Years to Fourth of July to Christmas. We both try to add a new idea or recipe to the menus of the traditional foods the family expects. Jan loves to grill. Nan always holds a Christmas cookie baking day with cousins Cathy and Ann and sometimes Cathy's grandkids.
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That we can be reached for cooking and kitchen equipment questions by two means. All Recipes and www.kitchengadgetgals.com
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Nancy trying many times to bake a two layer pie of pumpkin and pecan pie with the nuts on top. Never got it to separate into layers though it tasted good! For Jan, sprinkling salt on Bosc pears, thinking it was sugar then baking them. What a taste surprise everyone had at dessert time!
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