Thursday, September 21, 2006

Of Apples & Austin

My sister and I stayed up last night canning apple pie filling and apple butter whilst listening to Jane Austen's, Persuasion.
Last week we picked a lot of apples. The trunk of our Suburban (w/o the back seat) was packed with full to overflowing apple boxes. The Lord has blessed us abudantly in the area of apples this year! We have lots of tasty plans...
The first night we had apple crisp. The next night I made a pork roast with apples, carrots, and onions. To drizzle over the top of the roast I blended peeled & cored apples, lemon juice, and honey. We also had Sweedish Saffron Buns (aka. St. Lucia Buns) To say the least dinner was delicious!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Honey Bee Soup

Don't even ask.
OK, I know that I've cooked some weird things before, but I think that this tops them all!
It's actually quite a long story, so I'll try and make it short.
It all started on the back forty, up the hill just behind our house in a few little brown boxes. (aka. honey supers) We had quite an adventure getting our frames full of honey out, including a sting or two (or was it 3 or 4?). I was blessed this time, they decided to endow Kami with their little gifts. She really is OK, the brain damage isn't too serious and we're hoping she'll recover the use of her right hand.
We successfully retrieved 1 super and got it loaded in the suburban, ready to go to the W.'s house. They have a honey extractor and were very kind to let us use theirs. (Check out how much these things cost! This is the small, inexpensive model.)
After driving for about 1&1/2 hours we arrived. We got set up and started uncapping the honey. We were doing this outside in Mrs. W.'s shed, that is not air-tight by any means. So, we were expecting a few buzzing visitors interested in the honey. I repeat, we were expecting a few buzzing visitors. Well, after we extracted the first 3 frames (there are 9 or 10 frames in all) the air was getting thick. We decided to put one of the empty frames outside of the shed on the far corner. After you extract the honey there is still some delicious drips remaining which the bees will clean out for you and deposit back in their hive if you set it out for them. I think that might have attracted a few more bees... It seemed that after we did that there were twice as many bees visiting, not to mention the frame was literally covered with some more of our buzzing friends.
We ended up extracting almost all of the frames before we decided to hit the trail. We were doing this in skirts, mind you. We didn't even think to bring a pair of pants! (#179th lesson learned) Amazingly no one got stung (the bees were too interested in the honey).
We opened the spout on the extractor and covered the stainless steel pot we were draining the honey into with a large dish towel and clothes pinned it shut. Well (lesson #180) they cunningly found their way into the pot and the result is pictured above.
The End.
We did save the honey!! Praise the LORD! We heated 'er up on the stove, so the honey would run quickly and strained all of the sweet, sticky little guys (girls) out of our precious liquid gold. The honey tastes great and you would never know! If I hadn't have written about it here. It has a delicious blackberry taste and it goes so well with Kami's Baking Powder Biscuits.
Just another learning experience in the lives of some adventurous, sometimes not-so-smart homeschoolers.
That's all for now, folks!