Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Final Harvest

We made our final harvest of the year and reaped maybe 25 lbs. This brings our total for the year just over 100lbs from two hives. This is really terrific and we are so happy with the girls.

This fall honey is much darker in color and deeper in flavor than our spring honey. As you walk around different parts of the yard or when I go in the hives, the odor of nectar is quite over powering. The bees are ON goldenrod like crazy. This is one of the most pungent flowers ever in my opinion. Until this year I had never really noticed that it had any fragrance, but now, I smell it all the time on the flowers.

This is a picture of our back deck and the tray is holding wax. The tray is covered with buttery yellow wax. But that is all brown you say - well yes, the buttery wax is COVERED in bees. The lovely girls are sucking out every morsel of honey from the wax and tucking it away for the winter. All the flying specks are bees coming to find a space on the wax. The sound of the bees and smell of the wax is intoxicating.

The other cool thing we noticed is all the bee relatives who have visited the honey. We have other kinds of bees and wasps of every flavor and color. This was best viewed from inside the house!
~Go bees!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bee's Knees Brownies

1 cup butter, the real stuff
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cup honey from happy bees
1 tsp good vanilla
3 large eggs from a local farm
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup of pecans, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350' and grease a 9x12 pan.

Melt butter and chocolate in a water bath (for me that is a glass bowl nestled in a small pot with water it). Mix until very smooth. Add honey and vanilla and let cool. Whip the eggs until frothy and add a small amount of the chocolate to temper the eggs. Then add the remaining chocolate. Add cocoa and flour and stir until just moistened. Pour in to pan and top with nuts.

Bake 35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting and use a very sharp knife when you do.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Best in Show

Our honey won not only a blue ribbon but BEST IN SHOW! Whooo hoo. Good job bees!!

We had a great time volunteering at the Worcester County Beekeepers Association booth. We sold lots of honey, honey sticks and S had a wonderful time making beeswax candles.

And now for the brownie news:

Now my friend Andrea is going to challenge me to do something else next year! I must say the brownies were popular with the judges - they loved the distinct honey flavor and the moistness. I will post the recipe this week.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Brownies for the fair

After much experimenting and many emails from the talented Andrea, I think I've got it. I changed a few ingredients, but mostly changed the preparation of the brownies. They are really good. You can see they are dusted with cocoa on top, but with the amount of honey in the recipe, it will be absorbed in no time!
As you can see, there are two lovey jars of golden goodness perched next to the brownies. I am bringing honey again this year. This will be our third year exhibiting honey and I expect to be in the light amber category. Last year our honey was much darker.
The honey this year is mighty tasty, but if you've been reading this blog for over a year, you might remember that the Spencer Fair is a beauty contest. A mere 10 out of 100 points are awarded for taste. The remainder is all about looks, baby. I've been polishing and banishing bubbles all morning. The honey looks great. Let's hope the judges agree!
Normally I'd say I had butterflies, but perhaps today I should rephrase that and say I have honeybees in my stomach. Judging is tonight after 6pm.
We are going to the fair to help with the WCBA Honey booth on Saturday afternoon. If you are in the area, come on by and say hello.