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Monday, December 20, 2010

Honey! or is that Hunny...?

Ok I'd like to say that; growing up I did not like honey, in fact I really did not like the flavor. In the last few years I have come to prefer it over refined sugar, which is good but also bad as the price is not the same as refined sugar. We are planning to keep bees eventually and like to switch over to just using honey versus sugar, which again will be good as Silver is diabetic. Granted with the diet we have been on since moving his blood sugar has not been an issue. So for now I am looking for some recipes that are honey instead of sugar, as well as conversion charts. I have found a couple they were listed in some old Organic Gardening and Farming magazines from the '60's, '70's,and '80's. Here are the ones I found:

Raspberry Leather

4 quarts raspberries
¼ cup water
½ to 1 cup honey

Wash raspberries. Place the fruit and water in a large heavy pot. Cover and cook over low heat until fruit comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Pour the raspberries into a colander, allowing the juice to drain into a pot.
The more juice that is drained out, the quicker the fruit leather will dry. The juice can be used as a drink or saved in the freezer for later.
To increase the yield of this recipe, 6 cubed apples can be added for every quart of raspberries used. Each quart of raspberries and 6 apples will yield 8 oz of fruit leather or 2 full cookie sheets.
Press fruit through a food mill. The puree should be the consistency of apple butter. Add honey to taste.
Spread the pulp 1/4-inch thick on 4 lightly oiled, stainless steel cookie sheets. Place in a warm dry place. You can use your oven or a food dryer.
When using an oven, turn down to the lowest temperature and leave the door open to allow moisture to escape. The fruit leather should dry in a bout 12 hours. When it has dried, peel the leather from the cookie sheet and lay it on wire racks to dry completely. Cornstarch or arrowroot can be used to powder the leather if it remains sticky to the touch. Roll the raspberry leather between two sheets of wax paper and store it in a cool dry place. The red color will keep one month at room temperature, four months in the fridge, and a year in the freezer.

Blueberry Pie:

Pie for a 2-crust pie
4 cups blueberries
4 tablespoons tapioca
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons melted butter

Line a 9-inch pie pan with bottom crust of pie. Combine remaining ingredients and pour into crust. Top with crust. Wrap tightly in foil and freeze. When ready to use, thaw the pie, then bake 450 degrees for 15 minutes and 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour. Cool before cutting.

Peach upside down cake:

¼ cup butter
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2 cups sliced peaches
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup oil
½ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Melt butter in 8-by-8 pan. Add honey, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix. Make sure mixture coats bottom of pan. Arrange peaches over butter mixture. Mix flour and soda. Set aside. Mix 1/3 cup honey, oil, buttermilk, lemon rind, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture. Mix well and add egg. When completely blended, pour over peaches in pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from pan immediately by inverting onto serving plate. Cool to room temperature.

Fruit Puree Pancakes:

¾ cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons milk powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup fruit puree (your favorite)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add fruit puree, honey, melted butter, and egg and mix thoroughly. Drop batter onto hot buttered griddle. Turn pancakes when bubbles form on top and brown on both sides.

Amaranth-Strawberry Spread

2 cups water
1 cup raw amaranth seeds
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
2 tablespoons honey (optional)
1/3 lemon, chopped very fine with rind included

In a small sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add amaranth, strawberries, honey and lemon. Stir until the mixture comes to the boiling point again, then lower heat and cook slowly for about 45 minutes, until mixture is thick and the amaranth grains are tender.

Makes 2 cups

Concord grape pie:

Plain short pastry- enough to line a 9- to 10- inch pie pan plus one-half that amount for lattice top
5 ½ cups ripe concord grapes (the other varieties may have skins that are too tough)
2/3 cup light honey
4 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten

Line pan with 2/3 of the dough and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Pinch grape pulp out of skins and set skins aside. Put pulp in saucepan (with no water) and bring to rolling boil. While pulp is still hot, rub it through a fine food mill to remove seeds. Combine strained pulp, skins and honey and stir well. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, water, and lemon juice, stirring until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture and orange rind to grape mixture. Spoon into pastry shell. Dot with butter. Roll out renaming dough into a long strip. Brush lightly with beaten egg and cut into strips ½ inch wide, long enough to stretch over pan. Arrange in lattice pattern on top of pie. Place pie on baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees 40-45 minutes. Let cool, serve with ice cream if desired.

Now I also found a recipe in those same magazines for homemade pectin:


First you need the small early apples for this for the best thought it won't be clear using it.

1 Wash the apples carefully, trim, and cut pieces into thin slices. Place in a large pot.
2 add one pint of water for every pound of apples inside pot
3 Cover and boil for 15 minutes.
4 strain off the free running juices through one thickness of cheese cloth, DO NOT SQUEEZE
5 return the pulp to the pot and add the same amount of water, simmer for 15 minutes
6 let stand for 10 minutes, strain through one thickness of cheese cloth DO NOT SQUEEZE
7 Allow to cool enough for you to handle
8 squeeze out remaining juice and combine the three juices

There should be a quart for every pound of apples, you can use it immediately or store for future use. To can, heat to boiling point and pour immediately into hot , sterilized canning jars. Seal and invert the jars to cool.

I am looking for more honey recipes to add to my "cookbook" for later use if you can pass any along I would be verrrrrrry happy. I did find out about a new book that has honey recipes it is :

Honey, I'm Homemade: Sweet Treats from the Beehive across the Centuries and around the World edited by May Berenbaum

I found it listed in many online book sellers, for under $25 so once I get the spare cash I am buying a copy of it. Those of you out there looking for alternatives might want to look into it. Also, to some of my readers who have seen these recipes "elsewhere" yes I know you've seen them; but I want everyone to see them. Again I found them in some old Organic Gardening and Farming and yes it is listed as "farming" Organic Gardening use to include "farming" in it... I do not know why they dropped the "Farming" line but they did. Also, I'd like to point out I have found in a grocery store "raw" honey; granted how "raw" it is I do not know. I would like to say it has a better flavor over the standard honey does. I almost can't wait to try real "raw" honey, does anyone know if you honestly cannot give raw honey to children? If so how old do they need to be? My youngest loves drinking tea and wants to try the "raw" honey we bought but I am not sure about letting her.

On another note, If you listen to podcasts please listen to my friend's one... yes you might not agree with her religious beliefs, I share the beliefs she has if you have not figured it out yet with my "goodbye" on here. She has a lot of information in her podcasts and I think those of you who listen might find it interesting to hear.

Also... Hey our WATER is back on after over a week of being frozen, our neighbor had given us some heat tape, and well when Silver went to go put it on the pipe we discovered a small problem. The pipe.. both in fact (one going in and one going out) had been covered by almost 3 inches of ice, and we had to wait for that to melt first. Then the heat tape was able to heat the pipe, but still it took until yesterday to have it heat fully. The good news about it is though, it did not freeze until the temperature dropped to 4 degrees with a negative windchill. Silver also thinks that one of the kids had turned off the water by accident, we had been leaving it running just to make sure it didn't freeze; so we aren't quite sure why it froze as it did not until early morning. Not like 4 am but rather sometime after we got the kids up for school, so we aren't sure why.

Thats all for now and if you can pass us some honey recipes along please do!

Be Well and Blessed Be...

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