Honey from Hive to Kitchen

Knowing honeybees visit 2 million flowers before gathering enough nectar for one pound of honey makes me feel a bit guilty about eating the fruits of their labor.  But the sourwood honey that Carl and Virginia Webb sent home with my family was so exquisite, it's been on the dinner table or kitchen counter nearly every day. 

Our family got a tour of the on-site facility in rural Georgia where the Webbs use a machine to extract honey from the comb.  We sampled several types of honey from around the South, the award-winning sourwood variety making a distinct impression!  Virginia suggested several recipes from the National Honey Board.  I had hoped that by now I would have made the camembert grape salad with honey vinaigrette or the hot 'n sweet broccoli and asparagus.  I also want to try the melted honey vegetable sauce with onion and thyme. 

But I'm a busy mom with young kids.  So, here's what we've eaten this week that was simple, yet scrumptious.  We cooked old-fashioned oatmeal for breakfast added pecans and cinnamon, then sweetened it with honey.  We also cut fresh carrots, steamed them, and drizzled honey over them right before serving.  You can check out dozens of recipes at the National Honey Board's website.

The Honey Board has these recommendations for baking with honey in place of sugar: 
Keep in mind that honey is about 25% sweeter than sugar. 
Substitute honey for up to half the sugar called for in the recipe.
Reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used.
Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used.
Reduce oven temperature by 25°F to prevent over-browning.
For easy measuring and fast clean-up, spray measuring spoons with vegetable oil.

Virginia gave me her own recipe for an evening beverage that might relieve pain, improve circulation and help you rest better.  It's supposed to react with the uric acid in your bones to give pain relief.  It has a tang to it! Here it is:

Honey & Apple Cider Vinegar Beverage
8 ounces water (warm enough to melt honey)
1 to 2 teaspoons honey
1 to 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (organic recommended)
Mix ingredients and drink at bedtime.  Adjust the amount of honey and vinegar for comfort and taste.

You can reach the Webbs at MtnHoney.com.

Busy Bees and Plant Sex

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