Archive | April, 2010

Honey Recipes: Toasted Sesame Honey Ice Cream

30 Apr

Toasted Sesame Honey Ice-Cream

Lucky beekeepers (and those we love) have more honey stashed away than the modern world knows what to do with. Personally, I keep a collection of high-honey-use recipes like this one to burn up excess honey.

Toasted Sesame & Honey Ice Cream

Inspired by the flavors of honey halva, I’ve adapted this recipe from David Lebowitz’ basic vanilla recipe. It pairs ridiculously well with these sumptuous chocolate tahini cakes. Even better, the entire combination is gluten-free.


5 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup honey (I like amber honey here, but if you’re omitting the sesame for some reason, use light honey instead.)

1/3 cup white sesame seeds

pinch of salt (IMHO, salt is key in this recipe as it balances the honey by adding warmth)


  1. Toast the sesame seeds until lightly colored. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and honey in a large bowl, blending until thick and pale yellow. This may take a couple of minutes.
  3. Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. In the dry bowl, pour  the cup of heavy cream. You’ll come back to this bowl in a few minutes.
  4. Heat the milk in a saucepan just until it barely boils. Gradually pour some of the milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
  5. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
  6. Strain the custard into the bowl with heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add a pinch of salt, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
  7. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A couple minutes before the ice-cream is complete, add the toasted sesame seeds.

Let them eat quiche

28 Apr

A lady never forgets to bring quiche when out checking her bee hives.

Under the great cottonwood Let them eat quiche
Inside the Jerry hive Beekeeping Cat

The Pollen Files: Cornflower

27 Apr

Spring in the city is subject to the whimsy of urban gardeners which, in the case of one neighbor, means a yard full of brilliant blue cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus).

Like any of nature’s shamans, a beekeeper can’t help but pause for a peek. In this case, I was rewarded with the strange knowledge that a plant so dedicated to blue bears a ghostly white pollen and apparently one quite appealing to neighborhood honeybees.

Gathering white pollen

Backyard + beehive photoshoot with Local iQ

23 Apr

UPDATE: My girls were featured in an even more recent issue of Local iQ with photos by Joy Godfrey. Enjoy!

I’m still blushing, it was such a chic morning.

On location (that location being my backyard) for Local iQ magazine, Albuquerque photographer Wes Naman was tramping about the garden this morning shooting things like the mural by Quip, the beehive, and a crumbly-ass Fu Manchu statue I picked up one summer in the South Valley. Editor Kevin Hopper was on site too and was genteel enough not to notice all the weeds and wacky detritus emblematic of a lazy gardener like me.

Look for the girls and/or the garden in next week’s issue of Local IQ.

Honeybee covergirls Honeybee covergirls>
Local IQ in my garden Pipe down now

It’s a cowboy thing

21 Apr

“Beekeeping has sort of a cowboy thing to it.”

How to report a swarm in Albuquerque

20 Apr

This is what a honeybee swarm looks like

April and May are swarm season in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you happen to encounter a swarm in your yard or neighborhood, please give a quick call to local beekeepers who can come pick up the wayward girls.

Help! I need to report a swarm in Albuquerque

Spring Field Day with Albuquerque Beekeepers

18 Apr
TJ's truck Spring Field Day for Albuquerque Beekeepers
Spring Field Day for Albuquerque Beekeepers Spring Field Day for Albuquerque Beekeepers

[View the full slideshow]

Despite a 60% chance of thunderstorms threatening to ruin our day like a bad breakfast burrito, our hands-on spring demo was perfect — warm, friendly, and informative. Thanks to the 25+ local beekeepers who donned a veil and came out for the afternoon. And big ole thanks to Steve Cox for sharing his roomy backyard.

Visit our group at

Capturing the impossible swarm

16 Apr

Swarm of bees up in my neighbor's tree

Swarm season is coming on strong in Albuquerque. This week, like an instantaneous bloom, area bees have exploded and spilled into the sky.

For many beeks, this means a free batch of bees to start a new hive. For homeowners it can be frightening.

In my ‘hood, yesterday brought this high-flying swarm perched acrobatically 40 feet up in an old elm tree. Too precarious to snatch, the swarm colony will have to find a home on its own.

We’ve opened up all our empty hives, dabbed ’em with a bit of Honey-B-Healthy, and are waiting patiently in the hopes that the home of their choosing is ours.

UPDATE: It’s three days later and the girls have finally left their perch although we have no idea where they went or if any bees survived the rain and wind that must have made for a harrowing time on the lam.

Albuquerque honeybees living out of a semi

12 Apr

Honeybees swarming from a semi-truck

A truck driver turned on his air conditioner and it didn’t work. He opened the back of his trailer and a huge cloud of bees flew out!

Turns out there was a hive so massive living in the ductwork of an Albuquerque semi-truck, that local beekeepers were able to make 18 separate hives from the giant swarm.

Read the full story at:

Spring with the Albuquerque Open Space bees

8 Apr

Today we checked hives with Albuquerque beekeeper, Jerry Anderson. These bees are located on protected parts of City Open Space lands in the North Valley and West side of the city. The idea is that the girls dutifully gather nectar off these lush and well-watered spots and the good folks at Open Space can sell tasty honey at the visitor’s center.

Only one hive, already weak last fall, failed to make it through the winter. The others were building up well this spring and one — the colony sited under the ancient cottonwood tree — was flourishing like a well-fed princess.

Jerry with his hive, under the old cottonwood tree Checking the hives in spring
Home, sweet home Checking the hives in spring