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Archive | July, 2010

Honey Recipes: Pots de Crème with Lemon + Honey

29 Jul

With just 4 ingredients, Tartelette’s pots de crème recipe is a sublime way to highlight floral honeys like lavender or apricot. Whisk in a few egg yolks and cream et voila!

Minimalist decadence.

I happen to have a stash of floral spring honey from my Albuquerque neighborhood and will conduct rigorous recipe testing this weekend. With solely your well-being in mind, of course.

Honey Lemon Pots De Crème

Serves 6

1 1/2 cups (375ml) heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup honey
zest and juice of 2-3 lemons (you’ll need 1/4 cup or 60ml of juice)
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325Fº and position a rack in the center. Place your ramekins in a heavy deep pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Turn the heat off but keep the cream warm.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and honey for a couple of minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt and whisk until smooth. Slowly pour the heavy cream over the egg yolk mixture, whisking well. Let stand for a couple of minutes to let any foam rise to the top, skim it off and divide the mixture among your ramekins. Pour hot water inside the pan, making sure the water comes at least halfway up the sides of your dishes. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Recipe from Tartelette

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Everything Guide to Urban Honey

13 Jul

Local chef and co-owner of Jennifer James 101 (they use our honey at the restaurant!) dropped off this sumptuous article on urban beekeeping yesterday: The Everything Guide to Urban Honey.

Informative and artistic, it’s a convincing testimony that urban beekeeping is back and here to stay.

From the series:

Are bees dangerous to Albuquerque?

7 Jul

Psst… got bees swarming on your property? Report a bee swarm in Albuquerque.

Scarlett the bee dog

"Bee dog" photo by Erik Abderhalden | Find more adorable dogs in bee costumes at http://www.beedogs.com

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Asking whether bees are dangerous is like asking whether dogs are dangerous when the reality is this: Dogs bite.

In fact, in the U.S. 1000 people every day seek emergency treatment for dog bites. And the cost of managing canines is a significant burden on a community.

Even in Albuquerque, one of the top 3 calls to the City’s 311 line relates to reporting, complaining, or otherwise managing our urban dog population. (I used to manage the City website, that’s how I know ;-)) The unfortunate truth is our furry best friends can be a big fat headache. But we love them, and some might argue need them.

So too with honeybees, another species long domesticated by humans and one we’ve come to depend upon. The benefits of bees to a community, a recent article in the NY Times (via Sweet Hive Chicago) discusses, far outweigh the risks.  Here’s why:

  • Free pollination by bees supports our entire agricultural system (In NM, you can’t even ask the state question “Red or Green?” without the help of a honeybee.)
  • Local honey may help with allergies
  • Urban honey has less chemicals than rural honey
  • Bees act as an indicator of overall health (Did you know they use bees to test air quality at German airports?)

[Read the full article]

So hug a honeybee, compadres. And if you’re allergic, stay away from wasps which tend to be responsible for most “bee attacks” in the populated areas we call home, sweet, home.

Making Mead: A Photo Essay

4 Jul

I’ve never brewed anything successfully. The kombucha I attempted to brew in a jar on my countertop grew nothing but mold despite my urban hippie aspirations.

But here I am trying again with mead only this time with some major tutelage. Elliot’s the brewmaster here and I’m just a helping hand who happens to have copious amounts of honey to spare.

The Urban Meadery The Urban Meadery
The Urban Meadery The Urban Meadery

We made a standard mead using champagne yeast and 1 gallon of honey for a 5 gallon batch. The local brew store recommended a few additions such as irish moss for clarity and a wee bit of tannin for balance. Continue reading

Bosque fire licks my beehive!

2 Jul

Fire licked so close this week to the beehive we manage for City Open Space that leaves on the cottonwood tree above were singed. Ouch!

It was a 5 acre fire that torched a chunk of the riverfront forest (that’s “bosque” if you’re from New Mexico) burning down the entire field of trees next to the beehive and starting a grassfire  just yards away. Driving up to the hive, once the area was open to access again, we had no idea what to expect — did the bees abscond? Did honeycomb just melt off its foundation?

Surprisingly, the girls were buzzing along seemingly oblivious to the smoldering forest and the hive itself was filled with combs of honey and worker brood. We sampled a buttery chunk of honey, half expecting it to taste like smoke but it was pure and warm and… to its proud keepers, perfect.

We packed up our gear soothed by this amazing survivor hive. And I swear, as we pulled away, the bees were bearding in the shape of the Virgin, like any other modern day miracle,