Friday, June 17, 2011

first and last - neither could be sweeter

hippychick's first honey for 2011 - a sweet dark comb

the last of the spring 2o11 beets - oh shall ye roast til thy sweet fruit bleeds beauty
today's list:
  • feed the bees - 
    • i have been on a regular feeding schedule for five weeks now. i use a top feeder. i supply them with a 2-1 sugar water solution. they have been eating it dry relative to my bi-weekly checks. i may need to peek in weekly if our dry spells continue. 
    • report - both hives going strong, population growth is good, they are working all frames and no signs of pesky pests.  i spotted a good deal of capped honey in the hive but I am leaving it for my sweet bees. they need it more than i in these hard dry times.
    • note - the above honey was harvested from bits of comb that the bees built on their own between frames rather than on the frames - a.k.a. - a sweet mess for this keeper to clean and claim.
  •  find a use for the extra veggies, nanas and eggs hanging about
    • apple/nana/maple/zookeeni breads are in the works
      • keep some for eating
      • place the extra in the freezer and try to forget it's there - this stuff is dangerously good.  
      • i use the following recipe as a guide but i change a good bit about the recipe
        • replacing applesauce for the oil
        • use 4 cups of zucchini
        • i use at least one banana per loaf
        • replacing real maple syrup for the brown sugar
        • cutting the sugar down to 1/2 cup.
        • i add carob chips to a the loaf
        • up the flour just a bit to balance out the additional squash
        • i may add pepita, almonds and/or sunflower seeds
          • i have options as i am making a huge batch!
            • at least four loaves 
        • lastly watch the cooking time - i find it takes less time than printed.  of course that will depend upon your own oven and altitude.
          • my standard sized loaves were hot and ready at 35 minutes - the larger super size loaves took 40 minutes
    • roast up squash, eggyplant and beets for dining and snacking
    • make up a chopped tomato salad with bulgar wheat, lemon juice and finely chopped herbs
    • boiled up some eggs for snacking
  •  refresh the home brewed kombucha crocks
    • it's been a while since i've brewed in the two gallon home crocks.  i've simply been stealing from my commercial kitchen batch for home use but this does not offer me much room for experimentation sooooooooo... the home brew re-begins.
    • today's experimental batch is pomegranate booch with red hibiscus.  it should be sweet and sparkly and take a short week to brew due to the high temperatures and summer heat. *booch brews faster in the warmer months.
  • filter out the first batch of water kefir & begin second batch
    • i've bottled the first batch in old grolsh bottles.  i'll give it a few days to achieve secondary ferment before setting it in the fridge to cool.  i have no idea what to expect.
    • the second batch is seasoned with raisins, fresh ginger and lemon
    • i'm pondering the next - hmmmm
  • head up to the local garden center in elgin town (bloomers) to investigate plants for a small container pond.  
    • with lack of rain and deadly dry drought conditions the froggies and creatures need all the help they can get.  i have several water troughs not in use that could easily convert to container ponds.  i will be curious to see what the options are.
  • that's all for now folks - have a great day.

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