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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Spring Creamed Honey Recipes

Now that Spring is here the bees are out gathering and many of us will have Spring honey to enjoy for the rest of the year. The Maple flow is on and the bees are out on those Sunny days gathering nectar for our favorite sweetener...HONEY!

One of my favorite things to do with my excess honey is to cream it and flavor with different lovely additions. My favorites include chocolate creamed honeys with orange, almond, or mint, plain creamed honey and of course vanilla bean infused honey. I'll provide recipes as we discuss how they are made.

Creaming honey is very easy and hard to get wrong. Raw honey will usually crystallize before you've used up a large amount of it, so creaming it is a way to stop it from having large crystals and keep it in a spreadable consistency for eating. 

Plain Creamed Honey
First pick your favorite creamed raw honey at the supermarket or farmers market. I of course love Babes. It has the same flavor of my own home grown honey which is nice. Your finished creamed honey will be similar if not identical to your 'seed' cream honey. To every pint of raw liquid honey I add 2 Tablespoons of creamed honey. I mix it very well (use a hand blender or mixer). Add flavorings if wanted.  Pour into your prepared jar, preferably a wide mouth container. I also save my leftover hexagonal jam jars because they are so pretty. Just make sure you can get a knife into the container for access to the honey---it isn't going to run out of the bottle any more. Place it in a cool place. In two days to 2 weeks it will harden and be a spreadable consistency. If you use more 'seed' creamed honey it will be faster in crystallizing.


Chocolate Creamed Honey

To every pint of newly creamed honey add 2 tablespoons of your favorite unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix it very well because any not mixed well will rise to the top of your honey as it creams.

Mint Chocolate Creamed Honey

To every pint of newly chocolate creamed honey add 1/4 teaspoon  of mint extract. Mix well and allow to sit somewhere cool to cream.

 Chocolate Orange Creamed Honey

To every pint of newly chocolate creamed honey add 1 tsp orange zest. Mix well and allow to set.

Cinnamon Creamed Honey

To every pint of newly creamed honey add up to 2 Tablespoons of good quality cinnamon (I like mine strong). If you grind it yourself it's even nicer. You can get cinnamon stick in the grocer or if you're lucky you can get Mexican cinnamon stick from your local ethnic stores (lucky you in Yakima, Washington with your Fiesta Foods).

You can add ground cinnamon to a chocolate creamed honey but use 1 teaspoon per pint.  

I've also been playing around with some Speculaas Spice blends. I really like it in the creamed honey. Speculaas is a type of gingerbread spice. I really like the blend that has a lot of ground anise seed. It reminds me of my Grandma Diemart's Peppernut cookies we make for Christmas.

 Peppernut Creamed Honey
 Like my cinnamon honey I add a lot of spice, again 2 T. per pint.  Check out this recipe if you are interested in making this spice or creamed honey...My Favorite Speculaas Recipe

Vanilla Bean Creamed Honey

To each pint of newly creamed honey add 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste. You can find this ingredient at specialty stores and right now the Bulk Barn downtown here in Victoria is carrying it! This is one special honey. It maintains the delicate distinct flavors of both the vanilla and the honey. It's amazing, you gotta try this. 

Or of course you can go to Babes Honey Farm here in Victoria and try out their Raspberry Chocolate Creamed Honey, Eggnog Honey etc. YUMMY! 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Rabbit Files- Rabbit Diapers

The Rabbit Files are where you can find tips and tricks for keeping your house rabbits happy and healthy. I breed rabbits for pets and show. One problem I've had with my male house bunnies is their tendency to 'mark everything' when they come indoors to play with us. It's messy and stinky and they love it but we do not. So instead of banning all male bunnies (which are so fun and friendly) we opted to diaper them while they are inside. Just like babies if they are wet we change them right away. Here is a you tube video on how to diaper your rabbit...

How to Put a Diaper on your Bunny

Here is our house bunny Leonard in his diaper and cuddling with me in my 'nest'...

He's not unhappy about it and hopped all over the house for about 2 hours. Plus he isn't at risk for getting my females preggers again unexpectedly, unless he manages to wiggle out of it of course so make sure it is fitted correctly and comfortably for your bunny.

Leonard loves to cuddle and he's such a softie he's great to cuddle with! Not all bunnies like to cuddle. I think the mini lop is one of the most cuddly of the breeds we have.