Using Honey

NOTE: Don't feed your baby honey. Botulism spores can be in it. These don't harm adults when directly eaten, but in the intestines of infants under 1 year of age—especially under 6 months of age—they can grow. This was discovered in 1976 and is now thought to account for at least some cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Keep these small babies out of soil (where botulism spores are) in general.

Honey at the Table: Get 2 small syrup pitchers. Fill one with honey and one with molasses or sorghum. If you grow it, or can afford it, you could keep a third with real maple syrup in it. Keep the honey pitcher in a warm spot in your kitchen—over the pilot light or on the warming shelf of your wood stove. Serve both pitchers whenever needed at your meals. Honey complements the taste of any herb tea just perfectly, helping to bring out the flavor. Basically, you can use honey anywhere you can use sugar: to sweeten any beverage (tea, coffee, warm milk), stirred into plain yogurt, dribbled onto cold or warm cereal, mixed with margarine or butter, or blended with any nut butter to make a spread. cooking with Honey: Honey has been around longer than refined sugar. Honey is composed of simple sugars, mainly fructose and glucose. Plain white sugar adds sweetness to a recipe, but honey adds flavor as well as sweetness. The sweet taste of honey tends to be more concentrated than that of sugar, so you can substitute 2/3-3A c. honey for any 1 c. sugar and end up with it equally sweet-tasting. You can substitute honey for sugar in any recipe, but because honey is a liquid you then decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2-3 T. per 3A c. honey, or by % c. per 1 c. honey. Honey is easiest to measure if your measuring container has first held the oil or other fat for the recipe, or if you first coat the spoon or cup with oil (or with nonstick pan-coating spray). Then the honey won't stick in the measuring container and you'll be able to get it all back out easily. Combine honey with other liquids in the recipe. Preserving with Honey

Freezing Fruit with Honey. Don't make a heavy syrup. Use 1 c. honey to 2 c. water. That will give you what the recipes call a "medium" syrup. For a "thin" or "light" syrup, use 1 c. honey with 3 c. water. Then allow 3/t-l c. syrup per

1-qt. freezer container. Measure your syrup into the container. Slice fruit directly into it and freeze. You won't need any ascorbic acid when you freeze fruit in honey syrup. The syrup itself will prevent the fruit from changing color. Add a crumpled piece of freezer paper to keep the fruit forced down under the syrup. Peaches and strawberries are especially good this way.

<i> HONEY FRUIT JAM To make Doris's gooseberry jam combine 3 c. green gooseberries and 2 c. clover honey. Cook slowly until mixture jellies on a cold dish. Put in jars and seal. This is simple and very good, and you can apply the same principle to other fruits.

UNCOOKED BERRY-HONEY JAM Mash fresh berries (raspberries or strawberries are very good in this). Put the mashed berries in a blender with a package of pectin and blend. Taste. Now add as much honey as you think it needs to be sweet enough, and blend again. You can make only a little bit of this at a time because blenders don't hold much. Store it in the refrigerator.

LEMON-HONEY JELLY From Nanci Falley, Lockhart, TX: Combine 3A c. lemon juice and 2Vi c. honey. Bring to a full rolling boil. Add 'A c. liquid fruit pectin, stir vigorously, and boil about 2 minutes. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal. Canning with Honey. Honey can be used as the sweetening agent in canning, jelly-making, and other preserving. Since different types of honey vary in darkness, so do honey syrups, but they're invariably at least somewhat darker than a sugar syrup. This darker syrup will tend to darken light-colored fruits like pears and peaches. But the flavor will be delicious, so don't worry about the color. Honey syrups, compared to sugar syrups, have more of a tendency to foam when heated; use a larger kettle and watch it carefully to avoid boil-overs.

HONEY SYRUP FOR CANNING When canning apples, tart cherries, plums, and strawberries, try 2 c. of honey per 3 A c. water. For syrup over blueberries, black cherries, peaches, pineapples, and raspberries, try I c. honey per

2-3 c. water. These proportions can be experimented with and varied according to your personal taste and need. It is entirely up to you how much or little honey you use. You can use plain water or pure honey or anything in between. The canning process and times are the same no matter what the type and amount of sweetener.

Prepare your fruit for canning. Place it in a pan, cover with the syrup, and heat thoroughly. Put into prepared jars, filling to within A inch of the top. Put on lids, tighten them, and process in a boiling water bath the appropriate amount of time for your size ofjar and type of fruit.

HONEY-FRUIT JELLY Combine 2 c. high- or medium-pectin fruit juice, Vi c. mild-flavored honey, and 2 t lemon juice. Bring to a boil and stir in all at once 2 T. powdered pectin. Let boil 10 minutes, and pour into your jelly glasses. For low-pectin fruit juices, use 4 t lemon juice and 3 T.

powdered pectin. If you want to use homemade pectin, substitute 2 c. homemade pectin for both the lemon juice and powdered pectin.

Baking with Honey: Marilyn Gordon and her husband raise and sell honey at Boone, CO. She wrote to me: "To substitute honey for sugar in a baking recipe use 3A c. honey for 1 c. sugar and reduce liquid in the recipe by A c.—like in cakes. If liquid isn't called for in your recipe, add 4 T. additional flour for each 3A c. honey used in cookies. Bake at a temperature 25 degrees lower than called for, as baked goods with honey will brown faster. Cakes, cookies, and breads will be moist and stay fresh longer because of honey's moistness."

Honey is acidic. If there is as much as 1 c. of honey in the recipe, you can add V21. baking soda (per 1 c. honey) and get a leavening action as well as neutralize the acidic quality.

These next few recipes were presented to me by Shawna Marie Thurman, 1988 Montana Honey Queen, courtesy of Western Bee Supplies.

BEEHIVES In a mixing bowl combine A c. honey, I beaten egg, and I t. vanilla. Beat until well blended. Stir together 2 c. shredded coconut I c. chopped walnuts, and I c. chopped dates that have been coated with 2 T. of flour. Now add them to the honey mixture. Drop your beehives by table-spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet Bake at 325 °F for 12 minutes or until done.

HONEY-APPLESAUCE COOKIES Cream together IA c. honey and I c. shortening. Add 2 beaten eggs and beat mixture until smooth. Add 2 t. soda to 2 c. applesauce. Sift in 2 t cinnamon, I t nutmeg, I t salt and 3 A c. flour. Stir in 2 c. quick-cooking oats (or rolled wheat), 2 c. raisins, and I c. walnuts. Drop on cookie sheet with a spoon. Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes.

HONEY-FUDGE BROWNIES In a saucepan over low heat melt together Vi c. butter, 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, Aj t salt and I t vanilla. Mix well. Remove from heat Blend in I c. honey, Ai c. unsifted flour, and I t baking powder. Add 2 well-beaten eggs. Beat the mixture well. Pour into a thoroughly greased 9-inch-square pan. Bake at 325°F for 35 minutes (or until done in center). Cool on wire rack 15 minutes before marking in 16 squares.

Other Honey Recipes

CARAMEL CORN Combine A3 c. honey with 3At c. brown sugar and 2 T. margarine. Heat until sugar is melted and bubbling around edges. Pour over large bowl full of popped, salted popcorn, and mix well.

STRETCHED HONEY You can stretch your honey by mixing I c. honey with A c. sugar and A c. water. Heat and mix together. Serve warm. Stretch it even further, if need be, by combining Vi c. water and I c. brown sugar per I c. honey.

HONEY SYRUP To use straight honey for syrup, warm in a pan of hot water before serving so it will pour easily, or else mix with about one-fifth water. A honey-butter syrup for immediate use can be made by melting about 3 T. butter per Vi c. honey. Serve while hot and stir when necessary to redistribute butter, which will tend to float Or swirl before each pouring to mix.

<i> HONEY LEMONADE Stir A c. honey into a quart of very hot water. Add fresh lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)

or some form of lemon juice concentrate, to taste. Serve warm for a wonderful winter treat or chill to serve in the hot summertime.

HONEY-CREAM SAUCE Whip A c. cream, then beat in Ai c. honey and I t. lemon juice.

ORANGE SAUCE Combine A c. butter, 2A c. honey, I T. orange juice, and I t. grated orange rind.

HONEY TEA A bee man taught me this one. Put water on to boil. When it's boiling, add 3 t honey per 4 c. water and boil a few minutes more until thoroughly in solution. Add tea leaves to make tea. Steep, strain, and serve. For iced honey tea, make as above, then chill.

& HONEY DRESSING FOR FRUIT SALAD Combine half honey and half lemon juice. Add a bit of yogurt and some cinnamon. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

& CRACKER JACKS MADE WITH HONEY From Marilyn: "Blend A2 c. melted butter with A2 c. honey. Heat until well blended. Pour over a mixture of 3 qt. popped corn and I c. chopped nuts. Mix well. Spread over cookie sheet in thin layer. Bake in preheated 350° F oven for I Oto 15 minutes until crisp. Be careful, mixture is very hot"

BROILED HONEY TOPPING Also from Marilyn: "Mix A c. soft margarine or butter with A c. honey, A c. shredded coconut and A2 c. chopped walnuts. Spread over top of hot 9-inch-square cake. Broil until topping is bubbly. Tastes best served warm. Or heat ingredients in saucepan, thin with several spoonfuls of milk, and serve over ice cream or pudding."

Rabbit

I'm used to living way out in the country, and that is where I went through my rabbit period and quickly raised 30 or so rabbits with no neighbor problems (it was the goats we had complaints about). But that was near a community of 300, and we had 3 acres. In town, even for just 1 rabbit, learn the zoning rules first. Usually, there's no problem keeping a few rabbits, but sometimes the law specifies how many or where the hutches must go. Of course, some folks keep illegal rabbits, even enough for meat or marketing breeding stock. Being small and silent—unique and wonderful in that way among livestock—rabbits are the easiest of all to hide.

I used to think rabbits were rodents like rats and mice, but now I know they belong to a different group of mammals. They are "lagomorphs." Whatever you call them, rabbits are lovable, docile, quiet, small animals. They make good pets or can be raised for meat. They are so gentle even a child can manage them, so unobtrusive that even a covert backyard farmer can raise them. So you can raise rabbits almost anywhere: in town or country, in backyard or garage, in a house—even in an apartment!

Rabbits, of course, are also famous for their reproductive abilities. Lane Morgan says, "My elder daughter wants a pair of bunnies so she can raise babies. I told her the only way we were raising lots of baby bunnies was if we were going to butcher them, so she is brooding over this hard bargain." Yes, that's how it has to be. If you're going to make rabbit part of your meat production—or if you're going to keep 1 or more for pets—here's what you need to know.

Continue reading here: Paul Mannell Rabbits

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