Fourth Of July – Fresh Corn And Tomato Salad With Honey

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 ears fresh corn, husked (about 4 cups corn kernels)

2 cups sliced tomatoes

1 bunch scallions (white and green), thinly sliced

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves

 
Whisk the vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream, to make a smooth dressing.

Shear off the corn kernels with a sharp knife over a bowl. Toss in the tomatoes, scallions, and mozzarella. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Cover and let set for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours. Before serving tear the basil over the salad and stir.

Fourth Of July Honey Shrimp On The Barbie


3 1/2 lbs green shrimp, peeled and deveined
bamboo skewers (soaked in cold water to prevent burning)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons chopped italian parsley
2 tablespoons lemons or 2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder

 
Combine all the ingredients except shrimp and bamboo skewers to make a marinade.

Mix shrimp into the marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Thread 4 shrimp onto each skewer and barbecue over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes each side.

Serve as an appetizer.

It’s been a while.

Deborah DeLong:

I hope that summer is now “loading” in the UK!!

Originally posted on Scottish Bee Blog:

Graham has been SOOOO ill, fortunately he is well on the mend now and we have got back into our hives – at long last.

Quite a story to tell. You will have read that the weather up here – since the end of March – has left much to be desired and then Graham’s emergency trip to hospital and subsequent period of recovery landed on us and so the hives were somewhat neglected – we have paid the price!!!!

On the few occasions that he was up at the apiary swarms were seen and dealt with so that we had three nucleus boxes on the go as well as the five hives. One of the boxes is on the wheel-barrow I mentioned a couple of months ago – it works very well. On Wednesday this week with the weather being grand we went into every hive.

What we found made it quite obvious that…

View original 467 more words

Fourth Of July – Beef Tenderloin Sandwiches With Honey Herb Mayonnaise

This is a traditional recipe at my house for the Fourth! The tenderloin can also be prepared on the grill, if you want a more authentic American barbecue experience!!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 center-cut beef tenderloin (2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat, tied
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 to 10 cloves Roasted Garlic
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
1 baguette, halved horizontally and cut crosswise into 3 pieces
2 cups watercress, preferably baby

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Generously season beef with salt and pepper. Add to skillet, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer skillet to oven.

Roast until beef registers 130 for medium-rare, 20 to 25 minutes. Let beef stand for 20 minutes. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Meanwhile, mash garlic with a fork in a small bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. (Garlic-herb mayonnaise can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.)

Spread 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise onto each bread slice. Top with beef. Just before serving, add watercress. Season with salt and pepper.

Honey Baked Beans

Baked beans are a traditional Fourth of July side dish, and this recipe is the best!!

It takes a little time, but the taste and texture are worth it!!

4 cups dried navy, great northern, or other white beans, rinsed and soaked in cold water overnight
8 cups water, or part water and chicken or ham broth
about 1/2 pound bacon
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup honey
1 cup ketchup, preferrably Heinz
1/4 cup prepared mustard
2 TBLS worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper

 

Cook the beans in the 8 cups of water or water & stock until tender (about 1 hour). Chop the bacon and fry it until it is starting to brown and release fat, then add the chopped onions, and cook until they soften. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the ketchup, mustard, honey, and worcestershire sauce. Drain the beans and save the cooking water. Put the beans in a big casserole, and pour in the onion mixture, the cooking water, and salt & pepper to taste. Bake in the preheated 325 degree oven for about 2 hours, until there is a nice crust on top, the liquid is absorbed, and the beans are tender. (add more hot water or stock if they dry out too fast)

Independence Day – The Fourth Of July

It seems very odd to celebrate the United States’ declaration of independence from Great Britain  just a few days after my return from the  beloved Mother Country.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I believe the two countries could be united very comfortably these days.  The “Special Relationship” and all…

But in 1776, Great Britain had long been a great nation of pomp and circumstance, while the New World was a wilderness populated with radical thinkers, adventurers, and sundry undesirables.  We were a troublesome colony, and revolution was inevitable.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my country.  I’ll post about the celebratory fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, and concerts.

But I’ll remember that most of the rights and freedoms we enjoy today are those we brought with us from England.  And I remain convinced that our English heritage is stronger than the forces that drove us apart.

God Save The Queen!

My Visit To The Ealing Apiary

I’ve been saving my favorite experience in London for last — my Saturday afternoon visit to the Ealing apiary in the charming English village of Perivale.

When I started writing this blog back in January, I quickly became blogging friends with two lovely young British beekeepers, Emma Sarah Tennant of Miss Apis Millifera and Emily Heath of Adventuresinbeeland’s Blog.

They are both experienced beekeepers and bloggers, and they really took me under their (bee) wings! I’ve greatly enjoyed reading their informative posts and chatting with them on various beekeeping topics.

When they found out that I was going to be visiting London, they generously invited me to visit their apiary in Ealing. I was quite excited about my visit, having followed their successes and setbacks in what has been a very challenging year for English bees and their keepers.

In the meantime, I had also emailed John Chapple, Chair of the London Beekeepers’ Association and the Queen’s beekeeper, about the possibility of a chat and maybe even a visit to the Royal Hives. I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t hear back from him. He undoubtedly thought I was a crazy person or a terrorist or both.

On Saturday morning, I woke up with a rip-roaring case of jet lag.  I knew I was going to be running behind, so I declined both Emma’s and Emily’s kind offers to personally escort me to the apiary.  That was a big mistake on my part!

After many interesting adventures involving bus fares, Off Track Betting Parlors, and my inability to coherently ask for directions,  I finally arrived at the Ealing apiary.

It was like a scene from Alice In Wonderland. And presiding over tea was Royal Beekeeper John Chapple and his Royal Assistant Andy Pedley!!

John Chapple and Emma Sarah Tennant

Andy Pedley and Emily Heath

Both John and Andy have many years of beekeeping experience, and tend Royal Hives at Buckingham Palace and Clarence House. They also keep other hives all over London, including the charming Ealing apiary.

They apologized for not being able to give me a tour of the Royal Hives, but explained that they are not allowed to bring visitors.  Even Royal visitors are restricted to the likes of the Dalai Lama, who toured the hives recently.

John and Andy themselves must undergo extensive security background checks every several years.  Security at the Royal Residences is very high, especially when the Royals (aka “The Principals”) are in residence. According to Andy, “there are lots of shooters around then.”

Everyone tasted my honey, and pronounced it palatable.  One little lady bee was a particular fan.

Bee Enjoying My American Honey

Not surprisingly, John disagreed with Steve Benbow about the sufficiency of forage in the City of London to support the growing number of urban beekeepers. However, everyone agrees that it is important to plant more bee-friendly trees, shrubs and flowers within the City, and reduce the use of herbicides and pesticides.

After tea, I helped Emma inspect her bees and feed the apiary hives.  I could see the toll the inclement weather has taken on the colonies who live there. I was glad to hear that they were expecting better weather in July.

Andy was kind enough to take a picture of Emma and me after our inspection!

Emma and I had an uneventful trip back to London, chatting all the way!!  It was a great day in the country, and I can hardly wait to return!!

Fortunately For The US, I Didn’t Create Problems With Finland…

Unwittingly, I chatted up Jyri Häkämies, the Minister for Economic Affairs from Finland, in my hotel bar during the big football match last Sunday night.

Thankfully, I did not create an International Incident.  The Minister’s response…

Dear Deborah,

It was really nice talking with you last night. You have a excellent humour and straightforward attitude which I appreciate.

All the best to you. Keep your style. I love it.

Jyri

Whew!!

Feedback From Steve Benbow On My Post…

A lovely man…

Hi Deborah

That’s very funny – did I really use that phrase?! I’m sorry that’s very rude!

Thank you for the book plug and your honey was brill…

Steve

Tea With Fortnum’s Beemaster Steve Benbow

Over the past few days I’ve had the opportunity to chat with some of the best beekeepers in the UK about their craft.  Now I face the daunting task of writing about them.

Last Friday after my tour of Fortnum’s hives I was thrilled to be taken to tea by Steve Benbow, urban beekeeper, successful entrepreneur, and Fortnum’s Beemaster, to discuss urban beekeeping.

Steve has a long history of urban beekeeping. Fifteen years ago he decided he wanted to keep bees in Central London. There was only one problem: he lived on the sixth story of an ex-council block near Tower Bridge with no garden. The only outside space was the building’s flat roof, accessible via a fire escape. Having located his first hive behind the lift shaft, the bees prospered and produced award-winning honey.

Inspired by other urban beekeepers in Paris, Tokyo, Rio and New York, Steve founded the London Honey Company, a business that has grown rapidly and now produces honey for Harrods, Harvey Nichols and The Savoy, as well as several small delicatessens across London. He also services hives for the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, as well as a variety of commercial clients, many of whom sell their honey within their stores.

Hives At The Tate Modern

Steve was very forthcoming about his experiences with Fortnum’s bees.  He keeps two varieties, Carniolan bees, which are a little more feisty, and Welsh Black bees, which are quite gentle.  He  likes to keep two different varieties which he believes complement each other.

Fortnum’s was the first London commercial establishment to consider keeping bees in the City.  Steve was contacted by Jonathan Miller, Fortnum’s visionary new products buyer, back in 2004 about the project.

Mr. Miller himself designed the ornate WBC hives.  Installed in 2008, the final design is very much in keeping with the spirit of the facade of the store, with a different theme for each hive, – Roman, Mughal, Chinese and Gothic.

Each six-foot structure has  its own triumphal arch entrance, gold finial beehive pinnacle and is dressed in Fortnum’s signature blue-green eau de nil and gold livery. The roofs are pagoda in style and, when observed as a group, resemble the waves of the ocean.

The unique hives were hand crafted by Welsh carpenter, Kim Farley-Harper, who will be happy to make a bespoke hive for customers.  The only drawback may be the price.  It is reported that Fortnum’s hives cost 1500 £ a piece.

The biggest difficulty Steve first encountered was the public perception that the bees might be a public hazard.  That is no longer the case, and Fortnum’s considers its rooftop beehives to be a success. It is considering keeping other hives elsewhere.

Other challenges Steve has faced have been swarm control and Varroa mites.  Steve treats his hives for Varroa with Oxalic acid, and uses splits to control swarms.  He happily reports that Fortnum’s bees have never swarmed.

Benbow uses a Queen excluder and mouse guards in the winter. He feeds his bees sugar syrup in periods of dearth. He uses some insulation in his hives, but reports that the heat of Fortnum’s buildings prevents the hives from getting too cold in winter.

I asked Steve to comment upon the June 15 London Evening Standard article in which Angela Woods, secretary of the London Bee Keepers Association, was quoted as saying London’s bees are under threat of starvation and disease because of a boom in the number of urban beekeepers.  She stated that there isn’t enough forage in central London, and that bees shouldn’t be kept above two stories high.

Steve’s reaction to the article was a pithy “Bollocks!”

He pointed out that bees have been living in tall trees and other high places for many thousands of years, and that while London could always use more trees and flowers, the primary challenge to urban bees this year has been the inclement weather, not a lack of forage.

It was a fascinating interview, and Mr. Benbow could not have been more cooperative and charming. He even complimented my American-made honey. But I think he was just being nice.  :)

Steve has a new book out, The Urban Beekeeper, which I’ve read and found delightful.  I urge you all to pick up a copy and find out even more about his busy life and career.