Our bees have been busy this year and we have once again we have lavender honey!
What’s the buzz? A worker bee gathers in her entire life 0.8 gram (0.0288 ounce) of honey and it requires 556 worker bees and a million flowers to gather a pound of honey. Bees normally fly once around the world to gather enough nectar for that pound of honey but we make it a bit easier for them by placing our hives in our lavender production field. Still, that’s alot of flowers.
Raw honey has been used as a folk remedy throughout history. But those old wives tales are true and honey has a variety of health benefits and medical uses. It’s chocked full of antioxidants, is heart healthy and tastes delicious too!
The bees arrived back on our property on June 7th and we have 8 hives this year. The bees were very busy with 2 blooms this summer and our first batch of honey was extracted on July 21st.
Sooooo golden in colour and the delicate floral scent of lavender flows through this pleasant, well balanced and rounded honey.
And we just stocked our shelves with some gorgeous honeycomb. Eating honeycomb is one way to enjoy the full fruits of our bees’ labour. To produce one pound of wax the bees consume 6-8 lbs of honey. The wax is edible and honeycomb contains not just honey but also pollen and sometimes royal jelly. It’s the perfect addition to a bowl of oatmeal in the morning and you’ll find it on our charcuterie boards at the Bistro 42.
We’ll be saying goodbye to our bees soon as the evenings cool but we thought we’d share this old family recipe as our bee season winds down and they go into hibernation.
Polish Honey Spice Cookies (Pierniczki)
1 c sugar
¼ c water
1 c honey
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
4 tsp butter
4 c flour
1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup warm water
1 c confectioner’s sugar
1-2 Tbsp water depending on the thickness of the icing you want (glazed or piped)
½ teaspoon almond or peppermint extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a saucepan measure out 2 Tbsp of sugar and ¼ cup of water stir until dissolved and carmelize over gentle heat stirring until it begins to turn a golden brown colour. Add the remaining sugar, honey, spices and butter. Stir continuously until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from the stovetop and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl beat the egg and mix in the flour, baking soda and water. Blend in the sugar add spice mixture . Knead the dough until smooth. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rest 20 minutes.
On a flour dusted countertop roll out the dough into a rectangle. Cut the dough into shapes using your favourite cookie cutters and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool. Ice the cookies.
Owners Martin and Suzanne are lovingly sharing their Polish culture and Christmas tradition in this busy workshop. They will demonstrate the technique of pierogi making with step-by-step instruction from the dough to the final dumpling. You will learn how to make 3 different fillings: potato & cheese, Sauerkraut & mushroom, and sour cherry, as well as tricks and tips for making those little packets of love seal properly. Of course, you’ll have a tasting of these delightful creations and take a sample package home.
Make an entire evening of the event by booking dinner at our own Bistro 42. Reserve your table by calling 519-738-6111.
A match made in heaven- zesty lemon and luscious lavender! We can’t get enough of these creamy fragrant white chocolate bites and with Valentine’s day a few weeks away what better occasion to make these rich white chocolate treats for the one you love.
Finely chopped pistachios for garnish, cake sparkles or powdered sugar
In the top portion of a double boiler, combine the whipping cream, butter, lavender, lemon zest and lemon juice. Over low heat bring the mixture to a simmer while stirring continually.
Remove the mixture from the stove and extract the lavender and lemon zest by passing the liquid through a fine sieve.
Add water to the bottom pot of the double boiler and heat. Add the chocolate into the warm mixture of whip cream . Stir until it is smooth and melted. Do not melt the chocolate over direct heat.
Once you have a smooth mixture with the chocolate, pour the ganache (cream & chocolate mixture) into a bowl and leave a room temperature for up to 5 hours. At this point, the ganache should be hard enough to hold whatever form you wish. Use a teaspoon or a small melon baller to place small heaps of the truffle mix onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in freezer for 15 minutes
Remove the ganache from the freezer, and quickly roll each heap between your hands to create small smooth balls, and place back onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Roll each ball in chopped pistachio nuts, cake sparkles or powdered sugar and finish with a bud of lavender atop each truffle. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Adapted from Adventures in Cooking;
photo from Photo from betsylife.com.
1 3/4 cups of your favourite berry — frozen is fine, try it with a blend of berries!
1/2 cup plain flour
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp demerara sugar
4 tbsp chopped hazelnuts or almonds
1 teaspoon Serenity Lavender Farm culinary lavender buds
6 tbsp caster sugar
2 thin strips of lemon rind
6 tbsp water
Make the Syrup
Combine ingredients for syrup in a pan and stir over medium-high heat until it boils. Let boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat and cool.
Make the Crumble
In a mixing bowl, add the butter in small pieces to the flour, mixing with your fingers. Add the sugar, continue mixing until you have a crumble. Gently mix in nuts (Oats can be substituted for nuts).
Put it all together
Preheat oven to 350° F
Add your berry mix to an ovenproof dish (or divide evenly between ovenproof ramekins). Remove the lemon rind from the syrup and pour over fruit. Top with the crumble mixture and bake for 30 minutes or until crumble is brown and toasty.
Serve with cream, whipped cream, or ice cream. Sprinkle with lavender buds for a beautiful finish!
Photo Credit – Marco Verch