Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sugar Fail

Bee partner Jan often laments that she does not cook. As in, "Sorry Bob, I guess it's cereal for dinner again tonight!" But as it turns out, she's the queen of cooking sugar for the bees.

The last time I cooked for the girls, I dissolved 10lb of sugar in 8 cups of water. This turned out to be about half of what we needed, so off to Costco I go, where the smallest quantity of sugar they carry is 25lb. Perfect! We wanted to increase the ratio of sugar too, so 25lb into two quarts of water would be good. Five more cups of sugar to the same ratio of water sounded just right.

The whole bag fit into one of my crab pots. Talk about a lazy man's load! Number one, I should have put the water in first, and B.) I should have divided the lot, or used a bigger pot.

But I was correct that adding the water would reduce the volume in the pot, so I thought I was so smart. It was very difficult to stir, though, and that was my undoing. Too much heat before I could get the water soaked in produced. . .

. . . caramel. (I know, it just looks like a slice of over-cooked bacon.) I dredged up this bit after spending 20 minutes trying to get the spoon to the bottom of the pan. Ugh.

The worst of it is, I can't use it at all now. Who knew that burned sugar is poisonous to bees? I scraped out as much of the caramel as I could. It's not really burned, but kind of a pretty brown toffee. I haven't tried more heat yet, but I'll have to if I want to dissolve the rest of the sugar. But do I want to? What to do with about four gallons of caramel sugar water? Epicurious, here I come. . .

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

THIS is for ME!

I promised my blogger pal Pam J. some Homegrown Honey-- Dinwiddie Reserve-- and when she got it  she was most appreciative. SO appreciative, she, in turn, sent me a gift.

I LOVE getting packages in the mail! And this one was very special. She might have appreciated my honey harvesting efforts, but she actually made something with her own hands that I could never replicate. And I've tried, trust me. I loved her note card too. In it she says she hopes somebody in my household can use this beautiful scarf once the weather turns more fall-like.

Well, trust me Pam, THIS one's for ME! It's just the right length, just the right heft, just the right color. (The model doesn't do it justice.)

I even liked the recipe on the back of the card.

Pam, you are so welcome, and thank YOU!