Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring and Asparagus

In the Spring, it is fantastic when you can walk to your garden and find all these green little tasty treats. We have been harvesting chives and mint already this season, but when asparagus starts to grow so early, and one can harvest some before the 1st of May it is truly a wonderful gift of nature.
So the children and I harvested some asparagus this past weekend and decided we would use it in a dish we all enjoy.


1/2 lb of asparagus
12-18 slices of deli ham
1/4 lb of Vermont cheddar cheese cut into match stick size
6-8 crepes or tortillas
3 tablespoons Vermont Honey
1 tablespoon "My Kids' Kitchen" Spicy Brown Mustard
Optional- Mozzarella Cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place in a medium sized bowl cleaned and trimmed asparagus. Add 1/4 cup water and wrap bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in microwave 3 minutes or until tender.
In a small bowl place honey and mustard and mix these 2 ingredients well.
Using either a crepe (Crepes work better in this recipe because they really absorb the flavor of the honey mustard mixture.) or tortilla wrap, brush with the honey mustard mixture and layer 2-3 slices of ham, cooked asparagus, and cheddar cheese. Roll into a bundle and place on greased baking sheet. Continue in same fashion with the rest of the ingredients.
You may brush the rest of the honey mixture on top of the bundles for added flavor. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
we hope you will enjoy this recipe as well as we do.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

2010 Bees

Yesterday, we received an early phone call from our local post office. The post master wanted to let us know that he had just received 15 pounds of bees for us. You may wonder how one ships live, buzzing bees. Three pounds of drones and honey bees are put into a small screened box with a wooden frame that is a little bit bigger than a shoe box. The queen bee is encapsulated into a small box to herself and is placed in with the other bees and they are shipped to destinations throughout the United States. When we receive them we spray them with sugar water which they use for food. When the weather is perfect (no rain or wind) they can then be placed in their new hive.

The evening the bees were delivered the weather was perfect to place them in their new hive. Usually when we go to the hives the person handling the bees wears a bee suit including gloves to protect themselves and a smoker which is used on the bees to calm any aggressive behavior. To set the bees in their new hive, we were armed only with sugar water. The boxes of bees are sprayed well with the sugar water, and the box is opened and we shake the bees from the box. They basically fall onto the frames of the opened hive. Once the box is empty, they are gently brushed into the frames and the cover is replaced on the hive. Within a day they are accustomed to their new hive and work begins.

These new bees that were just placed will be checked within a few days and then about once every month to make sure all is going well. The older hives will be checked about once a month also and if all goes well with the weather, we will be harvesting honey in early to mid-June. Check with us from time to time to find out how the bees are doing and for honey recipes.